News round up: Friends Reunited snares priest who abused pupils

Friends Reunited website snares priest who abused pupils

A Roman Catholic priest was convicted of molesting young girls after two of his victims compared notes on the website Friends Reunited.

The women, who are now in their 40s, had both appeared in pantomimes at a Catholic school where Father Peter Carr was a teacher in the 1960s and 1970s.

The women realised that the priest had made them both strip off their clothes before applying body paint with a sponge to intimate areas of their bodies.
Read more on this story in The Times

Top-up fees for drugs herald two-tier NHS

Ministers are preparing to allow public patients to pay for some top-up drugs in a decision that opponents claim will spell the end of the National Health Service.

Alan Johnson, the health secretary, is poised to relax the ban on patients paying privately for life-extending treatments while receiving NHS care. Such a change could result in wealthier patients living longer because they have been able to buy expensive drugs not approved by the NHS.
Read more on this story in The Times

Defiant Brown prepares to face down Labour rebels

Gordon Brown will today seek to end the corrosive speculation surrounding his premiership with a speech in which he will promise to extend the welfare state, close the digital divide, and steer Britain through the global fiscal turmoil.

Rather than dwelling on the setbacks and mistakes of the past 12 months, Brown will unveil initiatives aimed at lifting families and pensioners most vulnerable to the steep economic downturn, including:

· Computers and free broadband access for children lacking internet usage.

· Extended help for carers with sick or elderly relatives.

· A £1bn extension of childcare for children as young as two.
Read more on this story in The Guardian

Father killed children after losing custody

A man who is believed to have smothered his two young daughters while they were on a weekend custody visit telephoned their mother to say “the children have gone to sleep forever” before killing himself, it emerged last night.

The man, named locally as David Cass, 32, was found dead on Sunday evening with his two children, Ellie aged three, and Isobel, one, in a caravan parked at the Southampton garage where he worked. Cass separated from the children’s mother, Kerry Hughes, four months ago and since then had intermittently slept in the caravan, parked at Paynes Road Car Sales.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Pensioners living in affluent areas to get lower payments

In a move that will hit millions of middle-class households some of the largest of the country’s pension providers have decided to use customers’ postcodes to determine the exact size of their annuity.

This means that people living in middle-class areas such Surrey, Sussex and Buckinghamshire will receive as much as £230 a year less in annual income than people living in parts of Manchester or Glasgow – even if they have invested exactly the same amount into their pension throughout their career.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph


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