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Between the Lines

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Issue: 

Capita to process TV licence fees - Harry Potter and Coca Cola - Big increase in US military spending

The contract to process television licence fees has been awarded to Capita, the support services group. However Capita lost its contract with Lambeth council because of its failure to run the housing benefit scheme. Residents in both Lambeth and Westminster have lost their homes because of Capita's inefficiency, and Westminster still has a huge backlog of unprocessed claims.

Argentina: Sparking off a Chain Reaction

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Javier Carles reports from the streets of Argentina.

Tuesday, 18 December
IMF and US rejects financial help to Argentinia's government. Lootings of shops and supermarkets begin in provinces such as Rosario, and quickly spread. The reaction of the De La Rua government is to deny that there is any crisis and that the situation is under control but the looting continues.

Bloody Sunday Inquiry - A Cover Up That Went Right to the Top

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Thirty years after it happened, why is there still such a fuss about Bloody Sunday? 'Daily Telegraph' and 'Daily Mail' commentators rant and rage about the huge political, legal and media concentration on Bloody Sunday, and about the cost of the Saville tribunal of inquiry into the events of 30 January 1972. They point to the fact that other atrocities have seen as many, or more, innocent people cut down, and just as cruelly.

There was no justification for those killings either. So why isn't there a film, much less two films, about the IRA's Remembrance Day bomb in 1987, which left 11 dead? And why are the Bloody Sunday soldiers being pursued when paramilitaries have an effective amnesty?

Enron: Digging the Dirt on New Labour's Friends

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The fall of Enron is a very British scandal because it relied on a British cast as well as friendships with Bush and Clinton to give it respectability. Lord Wakeham sat on the board, chairing the firm's 'Audit Committee'. Labour invited Enron executives to its 'gala dinners'.

In return the party received somewhere between £15,000 and £30,000 a year from 1997 to 2001 from Enron. Even the queen was roped into the sanitisation of Enron, making Enron Europe chairman Ralph Hodge a 'Commander of the British Empire'.

New York: Forum for Protest

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Last year the World Economic Forum (WEF), which had been meeting in Davos in Switzerland for decades, declared that it would hold its next gathering in New York City between 31 January and 4 February at the posh Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. No one knows for sure the reasoning behind this sudden change of venue.

The official line from WEF organisers is that they were coming to show solidarity with New Yorkers after 11 September. It is more likely that the real reason for the move comes down to the growing protests the WEF was facing in Davos. However, the 3,000 business executives, politicians, and the sundry cream of the elite that gather at the WEF in New York can be reassured that there will be protests.

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