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Trump's key policy promise falls

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A flagship promise of the Trump campaign was thrown into chaos last month. The American Health Care Act, known as “Trumpcare”, was pulled from the floor of the US House of Representatives at the end of March, having failed to win enough support from Republicans to pass.

Throughout the presidential election Trump had made attacks on the rising costs of Obamacare a central strand of his campaign, promising to repeal and replace it.

Period shame harms young women

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Reports last month revealed that girls and young women have missed days of school because they can’t afford to buy sanitary products.

Teachers in Leeds noticed that some of their female students seemed to be missing school regularly. They found that it was because they had no cash for tampons or sanitary towels and were embarrassed to ask for help. One girl told BBC radio, “I wrapped a sock around my underwear just to stop the bleeding, because I didn’t want to get shouted at.”

French fascist danger

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The first round of the French presidential election takes place on Sunday 23 April. The latest polls put fascist Marine Le Pen of the Front National level with neoliberal centre candidate Emmanuel Macron, both on 26 percent. In third place is disgraced conservative Francois Fillon, who is under fire for corrupt practices. The left is last, with mainstream Parti Socialiste candidate Benoit Hamon struggling to stay ahead of far-left candidate Jean Luc Melenchon, both on 12 percent.

News shorts

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UKIP unsure exactly how racist to be
A row erupted among Britain’s premier bigots after their defeat in the Stoke by election last month. Former leader Nigel Farage wanted current leader Paul Nuttall to boot out sole MP Douglas Carswell before he rejoins the Tories. Also, having been so anti-establishment for so long, Nigel was upset that he didn’t receive a knighthood. This is no time to stop organising against them, though. Farage has complained that UKIP wasn’t hardline enough over immigration.

Cressida Dick lands killer job

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The appointment of Cressida Dick as Metropolitan Police Commissioner will have sent shivers down the spines of many Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Londoners. Walk past Stockwell underground station and you will understand why. Immediately to the left of the entrance is a mural with the inscription “INNOCENT Jean Charles de Menezes…Shot dead here 22.07.2005 Sadly missed”.

It's right or far right in Dutch elections

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Mark Rutte is facing racist populist Geert Wilders

Right wing parties are set for victory during the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Netherlands. Geert Wilders’ far right Freedom Party (PVV) and current prime minister Mark Rutte’s conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) are leading the polls. The projected seats of the four left wing parties combined amount to just 45 out of 150 seats in the latest poll.

Alan Simpson (1929-2017)

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Alan Simpson (left) with co-writer Ray Galton (right) and Tony Hancock (centre)

Alan Simpson, who has died aged 87, was half of one of the most talented and socially-perceptive comedy-writing partnerships of post-war Britain. He and Ray Galton created two of Britain’s best-loved comedy series, Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.

Alan Simpson was born in Brixton to a working class family, the son of a window-cleaner. He attended Mitcham grammar school but left early to work as a shipping clerk.

Occupation in Seoul

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Students at Seoul National University (SNU), South Korea, have taken control of a campus building for more than 100 days so far against a plan to build a campus extension.

The plans are part of a speculative property development project. The students oppose it because the process has been undemocratic and the plans put making profits before the needs of students and staff.

The action takes place in a broader context of neoliberal restructuring driven by a president who is on the verge of impeachment.

Esther Brunstein: we must never forget

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Anti-fascist campaigner Esther Brunstein died last month. She was a survivor of the Holocaust.

She played an active role in the struggle against the far right, speaking at meetings, assemblies, trade unions and workplaces.

Esther was born in Lodz, Poland. She starts her chapter in a book of survivor accounts saying she came from “a very close-knit and enlightened working class family”.

Her parents were active members of the Bund, a socialist political organisation

New movement counters Trump

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The world was rocked by a monumental event in January. Not the initiation of the most right wing US government in decades, but the inauguration of the resistance to the sexism, racism and homophobia that Trump represents.

Around the globe 5 million people marched in 670 towns and cities, including 100,000 in London.

The last time the world saw such a scale and breadth of coordinated demonstrations was in February 2003 against the Iraq war.

In the US itself the numbers were even higher this time than they were during the anti-war movement.

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