Thursday 19 June 2003

By Amy Taylor, Sally Gillen and Alex

Violent spouses face arrest but not registration under
Blunkett proposals

Police are to be given the power to arrest violent partners for
common assault for the first time, as part of a package of measures
announced by the home secretary yesterday.
Other measures involve making criminal penalties available for
those who breach court orders and create a limited national
register of those orders.
Plans for a national register of partners known to have committed
domestic violence, a move backed by the solicitor general Harriet
Harmon, look unlikely to be in the legislation.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday June 19 page 7

Revenue admits serious backlog on claims
The chairperson of the Inland Revenue admitted that a quarter of a
million people are still waiting to receive tax credits yesterday,
two months after the payments were due to start being
Sir Nicholas Montagu admitted to MPs that there had been “serious
problems” with the computer system developed by EDS.
He went on to state that “pressures were still intense” at the
revenue with thousands of people calling the helplines to ask about
their missing credits.
Source:- The Financial Times Thursday June 19 page 3

Care trust chiefs may be elected by patients
The management of primary care trusts could be voted for
by patients, according to a leaked document from the prime
minister’s senior health adviser.
Simon Stevens, calls for trusts to develop self-managing chains
across the country sharing information and analysis on best
He adds that in trusts where management is struggling this could be
franchised to a different network, which could be “triggered by a
referendum of the patients”.
A recent Audit Commission report found that PCTs had the weakest
management out of all NHS bodies.
Source:- The Financial Times Thursday June 19 page 6

EU’s 73m new citizens can claim benefits

The government confirmed that eastern Europeans will, in theory, be
entitled to full UK benefits when their countries join the EU in
2004 yesterday.
The government confirmed that legislation is  being drawn up to
extend the rights available to existing member states to the 10
countries set to join next May.
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday June 19 page 19

Blair to seek asylum reform
The prime minister is set to attempt to gain support for plans to
operate a pilot project, possibly in Africa, which would provide
refugees with protection at home and prevent them from having to
undertake dangerous journeys to Europe.
A senior British official said the “regional protection zone” would
be more humane and cut out human traffickers.
Source:- The Times Thursday June 19 page 4

The parents at war over Tamina
A psychologist appointed by an Italian court will meet with a
six-year-old girl,  who is being asked to choose between returning
to her mother in England or continuing to live in Italy with her
father today.
The psychologist is aiming to help Tamina Fighera to reach a
decision. Their report will be crucial to a court’s ruling on which
parent should be granted custody.
Source:- The Times Thursday June 19 page 4

Odyssey of despair
Only three African refugees survived when a crammed boat
sank off Italy. Today, EU leaders will discuss ways of stemming the
human tide. But what about the reasons for the exodus?
Source:- The Independent Thursday June 19 page 1

Britain accused of secret scheme to set up asylum camps
in the Balkans

The Albanian media have accused the Foreign Office of forming
secret plans to set up an offshore asylum camp near the border with
A television news report on the popular ‘Top Channel’ reported that
Britain’s ambassador to Albania visited Kukes, a remote mountain
last week to look at facilities.
Source:- The Independent Thursday June 19 page 4

Scottish newspapers
No jail for woman who scarred victim for life in attack sparked by
mood drug

A woman who claims she attacked someone in a nightclub because of
mood swings caused by the controversial anti-depressant Seroxat has
escaped prison.
Natalie Houston, aged 20, said she now plans to sue the
manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline on the grounds that the drug led her
to twice contemplate suicide.
A sheriff decided not to send Houston  to prison for her attack on
another woman after hearing from Dr David Healy, an expert in
anti-depressant drugs.
Last week regulators issued a warning that Seroxat should not be
prescribed for under 18s and campaigners, including mental health
charity Mind, have questioned the safety of Seroxat.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 19 June 2003
Mercury build up linked to autism
Research carried out in the US has found that autistic children may
be suffering from a build up of mercury.
It will call into question again the routine use of child
vaccinations against diseases including whooping cough and
Source:- The Herald Thursday 19 June
Selina Scott accused of racism
Race relations campaigners including the Glasgow Campaign
to Welcome Refugees are calling for journalist Selina Scott to be
sacked from her job on the Sunday Mail.
Scott wrote in her weekly column that Halal and Kosher meat, which
is eaten by Muslims and Jews, should be banned and any immigrant
who refused should leave the country.
Now campaigners are also calling for Scott, who presented morning
news in the 1980s, to be prosecuted for xenophobic remarks.
Source: The Herald Thursday 19 June
Paedo raps teacher loses extradition fight
A former teacher and scout leader who is suspected of committing 19
child abuse offences over 22 years, will be extradited from Spain
to face charges in Scotland.
Paul Firth, fled the UK 11 months ago, after jumping bail. He was
due to stand trial at the high court in Dundee but it was later
discovered that he had sold his home and bought a yacht.
The authorities eventually caught Firth in Spain, and he is being
held in a jail in Madrid.
He will be handed over to Scottish police at the end of the
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 19 June page 25
Welsh newspapers
Children’s helpline is launched

A local authority in south Wales has launched a freephone
complaints line for children in care.
Rhondda Cynon Taf decided to offer the ‘Get It Sorted’ service,
after consultation with young people. The 24-hour phone line allows
children to use the service without consultation with an
Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 18 June page 5
Witness illness delays hearing
The trial of a former staff member at a children’s home in
south Wales who allegedly abused boys in his care was adjourned
when a defence witness became ill.
The trial of Neil Wardell will resume later this week at Cardiff
crown court.
He has denied 16 charges involving committing indecent assault and
battery that are said to have taken place between 1985 and 1988
while he worked at Ty Mawr children’s home near
Condoms by Card success
Teenagers are being given condoms in an initiative aimed at cutting
down unwanted pregnancies and sexual diseases.
The Swansea local health board is running a scheme called ‘Condoms
by Card’ that gives young people an identity card that allows them
to access free condoms and health advice.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 19 June page 7

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