By Clare Jerrom.
Refugees on fast track to uncertain fate
A report on Zimbabwe, which is used by the home office to
determine whether or not to grant asylum, has been criticised by a
leading immigration specialist for being out of date and
Concern about the fast track removal of Zimbabwean asylum
seekers from Britain has increased as President Robert
Mugabe’s supporters have intensified their campaign of terror
against members of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Most asylum seekers from Zimbabwe – averaging 160 a month
– are detained in Oakington detention centre in Cambridgeshire.
They face the fast track procedure, which means there is an
assumption their claims have no merit.
Terence Ranger, president of the British Zimbabwe Society, was
asked to prepare a critique of the assessment reports, which were
published last April and October.
He describes the April assessment as “essentially compilations
of press cuttings and little analysis”, and the October update as
“shamefully half hearted … a waste of everyone’s
Amnesty International said: “Reports of torture, killings and
intimidation have steadily escalated over the past few months, and
these have been documented by Zimbabwean observers on a weekly
basis. None of this is reflected in the home office report.”
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 10 January page 3
Pink Floyd singer donates £4.5m to
The Pink Floyd singer David Gilmour has sold his London house to
Earl Spencer and has decided to give the £4.5 million proceeds
to the homeless charity Crisis.
The musician has an estimated fortune of £60 million. He
decided to sell his house in Maida Vale, but keep his farmhouse in
Sussex and villa in Greece.
Crisis, which provides food and accommodation for the homeless,
relies totally on donations. There has recently been discussions
about the possible merger between the charity and Shelter, which
concentrates on advice to homeless people.
But now Crisis can exist independently and press ahead with
plans to open a “homeless hostel” in London, which will house
former rough sleepers and care workers.
A spokesperson for the charity said: “We are still in
discussions over the money, but it would be by far the largest
donation we have ever had.”
Source:- The Times Thursday 10 January page 3
A genteel rebellion
Facing eviction from their care home – the
ninetysomethings who are not retiring enough
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 10 January page 11
Tagging to be extended across Scotland
Electronic tagging of offenders is to be introduced across
Scotland following successful pilots in Peterhead, Hamilton and
The Scottish executive revealed the plans in announcing that
Reliance Monitoring Services, a company already involved in the
pilot in Hamilton, had been awarded the contract to provide the
service to every Scottish court as well as the parole board.
Source:- The Herald Thursday 10 January page 2
Short delay expected in free personal care
There will be a delay in implementing free personal care in
Scotland according to both the Scottish executive and the
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.
The delay will be short and is due to the complexities of the
process rather than any “political or financial reasons” according
to the agencies. Cited as one of the reasons for the delay is the
need to reassess 70,000 people across Scotland.
Source:- The Herald Thursday 10 January page 6
Buy Afghan heroin crop, says MP
Jim Murphy, a Scottish MP, has proposed that the UK and USA pay
Afghan farmers £40 million to have their heroin crop
destroyed. Murphy argues that the move will help the Afghans invest
in other crops while reducing serious drug addiction on the streets
Source:- The Herald Thursday 10 January page 10