By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.
Jamaicans ‘bring in cocaine on every
Britain could be receiving more than 30 kilos of cocaine from
Jamaica hidden by passengers on every flight, according to the UK
High Commission in Kingston.
“Drug mules” swallow cocaine or conceal it in body crevices and
risk death in return for £3,300 from drug barons on the
Phil Sinkinson, deputy high commissioner in Kingston, estimated
the amount hidden by a number of couriers as 30 kilos on each
Lord Harris of Haringey, chairperson of the Metropolitan Police
Authority, has warned against a hysterical reaction to this report
saying the figures were “frankly unknowable”.
Source:- The Times Friday 4 January page 2
Christmas ills set NHS call record
Telephone helpline NHS Direct took a record number of 231,000
calls between December 21 and January 1 – an increase of 25
per cent on last year.
Boxing Day alone saw 24,000 calls being made to the phone line,
the highest figure since the service began three years ago.
The department of health believes the increase is due to people
becoming more familiar with the service, and that it now forms part
of the “out of hours” service offered by many GPs.
The internet site NHS Direct online showed a greater increase by
doubling the hits from last month to 5.2 million.
Source:- The Times Friday 4 January page 6
Sex talk ‘reduces teen pregnancy
Teenage pregnancy rates will remain a problem in Britain far
above the European levels because sex is regarded as “dirty” by too
many parents and schools.
Sex education puts too much emphasis on the danger of sex
without emphasising the pleasure, according to a study to be
published in the Journal of Social Policy.
Jane Lewis, professor of social policy at University of Oxford,
says the prevailing message about sex for pupils in British schools
is that it is something illicit and therefore desirable.
Despite much publicised initiatives around teenage pregnancies,
the birth rate per thousand girls aged 15-19 in England and Wales
is still around 40, while in the Netherlands the rate for Dutch
girls of the same age is four per thousand.
Low Dutch rates are attributed to more talk about sex between
parents and children, and more education in schools about the
physical and emotional dimensions of sex.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 4 January page 6
Central government finances mismatched
The distribution of central government grants remains mismatched
since local government reorganisation in 1996 and results in six
Scottish councils having higher council tax burdens and poorer
services, according to professor Arthur Midwinter of Strathclyde
The report, commissioned by Argyll and Bute council, found that
after local government reorganisation government grants were based
on criteria other than commitments. This resulted in a mismatch
between inherited commitments and funding, pushing up council tax
The six councils affected are Argyll and Bute, Glasgow, Dundee,
West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde and Midlothian.
Source:- The Scotsman Friday 4 January page 11