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Weapons: The Scoop That Didn't Hold the Press

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Before the war, John Barry of Newsweek produced an amazing scoop. He obtained a leaked copy of the interview between General Kamal, Saddam's son in law, and the UN weapons inspectors.

Kamal was actually in charge of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programme - his defection to the west in 1995 caused panic in Baghdad. Every single assertion about Iraq's WMD programme, every government dossier and major speech relies heavily on Kamal's evidence. However, Barry showed that while Kamal exposed Iraq's pre-1991 WMD programme - the chemical and biological weapons, the plans for nuclear bombs - he actually also said these programmes were destroyed after 1991, although some documents were retained.

Hutton Inquiry: Indecent Exposure

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Was Alastair Campbell responsible for the government's deliberate lies about Iraq's 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'? The Hutton inquiry evidence suggests not.

Instead the e-mails and memos show the whole government machine was behind the 'sexing up' of Saddam's threat. Campbell is there, but so too are Jonathan Powell, John Scarlett, Godric Smith and a host of press officers, all obsessively worried about the drafts and ever more melodramatic redrafts of the government's dossier. The initials 'TB' recur, showing the prime minister's close involvement in the propaganda programme and subsequent squeeze on Dr Kelly.

Socialist Alliance: A Real Alternative in Brent

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The decision taken by the Socialist Alliance at its annual conference in May to explore the possibilities of building a broader and more credible political coalition has provoked fierce debate in some quarters.

But the perspective of the 'task group' of national executive members charged with giving this project national leadership is very clear.

We intend to continue with the process of seeking to build the Socialist Alliance while actively exploring any possibility of boosting the general project of creating a left alternative to Blair. This means engagement with members of the Muslim community radicalised by the war, community activists and trade unionists.

Between the Lines

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Badge "endangers" aircraft - Cabinet Office IT company run by former Tory minister - New Labour schools minister can't do sums

Another battle won in the 'war against terrorism'. John Gilmore, attempting to fly from San Francisco to London on a British Airways flight, was told he would endanger the plane and commit a federal crime if he didn't take off a one-inch badge saying 'suspected terrorist'. When he refused, he was ejected.

Iran: Next in Line for Regime Change?

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The student protests in Iran in June were part of the pro-democracy movement, involving secular and religious women, workers, student and the youth, which has been evolving since the early 1990s.

The media attempts to show the protestors as sympathetic to Bush, but Israel and the US's policy of Middle East domination is extremely unpopular in Iran. People in Iran, as in the rest of the region, are fully aware of the repercussions of the US and British war in Iraq through the Al Jazeera television coverage. Moreover, 1 million Iranians died and 1 million were disabled in the war with Iraq (1980-88), and people have not forgotten that the US armed Iraq and turned a blind eye to the gassing of Kurdish people.

Between the Lines

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Coke Sacks Worker - Coke Attempts to Fiddle Market Testing - Paul Boateng Praises PFI in South Africa

'Reward your curiosity', the advert for Coca-Cola's new vanilla flavour encourages us.

It wasn't the company's response to an employee of 12 years service, who it sacked recently for the heinous crime of drinking Pepsi.


Apparently doing its best to build the day of action against Coca-Cola on 22 July, the hard-nosed soft drinks manufacturer has also been caught fixing a market-testing exercise.

Refugees: Criminalising the Persecuted

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Although Britain hosts just 2 percent of the world's refugees - 0.3 percent of its population - the asylum debate is imbued with a dangerous hysteria.

The 'Sun' describes asylum seekers as 'a sea of humanity polluted with disease' and the 'Mail' writes that Britain is 'a haven for Albanian gangsters, Kosovan people smugglers and Algerian terrorists'. The tabloid articles, however, represent the poison stirred up by the deeper currents of government policy. In a recent interview cabinet minister Peter Hain wove terrorism, drugs smuggling and asylum into a single soundbite, paving the way for remarks by one of Britain's most senior police officers.

Corruption: Who Said Crime Doesn't Pay?

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The last time there was a crisis in the international stockmarket they made a film about it.

It was called 'Wall Street'. Michael Douglas played Gekko, the intended villain of the piece, a greedy gambler who had made a fortune on the stockmarket chiefly by buying and bribing inside information, and then betting on it, knowing it to be true. The film was such a realistic indictment of the market and its values that it quickly became a cult movie for thousands of yuppies swarming like bees round the honey of the stock exchange. When Gekko is finally captured by the regulators of the Securities Exchange Commission, most of his admirers felt sorry for him.

Between the Lines

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Supermarket labelling - Saddam Hussein's banjo sold on the internet - CBI's fat cat jargon - Tory website bargains

Beware supermarket labelling, warns the Consumer Association. Tesco's finest range prawn, squat lobster, lemon and parsley terrine slices contains just 6 percent prawn and 2 percent lobster. And guess how much maple syrup there is in Asda's maple syrup creams? There is none.

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