Child index “must be nationwide”
Plans to register every child in England on a nationwide electronic database within three years will be “worse than useless” unless extended throughout Britain, children’s campaigners said yesterday.
Source:- The Times, Friday 9 December 2005, page 24

Hospitals may ban treatment for smokers and drinkers
Smokers, drinkers and the seriously overweight may be denied medical treatment if their lifestyle makes it ineffective, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said. But doctors should not discriminate on the ground that a disease was self-inflicted.
Source:- The Times, Friday 9 December 2005, page 1

Union setback
Plans to create a superunion of 2.5 million members have suffered a setback after the GMB delayed a decision on whether to go ahead with a merger until February. Amicus, the T & G and the GMB had planned to proceed with a merger by the end of this year.
Source:- The Times, Friday 9 December 2005, page 3

Child porn crackdown
A doctor is being investigated after he left his mobile phone containing hundreds of pictures of child pornography in a bar. The case was revealed by Scotland Yard detectives at the start of a drive against paedophiles in London downloading material from the internet. Sixty suspects have been identified.
Source:- The Times, Friday 9 December 2005, page 4

Dummies “reduce the risk” of cot death
Giving a baby a dummy reduces the risk of cot death by more than 90 per cent, according to a study in the US.Source:- The Times, Friday 9 December 2005, page 9

MP sues over “threat to his baby”
John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, has issued a High Court writ claiming £300,000 against Birmingham social services and individual social workers for allegedly harassing his newborn baby and her mother. He claims that the harassment centered on a threat to put baby Isabel on an at-risk register. The threat was later withdrawn.
Source:- The Times, Friday 9 December 2005, page 24

Mutiliation fear justifies asylum
No woman would be sent back to her country of origin if she had justified fear of genital mutilation there, the government said last night. Baroness Rendell of Babergh had asked in the House of Lords whether such a fear was a ground for asylum.
Source:- The Times, Friday 9 December 2005, page 35

Thalidomide firm doubles its payouts for victims
Victims of thalidomide welcomed an announcement that the company responsible for the drug, Diageo, is to more than double payments to the official compensation fund.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 9 December 2005, page 4

Alzheimer’s patient “terrorised” over benefits
The Department of Work and Pensions tried to take £2,300 from an Alzheimer’s sufferer, claiming she had received money that had never even entered her account. Her daughter-in-law had to go to a tribunal to prevent the money being taken from her.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Friday 9 December 2005, page 11

Scottish news

Asbo threat silences bagpipe boy
A Glasgow mother whose 13-year-old son was chosen to inspire other children to learn the bagpipes has been told she will be served with an Asbo unless he stops practising at home.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 9 December 2005, page 3

Why can’t councils all be as good as the best?
Huge variations in the performance of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have been uncovered by Audit Scotland. Some of the largest variations found by Audit Scotland were in employee absenteeism figures. Last night, the publication of the figures prompted calls from the Scottish executive and MSPs for an improvement in standards of service across the board.
Source:-The Scotsman, Friday 9 December 2005

Project for bereaved children facing end of the road
A bereavement project which has helped hundreds of children deal with the death of a loved one is facing an uncertain future unless it can find the cash it needs to keep going. Richmond’s Hope at Craigmillar church, which provides support for young children who have suffered a traumatic bereavement, was set up three years ago with grant funding. But now the money has dried up and organisers have warned that the service needs to find £150,000 a year to continue its work.
Source:- The Scotsman, Friday 9 December 2005

What a break for disabled people
One of the best-equipped holiday homes for disabled people in the world is to open in East Lothian next year. Denis Duncan House has been built at a cost of £433,000 on the estate of the Duchess of Hamilton in the historic village of Dirleton.
State-of-the-art equipment includes electrically-adjustable beds, a ceiling lift that runs from the bedroom to an en-suite bathroom, and a height-adjustable talking microwave.
Source:-The Scotsman, Friday 9 December 2005

Welsh news

Men who controlled sex slave jailed
Two men were jailed for ten years yesterday for bringing a Lithuanian woman to Britain and forcing her to work as a prostitute. The 21-year-old was forced to work in brothels in Cardiff and give all of her earnings to an Albanian gang.
Source:- Western Mail, Friday 9 December 2005

Bogus psychologist admits making up qualifications
A man accused of pretending to be a clinical psychologist told a jury that he was attempting to expose “loop holes” in the mental health system yesterday. David Sydney, 51, admitted making up his qualifications in order to gain his job at a Welsh hospital but said that he wasn’t motivated by the money he earned.
Source:- Western Mail, Friday 9 december 2005

Bill would give the Welsh more power
The Welsh Assembly would be given the opportunity to move towards a full legislature, similar to the Scottish parliament Holyrood, under a bill published yesterday. Assembly members at Cardiff Bay would be able to pass laws which would then be fast-tracked through a special procedure at Westminster.
For the assembly to become as autonomous as Holyrood and by-pass the need for that rubber-stamp by MPs, Wales will need another referendum.
Source:-The Herald, Friday 9 December 2005


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