Monday 21 March 2005

By Maria Ahmed, Simeon Brody, Derren Hayes and Amy

Clarke reviews “too soft” law on cannabis

The government has ordered a review of its decision to reclassify
cannabis as a class C drug following “emerging
evidence” of a link between the drug and deteriorating mental

Several studies have linked cannabis use with the development of
psychotic conditions later in life.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 19 March 2005 page

Four face life for New Year party murders

Four gangsters were facing life in prison for the murder of teenage
girls Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare outside a New Year
party in Birmingham.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 19 March 2005 page

Prescott caves in over forcing civil servants to retire at

John Prescott offered a “fresh start” in talks with
unions in a desperate attempt to avoid a national strike over plans
to raise civil servants’ pension age.

He said the government would revoke changes to the retirement age
which were due to come into effect on April 1.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 19 March 2005 page

Virus-hit hospital closes its doors to visitors

The Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford has restricted
visiting after an outbreak of the severe vomiting sickness

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 19 March 2005 page

Howard attacks rights act abuses

Michael Howard said a Conservative government would be prepared to
scrap the Human Rights Act, which he dubbed a “charter for

He accused the government of creating legislation that rewarded
“law breakers”.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 19 March 2005 page 1

Labour unveils “bespoke” care in bid for grey

Ministers are to set out a radical blueprint for a design-your-own
care system to meet the needs of an ageing population.

The plans, due in a green paper on Monday, would give older or
disabled people the freedom to choose their own forms of care and
support once their eligibility was assessed.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 19 March 2005 page 9

NHS overspend likely to delay planned improvements

The National Health Service will have to delay planned improvements
after the election as the service looks set to fail to balance its
books for the first time in years.

Source:- Financial Times Saturday 19 March 2005 page

First the grey vote now the gay vote

The gay vote becomes the latest political battleground as Tony
Blair predicts Britain will have an openly gay Prime Minister and
Michael Howard admits he was wrong to push section 28 through
Parliament and Charles Kennedy dismisses Howard’s conversion
to gay rights.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 19 March 2005 page

Jamie’s dinners push healthy school food up political

Almost 10,000 people have joined chef Jamie Oliver to demand that
the government spend more money on healthier school dinners.

Source:- The Times Saturday 19 March 2005 page 13

Medical records are wide open to computer hackers

Thousands of patients are at risk from hackers targeting medical
records stored on computer at leading hospitals. Confidential files
are potentially accessibly because there is no security on new
wireless computer networks.

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 19 March 2005 page 19

Deaf victims end 40-year silence on child sex

Children as young as four were serially abused by a paedophile
at a school for the deaf in the 1960s. Yet the perpetrator has
never been to jail

Source:- The Observer Sunday 20 March 2005 page 1,

‘Give failed asylum seekers HIV

Failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants infected with HIV
should receive free NHS treatment, a report by the Commons health
select committee says.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 20 March 2005 page

I’ll buy houses and a flash car, says yob awarded

Carl Murphy, 18, got a £567,000 payout last week after
being injured in a fall while trespassing, prompting angry protests
from crime victims and politicians.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 20 March 2005 page

‘Cannibal killer’ Peter Bryan was deemed
safe just hours before he struck for the second time. The
psychiatric services have had similar cases in recent years, yet
still they make the same mistakes.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 20 March 2005 page

Crusading cot death lawyer takes up case of ‘salt
killer’ parents

Solicitor John Batt, who wrote a book about the battle of Sally
Clark to overturn a conviction for murdering her two sons, is
convinced of the innocence of Ian and Angela Gay, jailed for five
years in January for the manslaughter of their three-year-old
adoptive son Christian Blewitt.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 20 March 2005 page

1 in 7 secondary teachers ‘attacked by their

One in seven secondary school teachers claims to have been
physically assaulted by pupils at some point in their careers,
according to a study to be published by the Association of Teachers
and Lecturers this week.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 20 March 2005 page

Howard stirs race row with attack on

Michael Howard was accused yesterday of “tapping into the
deepest vein of bigotry” as he tried to push the issue of
unauthorised Gypsy camps into the centre of the pre-election
political battle.

The Tory leader will deliver a speech focussing on 1,855 Gypsy and
traveller families who have bought and developed plots of lands
where they can camp without obtaining planning permits in

Source:- The Independent on Sunday Sunday 20 March 2005
page 1

 As if dope smokers weren’t confused enough

Charles Clarke’s intention to review David
Blunkett’s decision of a year ago to downgrade cannabis to a
Class C drug has left Britain’s five million users, not to
mention police, medical experts and politicians, more unclear than
ever. Is the government U-turn due to genuine health concerns over
the drug’s link with mental illness, or has it got more to do
with the coming election?

Source:- The Independent on Sunday Sunday 20 March 2005
page 4-5

Home Office urges US ‘prison abuse’ firm to
bid to run British jails

An American company which has faced allegations of abuse against
jail inmates in America is being encouraged by the government to
apply to run prisons. The Management & Training Corporation
(MTC) is one of three American firms expected to submit bid to the
Home Office for what has been dubbed ‘prisons for profit. MTC
director O Lane McCotter, was sent to Iraq two years ago to oversee
the reopening of jails in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, where abuse
against Iraqi prisoners sparked a worldwide outcry.

Source:- The Mail on Sunday Sunday 20 March 2005 page

Two questioned over child sale

A teenage mother and her boyfriend were being questioned by
police yesterday about the alleged sale of her 30-month-old

The 21-year-old man and the 18-year-old woman were arrested at a
hotel in Plymouth, Devon, on Saturday night after a tip-off to
police by a national Sunday newspaper, which was investigating the
alleged sale. It is alleged the child was being sold by its mother
and her boyfriend for £15,000.

Source:- The Times Monday 21 March 2005 page 2

The grooms who marry in fear

Asian women pressed into marriage have been able to escape to
refuges – but the plight of men forced to flee from violent
relatives has been largely ignored. The issue will be raised today
at a conference hosted by Scotland Yard in London on so-called
honour violence.

Source:- The Times Monday 21 March 2005 page 3

Cash for elderly to buy care

People receiving meals on wheels or other kinds of social
assistance are to be given money instead so they can buy their own
care, the government is expected to announce today.

Source:- The Times Monday 21 March 2005 page 4

Refusing to pay

A disabled driver said that he was prepared to go to jail rather
than pay a fine for displaying his disabled badge upside down on
his dashboard. Bill Julian, 53, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, who is
wheelchair-bound, was fined £60 by traffic wardens. He refused
to pay and the fine has now leapt o £140. Aylesbury Vale
District Council is investigating.

Source:- The Times Monday 21 March 2005 page 4

Council tenants seen as the key to £20bn repairs

Town halls are planning to sell off all or most of their council
houses to avoid a £20 billion repair backlog. Liverpool, which
is pioneering a scheme under which tenants manage the homes, is one
of the first councils that is proposing to get rid of its entire

Source:- The Times Monday 21 March 2005 page 12

Prisoner hanged

Robert Hartley, 31, was found hanging from bedsheets at his cell
at Leeds prison. He was pronounced dead in hospital.

Source:- The Times Monday 21 March 2005 page 25

Councils lose £580m revenue

Local authorities in England failed to collect more than
£580 million in council taxes in the 2003-4 financial year.
Birmingham, with £12 million outstanding, topped the league of
authorities failing to collect all the money they were due,
according to figures today published by GMB union.

Source:- The Times Monday 21 March 2005 page 26

Computers “hinder progress of pupils in maths and

The less pupils use computers at home the better they do in
international tests of literacy and maths, according to a

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Monday 21 March 2005 page

Black pupils are still being expelled from schools at
three times the rate of other children and some schools have become
“institutionally racist”, according to a
government-funded report.

The researchers from Canterbury Christ Church University College
revealed that a “significant minority” of schools in
England do not observe race relations laws.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Monday 21 March 2005 page

Parents wooed by jittery Blair

Labour will promise to address parents’ concerns over poor
school diet, junk food advertising, a predatory internet and the
illegal sale of cigarettes to children.

The party will attempt to appeal to “soccer moms”
with the launch of a children’s manifesto today.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 21 March 2005 page 1

Racial abuse makes one in five minority voters consider
leaving UK, says poll

Only 39 per cent of ethnic minority voters see themselves as
“fully British” regardless of how long they have lived
here and more than half say they have been a victim of name-calling
or verbal abuse.

The issues that most concern ethnic minority voters –
health, education and crime – are not that different from
those of the rest of the electorate, the poll shows.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 21 March 2005 page 1

Alarm at acceptance of abuse by teenage

Many teenage girls experience abuse at home before becoming
victims of attacks from aggressive boyfriends, a survey

One in three girls and young women who had been hit by their
parents went on to be abused by their boyfriends, according to the
survey by teen magazine Sugar.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 21 March 2005 page 3

Survey shows extent of classroom abuse

Teachers are becoming increasingly concerned about pupil
behaviour in the classroom with 98 per cent of respondents to a
survey saying they had been verbally abused.

Forty five per cent of respondents said they had been threatened
with violence, according to the Education Guardian and Teacher
Support Network poll.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 21 March 2005 page 6

Mental health in crisis over shortage of

A crisis in recruiting psychiatrists is certain to increase the
risk of violence by mental patients, a voluntary group has

More than 500 consultant posts are vacant in England and another
1,000 needed over the next hours years, the Sainsbury Centre for
Mental Health said.

Source:- The Independent Monday 21 March 2005 page

Scottish news

Scots teenage girls most likely to be in violent

Teenage girls in Scotland are the most likely in Britain to suffer
from domestic violence at the hands of their boyfriends, according
to a survey.

Nearly one in five girls who took part in the study organised by a
teenagers’ magazine claimed they were in a violent relationship.
The findings also suggest that youngsters living north of the
border face an increased likelihood of experiencing violence from
their parents.

Source:- The Herald Monday 21 March

Let’s legalise heroin says TV cop Alex

Taggart star Alex Norton has called for heroin to be legalised to
cut street crime.

The TV cop spoke out after he and his family and friends suffered a
string of burglaries, car break-ins and robberies. He says addicts
would not turn to crime to feed their habits if they got their fix
on prescription.

Source:- Daily Record Monday 21 March

Welsh news

Jealous killer gets 8 years

An 18-year-old who killed her boyfriend with a carving knife after
he told her he had sex with a friend was given an eight-year
sentence at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday.

Hayley Wallbank had previously been cleared of the murder of Gareth
Evans, also 18, but was found guilty of manslaughter.

Source:- Western Mail Saturday 19 March page 12

Would-be killer mum detained

A mother who tried to gas her three sons by running a petrol
lawnmower inside a car has been placed in a secure psychiatric
unit, under a judge at Mold Crown Court’s orders.

The woman carried out the act a day before she was due to appear
before a county court for refusing to grant access to the father of
two of the boys.

The boys escaped because she did not lock the care doors.

The woman had admitted three counts of attempted murder at an
earlier hearing.

Source:- Western Mail Saturday, 19 March page 13

Anti-racism campaign launch

An anti-racism poster campaign is being launched today to coincide
with the launch of the National Assembly’s race equality

The posters aim to show Wales as an inclusive nation.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 21 March

A tenth of teen girls forced to have sex

Welsh girls aged between 13 and 19 are more likely to be forced to
have sex than those in other parts of Britain, according to a new
survey by the NSPCC and Sugar magazine. One in 10 said that they
had been forced into it.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 21 March



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