Myanmar security forces use tear gas and rubber bullets on anti-coup protesters

Security forces in Myanmar have ratcheted up their pressure against anti-coup protesters, using water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets against demonstrators and striking dock workers in Mandalay. Repression At least five people were injured by rubber bullets in the nation’s second-largest city and had to be carried away in ambulances, according to an Associated Press journalist who witnessed the violence. Some 500 police and soldiers descended on the area near Yadanabon dock after dock workers joined the national civil disobedience movement, refusing to work until the military junta that seized power in a 1 February coup reinstates the democratically elected government. Protesters and residents were forced to…

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Student loans continue to discriminate against Muslim students

To be Muslim in Britain means to be a part of a population of 3 million. Like all religions, what it means to be Muslim varies for each individual and the guidelines of practicing Islam differ. Interest is forbidden For young people venturing from college or sixth form into university, accepting a monstrous educational debt will always be a tricky decision. But for Muslims, deciding to take out a Student Finance Loan – or for that matter any loan which requires repayment with interest – holds a heavier burden. This is because loans with interest are deemed ‘haram’, meaning forbidden. Aaisha Illiyas always knew that she wanted to…

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Offshore workers back ‘landmark’ agreement on terms and conditions

Offshore workers have backed a “landmark” agreement their union said will lead to better terms and conditions. Union power Members of the GMB working for North Sea oil and gas companies endorsed the Energy Services Agreement (ESA), described as a groundbreaking new collective agreement for thousands of engineering and maintenance workers. The union described it as a landmark deal, saying it will benefit North Sea workers by providing an equal footing to negotiate pay, terms and conditions, and health, safety and welfare standards. Ross Murdoch, GMB national officer, said: This new agreement marks the start of a new way forward, ensuring fair work and better terms and conditions…

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High Court rules the Government acted unlawfully by failing to disclose Covid contracts

The Government unlawfully failed to publish details of billions of pounds’ worth of coronavirus-related contracts, the High Court has ruled. The Good Law Project took legal action against the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for its “wholesale failure” to disclose details of contracts agreed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government is required by law to publish a “contract award notice” within 30 days of the award of any contracts for public goods or services worth more than £120,000. At a hearing earlier this month, the Good Law Project and three MPs – Labour’s Debbie Abrahams, the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas and Liberal Democrat Layla Moran –…

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Campaigners accuse the G7 of ‘presiding over global vaccine apartheid’

Campaigners are demanding Boris Johnson and other leaders get rid of patents on the coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine so that poorer countries won’t have to wait years to achieve full immunisation levels. The call comes as the rich G7 nations met on 19 February. Many human rights organisations and trade unions have called for the patents on vaccine to be waived, and warned “the UK and other G7 countries are blocking” the process. In a press release, Global Justice Now’s director Nick Dearden said: G7 leaders are presiding over global vaccine apartheid. First they handed over control of publicly-funded vaccines to big business. Then they hoarded most of this…

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A report just slammed the Universal Credit £20 uplift as ‘inadequate’

The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Universal Credit is under the microscope again. This time, a survey of claimants found the benefit left them in chaos. It called the £20 uplift “inadequate”. But the problem is that this isn’t exactly news to the countless people who’ve been struggling on it for years. The DWP: here we go again The Canary has been covering Universal Credit during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. A lot of debate has been about the £20 a week uplift. In April 2020, the DWP increased the rate of Universal Credit by this amount. But ever since, uncertainty has existed over what will happen this April.…

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Biden may have thrown the left a few bones, but he’s keeping some of Trump’s worst policies in place

Recently elected US president Joe Biden is claiming that his administration will herald a new era following the disastrous and reactionary Trump presidency. And he’s also claiming to listen to the progressive wing in his party’s base that supported the candidacy of Democratic primary runner-up Bernie Sanders. But though he has followed through on some of these promises, he’s also left several of Trump’s worst policies completely untouched. We shouldn’t be surprised, though. Because, as The Canary has argued on many occasions, the Democratic Party to which he belongs has long been little more than a slightly watered-down version of the Republicans. And that leaves open the question…

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Roza Salih could become Scotland’s first asylum seeker elected to public office

Roza Salih is standing in the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) Glasgow regional list. If elected in May, she “will become the first asylum seeker elected to public office in Scotland”. The Glasgow Girls Roza Salih was born in Southern Kurdistan, but identifies as a new-Scot. She came to Scotland as an asylum seeker in 2001, after members of her family were executed by Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. But that turbulent past did not deter Salih, who decided from a very young age that she would not only embrace her new home but also make a difference in Scotland. When she was only 15-years-old, and tired of the…

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Shamima Begum to find out next week if she can potentially return to the UK

Shamima Begum will find out if she can potentially return to the UK to pursue an appeal against the removal of her British citizenship when the Supreme Court gives a ruling on her case next week. Stateless Begum was 15 when she and two other east London schoolgirls travelled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State group (IS) in February 2015. Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019. Begum, now 21, is challenging the Home Office’s decision to remove her British citizenship and wants to be allowed to return…

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Massive victory for workers as Uber loses Supreme Court battle

Supreme Court justices have ruled against Uber and said that drivers should be classed as workers. Seven justices ruled on the latest round of a long-running fight between Uber operating companies and drivers on Friday, after a hearing in July. Uber operating companies, who said drivers were contractors not workers, appealed to the Supreme Court after losing three earlier rounds of the fight. “Historic” Justices dismissed Uber’s appeal in a decision the GMB union said was “historic”. BREAKING: It’s the end of the road for Uber’s mistreatment of drivers. This landmark Supreme Court ruling puts all debates to bed. Time for Uber to accept its responsibilities, compensate drivers…

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