By Lauren Revans, Natasha Salari, David Callaghan, Clare
Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Asylum seekers may face health checks
Ministers are close to making a decision about the introduction of
compulsory HIV and TB tests for asylum seekers.
The health screening programme would form part of an asylum
clampdown which is set to be in the Queen’s Speech this week.
A cross-government working party on imported infections and
immigration is expected to publish its recommendations soon.
Source:- The Guardian Monday 24 November page 5
Ecstasy may be used to help rape victims
American scientists are about to begin a controversial
study to see if the drug ecstasy could be used to help people
suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Researchers want to see if the emotional closeness reported by
clubbers taking the drug can help victims of rape and sexual abuse
talk to therapists.
The study, which could begin as soon as January, will recruit 20
victims of crime suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who
find it difficult to talk about their experiences.
Source:- The Guardian Monday 24 November page 6
12,000 prisoners proved innocent
Nearly 12,000 people were held on remand in prisons last year for
crimes for which they were not later convicted, a report from the
Prison Reform Trust has shown.
Government figures show that 11,742 people, who were jailed
awaiting trial in England and Wales in 2002, were either acquitted
or had the proceedings against them terminated. But many received
little or no compensation.
Source:- The Guardian Monday 24 November page 6
CRE warns police chiefs over race investigation
The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) and the
Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) are locked in a row
about how the commission will conduct its external inquiry into
The CRE has asked the forces to complete an initial questionnaire
with details of their policy and procedures for training officers
and identifying racists. But the process was interrupted two weeks
ago when Acpo sent an e-mail to chief constables asking them to
submit replies to the association rather than direct to the
The CRE is understood to have told Acpo that documents will be
rejected unless they are sent directly by the forces
Source:- The Guardian Monday 24 November page 7
The asylum parents who could lose their
Asylum seekers whose applications fail could have their children
taken into care if they refuse to leave the country.
Parents would be told to take a ‘voluntary’ flight home
or lose all benefits and have their children taken into care.
Government officials have said that children would only be taken as
a last resort and after the asylum seekers had exhausted all
appeals. But refugee groups said the plan was “inhumane and
Source:- The Daily Mail Monday 24 November page 28
Teacher quits after sex assault claim
A teacher at a prestigious public school has resigned amid
allegations that he indecently assaulted a female pupil from a
Paul Ellis left his job as director of music at Sherborne School in
Dorset after the girl’s family made a complaint. The alleged
incident is alleged to have taken place earlier this month after a
joint evensong at Exeter Cathedral by choirs from Sherborne School
and Sherborne School for Girls.
Source:- Daily Mail Monday 24 November page 36
Blair’s British revolution dogged by social
Poverty and social inequality is off-setting Britain’s strong
economic performance, a survey by the prime minister’s
strategy unit reports today.
The survey, which partly covers trends over several decades and is
intended to inform long-term decision making, acknowledges deep
inequalities between rich and poor that widened in the 1980s and
are greater than in any other European Union country.
Source:- The Independent Monday 24 November page 6
Teenage mothers ‘handicapped in marriage
Being a single teenage mother harms a woman’s chances of
later marrying a man with a well-paid job or good education,
according to research for the Department of Health.
The study, carried out by the Institute of Social and Economic
Research, found that a teenage mother was likely to have a lower
standard of living later in life because her husband, if she had
one, had a lower earning capacity.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Monday 24 November page 1
Asylum children will be forced into care
Asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected will be offered the
choice of taking a “voluntary” flight home or losing
all their benefits and having their children taken into care, under
plans to be announced in the Queen’s Speech this week.
The crackdown, which could affect up to 2,000 children, has been
condemned by refugee groups as “inhumane”.
Former Home Office minister John Denham warned that parents might
go underground and leave their children in care, believing that may
be the better option.
Source:- The Observer Sunday 23 November page 1
NHS reform ‘set back by targets and
Promised improvements to hospitals are being threatened by
political interference and an obsession with targets, according to
new report commissioned by the Nuffield Trust thinktank.
Report author Professor Sheila Leatherman describes politicisation
of the NHS as one of the biggest threats to the long-term success
of reforms, and warns that the target culture is unrealistic and
prevents money going to the areas where it is most needed.
Source:- The Observer Sunday 23 November page 7
Children of five who carry knives in class
Police are being called into classrooms at least three
times a week to seize dangerous weapons, new figures reveal.
As hundreds gathered for the funeral of 14-year-old Luke Walmsley,
who was stabbed in the chest in a Lincolnshire school, an
‘Observer’ investigation has revealed that the scale of
knife crime in Britain’s schools is threatening to spiral out
Source:- The Observer Sunday 23 November page 8
Dropout rate hits 100,000 in UK schools
A ‘lost generation’ of up to 100,000 children has
disappeared from the British school system as some teenagers drop
out or suffer chaotic home lives and others are denied places
because of the pressure on schools to improve exam results.
The government-commissioned study by rehabilitation agency Nacro
exposes the alarming ease with which children can simply slip
through the net.
Source:- The Observer Sunday 23 November, page 10
1,000 students go bankrupt to beat debts
At least 900 students have declared themselves bankrupt in
order to write off their debts following last year’s decision
by the Insolvency Agency to allow students to write off government
loans when going bankrupt.
The government is moving to close the loophole before introducing
new top-up fees.
Source:- The Sunday Times 23 November page 8
Danielle fled secure ward before falling to her
Danielle Waddington, who apparently killed herself with a friend
last week by jumping from a top-floor window of a tower block, was
“on the run” from a secure mental health unit when she
A special child protection inquiry is to be convened to look into
why Danielle had been out on the seafront drinking that night
instead of in a locked ward in Basildon, where she was receiving
treatment for her long-term psychiatric problems.
Source:- The Independent on Sunday 23 November page 18
Mental Health Bill back on the agenda
MPs have been told that the draft Mental Health Bill, which
includes controversial plans to increase the powers of
psychiatrists to lock up people with mental health problems, is
likely to be included in a reworked form in the Queen’s
Speech later this week.
Source:- The Independent on Sunday 23 November page 18
Men have no idea of safe drinking limit, poll shows
More than three-quarters of people say they are worried
about problems relating to drinking, such as bad behaviour, but
only 7 per cent of men and 22 per cent of women know the
recommended daily alcohol allowance.
Charity Alcohol Concern, which commissioned the charity, will this
week call on ministers to push forward with a strategy for reducing
the harm caused by alcohol.
Source:- The Independent on Sunday 23 November page 22
WHO takes on food firms in war on obesity
The World Health Organisation will unveil its obesity strategy next
week, including calls for strict controls on junk food.
The move follows evidence that obesity has become a global epidemic
directly linked to more than 30 million deaths a year, and surges
in diseases such as cancers and diabetes.
Source:- The Independent on Sunday 23 November, page 22
Mother’s jail term cuts school truancy
Levels of truancy from schools in Oxfordshire have dropped after a
mother was jailed last year for allowing her daughter to miss
school in Banbury.
The number of absences has fallen from 1.4 per cent in 2001 to 1.1
per cent this year, which is the national average.
Patricia Amos was sent to jail for three months, but released on
appeal after serving 14 days. She said it made her more aware of
her responsibilities to her children.
Source:- The Independent Saturday 22 November page 14
Home Office acts over £20m probation
The headquarters of the Probation Service in Whitehall has
overspent by £20 million, which is 15 per cent of its overall
budget, it has emerged, forcing officials to take emergency action.
A freeze on new recruitment has been in place since August.
The service is under pressure to deliver reforms to the way
probation officers perform their duties, taking on a wider role as
low-risk offenders serve half of their sentence in the
Source:- The Times Saturday 22 November page 2
Baby death mother freed on appeal
Gay partners win the right to ‘marriage’
Gay couples may be given the right to marry under new legislation
set to be introduced in the Queen’s Speech on
A Civil Partnerships Bill will allow homosexual partners to
register their union.
Other measures to be included will be a clampdown on paedophiles
and more stringent checks on childminders; a crackdown on domestic
violence and juries to be allowed to make an inference if parents
refuse to tell who is to blame for a child being injured.
Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 22 November page 19
The baby machine
A surrogate mother is pregnant again for the ninth time for a
childless couple in their 30s. Carole Horlock, aged 37, is being
paid £5,000 for ‘renting out her womb’. She has
two children of her own, but is still planning to carry two other
babies for other couples.
It is thought she has made £40,000 from all the surrogacy
Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 22 November page 27
Mother who smoked as baby was killed walks free on
A mother who failed to prevent her daughter being murdered is to be
freed from jail after agreeing to keep her background secret from
other residents at a bail hostel. Andrea Bone will be released
pending an appeal against her conviction for the culpable homicide
of her daughter Carla-Nicole. The court of criminal appeal finally
granted her bail yesterday, two months after hinting that she would
be let out of prison if suitable accommodation could be
Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 22 November
Domestic violence register for wife beaters
Ministers are considering plans to set up a register of wife
beaters in a bid to reduce the country’s epidemic of domestic
abuse. The system – which would work in a similar way to the sex
offenders’ register – would require those convicted of domestic
violence to register with the police.
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 23 November
Jailing 30,000 won’t beat crime, warns
Scotland could face a prison population of more than 30,000 unless
politicians rethink the criminal justice strategy, according to a
leading academic and former governor of three Scottish jails.
Professor Andrew Coyle said ministers must decide whether they are
serious about reducing the numbers in prison – currently 6,500 in
Scotland – before deciding on issues such as tackling
Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 23 November
Report reveals many children in care no better off than 25
The treatment of young people in the care of local authorities has
not improved over the last 25 years and many of their lives are
made worse, not better, by the decision to take them into care,
according to a report. The Scottish executive has been forced by
the report published by ‘Who Cares?’ to admit that
there is a “long way to go” in improving the conditions for young
people in care.
Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 23 November
Nursery nurses plan week long strike in
Nursery nurses across Scotland are set to strike for a week next
month in a bid to secure better pay and conditions. Selective
strike action will take place over the two weeks starting on the 1
December and the 8 December, according to public sector union,
Unison. Councils have been informed about the plan and have been
urged to place pressure on COSLA to find a solution.
Source:- The Scotsman Monday 24 November
Domestic abuse cases moved to sheriff courts
All domestic violence cases in Scotland are to be fast-tracked and
up graded and will be heard in sheriff courts, rather than district
courts, following guidance from the solicitor general. The move by
Elish Angiolini, could mean that in some cases the perpetrators of
domestic abuse could face tougher sentences when their cases are
heard in sheriff courts.
Source:- The Herald Monday 24 November
Equality group probe-call
A Conservative assembly member has called for a full investigation
into a publicly funded race equality organisation, after learning
that the cost of employing an economic development officer is
£50,000 a year.
Welsh assembly economic development officer Andrew Davies, said
that the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association (Awema) was using
the money that comes from assembly funds to pay for an officer to
develop staff and members’ ability to fulfil the agreed aims
and objectives of Awema’s economic development
But Tory David Davies said that £50,000 seemed a vast amount
of money and he called for an immediate investigation. Awema chief
executive Naz Malik described David Davies’s comments as
Source:- Western Mail Monday 24 November page 5
Ex-army man tells of violent abuse to
John Rees left the army after suffering violence and intimidation
and has become a whistleblower in an attempt to help other
He says that he was on the verge of suicide three times during his
three years in the army, and he believes that internal indiscipline
is threatening the army’s future.
Rees says that the worst aspect of his traumatic time in the armed
forces was the lack of support he received from his superiors, when
he tried to tell them about the bullying and intimidation.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said that Rees should
contact them about any complaint, and that it would be investigated
Source:- Western Mail Monday 24 November page 9