News round up: Budget squeeze hits asylum seekers

Budget squeeze hits the weakest

Asylum-seekers have become early victims of the squeeze on government spending in the face of the economic crisis.

Allowances for people who claim refuge in Britain will be cut or frozen in the autumn in an effort to reduce the size of the asylum budget.

Read more on this story in The Independent

Social work courses too easy to pass, say MPs

Social work training is unfit for purpose, according to a damning report by MPs out today. The Commons select committee for children, schools and families warns that children’s lives are being put at risk because social workers are not being prepared adequately for the challenges they face.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Pensioner poverty would be cut if retirement age scrapped

Scrapping compulsory retirement at 65 would reduce “unacceptable” pensioner poverty and help the economy, MPs will say on Thursday.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Judge throws out case of ‘loving mother’ accused of shaking baby to death

Fresh questions were raised by a judge yesterday over the safety of ‘shaken baby syndrome’ convictions after he cleared a woman of killing her child.
Judge Timothy Pontius said that the opinions of medical experts were not enough to convict a mother of murder or manslaughter.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Pregnant again: the mother whose 13 other babies were taken into care

A pregnant woman who has already had 13 children taken into care last night vowed to keep on giving birth until she is allowed to keep one.
Theresa Winters has spent almost half of her life having babies, but has not been allowed to keep any of them beyond the age of two.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Corby Council found liable for children’s exposure to toxic waste

A group of young people who claim an “atmospheric soup of toxic materials” released when an old steelworks was redeveloped caused their birth defects won a landmark ruling today when it was found that the local council had been negligent in its handling of the site.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Decision day for assisted suicide law

A groundbreaking change in the law on assisted suicides could become inevitable tomorrow when the UK’s highest court delivers its judgment in the case of Debbie Purdy, whose long legal fight has put her at the centre of the controversy.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Huge gender gap in young children’s abilities revealed in government figures

One in four boys still struggle to write their own name by the age of five, according to new government figures that reveal a huge gender gap in young children’s abilities.

Three in 10 five-year-old boys have trouble reciting the alphabet and one in five are unable to count to 10, according to statistics representing England and Wales, published for the first time today.

Read more on this story in The Guardian


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