Thursday 13 February 2003

By Amy Taylor, Nicola Barry and Alex

All immigrants to have compulsory HIV tests as cases

The home office and health department are drawing up plans to
make everyone who wishes to enter this country take an HIV and TB
test, but ministers say that a positive test will not necessarily
equal no entry, as they do not want the measures to be seen as an
attack on asylum seekers.

But the plans could coincide with measures to tighten up access
to NHS treatment for those already with the conditions, after
worries that “health tourism” is on the increase.

The planned tests come after the number of new cases of HIV rose
by 26 per cent in one year.

Source:- The Times Thursday 13 February page 1

Woman ‘lost will to live’

A lady of 88, who was moved to a different nursing home by
social services because of cost savings despite having lived in her
previous home for eight years, died last week.

Violet Townsend’s family said it was the trauma of being moved
that led to her death, five days after the transfer took place.

Her GP told Gloucester social services that a move would shorten
her life.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 13 February page

Blair ‘guarantees’ asylum-seeker figures will

Tony Blair has reiterated from his pledge that the number of
asylum seekers entering Britain will be halved by September..

Home secretary David Blunkett called the target “unachievable”
after it was first mentioned.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 13 February page

Labour’s £3bn benefit fraud failure

Despite New Labour’s pledge in 1997 to crack down on benefit
fraud, ministers do not have a clear idea of how much is being
stolen from the benefits system, an inquiry by the National Audit
Office reported yesterday.

The NAO said they had made a “guesstimate” that benefit fraud
and overpayments amounted to £3 billion last year, but that it
was impossible to be certain.

There has been no investigation on some benefits since before
1997, and the number of cases of suspected fraud investigated fell
by 12 per cent last year.

Source:- The Daily Mail Thursday 13 February page

Scottish newspapers

Rethink over closed Dunblane report

Scottish ministers decided yesterday to review a decision to
keep a report naming two politicians and a lawyer linked to the
Dunblane massacre secret for 100 years.

Lord advocate Colin Boyd is to reconsider the issue of

Source:- The Herald Thursday 13 February page 9

Who does the 100-year ban protect?

When Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and a teacher in 1996,
it seemed to the world like a spontaneous act of madness.

In fact there were many warnings in the prelude to the massacre,
most of them ignored or brushed aside by the authorities.

Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 13 February page 4

Call for new law to protect pensioners

Age Concern Scotland is calling for new legislation to give
vulnerable older people the same protection as abused children,
after a study has revealed that 90 per cent of district nurses have
encountered the physical and psychological maltreatment of

Black eyes, broken arms, people being abused verbally as well as
finiancially were among the experiences reported in the survey
carried out by the Community and District Nursing Association.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 13 February page 11

Battering the message home

This Saturday, the BBC clears the schedules for an unprecedented
week-long focus on domestic violence, called ‘Hitting

Seetha Kumar, head of lifeskills at the BBC, will mastermind the
biggest cross-media season of programmes ever presented by the

Source:- The Herald Thursday 13 February page 15

Welsh newspapers

Less work and more play for Welsh infants

Small children in Wales are to spend more time playing under
radical new proposals announced yesterday in a shake-up of early
years education.

Welsh education minister Jane Davidson said that there was
evidence that children do not benefit from extensive formal
teaching until they reach six or seven.

The planned “Foundation Phase” for three to
seven–year-olds will see children focusing on structured play
and practical activities rather than traditional disciplines such
as reading and writing.

The scheme will be introduced across Wales by September 2008 if
pilot schemes are successful.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 13 February page 1

Housing needs £2bn

The Welsh assembly has conceded that it does not have enough
money to bring council housing up to scratch.

Deputy housing minister Peter Black said up to £2 billion
was needed to drive up the standard of social housing, and that
alternative methods including stock transfer may be needed to fund

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 13 February page 3

Doctor to face retrial

A retrial has been ordered for a Cardiff GP accused of indecent
assaults on two women patients.

Dr Robert Owens was on trial facing 10 charges – nine of
indecent assault and one of attempted rape. He was found not guilty
of attempted rape, but the jury failed to reach a decision on the
other charges. The judge discharged the jury, and ordered a retrial
to be held in Cardiff crown court in May.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 13 February page 3

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