Documents suggest senior figures at Unite believe general strike should be a "tool in armoury" in fight against public spending restraint


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Spring of discontent Unions refuse to drop strike threats Documents suggest Unite backs a general strike, described as a 'tool in our armoury' Teaching unions also planning to escalate action By James Chapman PUBLISHED: 01:15 GMT, 5 January 2013 | UPDATED: 02:00 GMT, 5 January 2013 Britain is facing the threat of a spring of widespread industrial unrest at the hands of Labour’s biggest donor and the teaching unions, it has emerged.

Unions now provide 81 per cent of donations to Labour as they have given 20 million since Miliband became leader


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Unions now provide 81% of donations to Labour as they have given 20million since Miliband became leaderIt marks a steep 22 per cent rise from Gordon Brown's leadershipTories claim Ed Miliband is even further in thrall to union baronsLargest donor is Unite with 7.5 million given over two years | UPDATED: 03:53 GMT, 31 December 2012 Labour has banked more than 20million in funding from unions since Ed Miliband became leader. The money accounts for 81 per cent of donations to the party over the past two years. It marks a steep rise from Gordon Brown's leadership, when unions provided 59 per cent of donations to the party.

Obama scolds Congress for waiting until deadline to avert fiscal cliff… says he"s "modestly optimistic" a deal will be reached


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'The hour for immediate action is here:' Obama scolds Congress for waiting until deadline to avert fiscal cliff … says he's 'modestly optimistic' a deal will be reachedPresident Barack Obama met with congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in search of a compromise to avoid across-the-board tax increases and deep spending cutsMeeting adjourned without a compromise The looming fiscal cliff would likely be triggered on Monday if a budget deal cannot be agreed upon American families could see roughly $4,603 less in their paycheck annually if the U.S. falls off the fiscal cliff | UPDATED: 01:25 GMT, 29 December 2012 President Obama said Friday that if the top two leaders of the Senate can't agree on a budget deal to avert the fiscal cliff of higher taxes and severe spending cuts, then he will send his own proposal to Congress for an up-or-down vote

Nelson Mandela: South African president Jacob Zuma says anti-apartheid hero is "in good spirits" after two weeks in hospital

Nelson Mandela is 'in good spirits' after two weeks in hospital, says South African president Jacob Zuma Former South African leader is 'looking much better' said President Zuma Mr Mandela had surgery to remove gallstones on December 15 Doctors are happy with Mr Mandela's progress but no date given for release | UPDATED: 11:23 GMT, 25 December 2012 Nelson Mandela is in good spirits and looking much better after more than two weeks in hospital, South Africa President Jacob Zuma said today. Zuma, who visited Mandela on Christmas Day, said in a statement that doctors were happy with the progress the anti-apartheid hero was making. 'We found him in good spirits

Nelson Mandela"s health problems are "serious" but "he is improving", says South African president


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Nelson Mandela's health problems are 'serious' but 'he is improving', says South African presidentJacob Zuma described Mr Mandela as an 'unparalleled fighter' 94-year-old had previously been admitted to hospital with lung infection Doctors say the former South African president will be kept in hospital | UPDATED: 10:25 GMT, 21 December 2012 Nelson Mandela's condition was serious when he was admitted to hospital 13 days ago, but the 94-year-old's health is improving, President Jacob Zuma has said. The South African president, told members of the ruling African National Congress at the close of a party conference: 'His condition was serious but he is responding well to treatment and has steadily improved over the last few days.' Mr Mandela was airlifted on December 8 from his rural village in the south of the country to a hospital in Pretoria for a series of tests

Working on Christmas Day? You"re not alone: Number of people at work on the big day jumps 78% in eight years


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Working on Christmas Day You're not alone: Number of people at work on the big day jumps 78% in eight yearsA majority of Christmas workers are in service orientated industries such as hospitality NHS and social care make up the biggest group | UPDATED: 09:17 GMT, 18 December 2012 More people than ever are having to work on Christmas Day, according to a new study. Gone are the days when every shop was shut and the parish church was jammed with worshippers, as more staff are asked to forego their festive break.

Enrique Pena Nieto: Protestors clash with police in Mexico City as new president is sworn into office


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Protestors clash with police in Mexico City as new president is sworn into office on a pledge to cut drug-related violenceDemonstrators opposed to Enrique Pena Nieto fought violent battles with police this morning as the new President took the oath of office Hundreds banged on tall steel security barriers around Congress and threw rocks, bottle rockets and firecrackers at police | UPDATED: 10:38 GMT, 2 December 2012 Violent clashes which saw riot police fire tear gas at protestors marred the first day in office of Mexico's new president. Demonstrators opposed to Enrique Pena Nieto fought violent battles with police this morning as the new President took the oath of office in Mexico City.

Will Comrade Cutie see the funny side?


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Will Comrade Cutie see the funny side | UPDATED: 22:36 GMT, 28 November 2012 The initials GSOH, standing for Good Sense Of Humour, are now almost obligatory in Lonely Hearts ads, and no doubt on job applications too. But there is no reason to suppose that GSOH was high on the list of priorities for the selection board when they appointed the current editor of The People’s Daily, China’s Communist Party newspaper. And quite right, too, you may say.