Monday 21 June 2004

Rise of the Stepfather

More than 17 per cent of men born in 1970 are now stepfathers,
nearly twice the proportion of those born in 1958, reveals a
lifestyle study by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The council which advises the Government on policy also showed more
women than ever were going out to work in the report The Seven Ages
of Man and Woman.

Source:- The Daily Mail, June 19, page 32

Mother who killed two babies admits third murder

A key figure has admitted killing a third baby – throwing the
campaign to win freedom for mothers wrongly convicted of murdering
their babies into jeopardy.

Maxine Robinson had been held up as a victim of a miscarriage of
She admitted to smothering her third child whilst serving a life
sentence for murdering her two children.

Source:- The Daily Mail, June 19, page 39

Living wills “are a euthanasia

Laws which would allow people to make living wills have been
branded euthanasia by the back door by the Pro-Life Alliance.

Ministers are planning to overhaul the rules governing those who
become too mentally incapacitated to make decisions by themselves
as part of the Mental Capacity Bill.

The living will proposal allows people with illnesses such as
Alzheimer’s disease to say in advance if they want treatment
to stop should they become incapacitated.

Relatives or close friends will be given a lasting power of
attorney and the rights of vulnerable people will be defended by a
new Court of Protection under the new proposals.

Source: The Daily Mail, June 19, page 47

Bambi shows young how to beat trauma

Bambi the orphaned deer could help children over come trauma,
according to Virginia Moor Tomlinson, associate professor of
sociology at Westminster College, Pennsylvania.

She believes the major issues that run through the Walt Disney
films are the same as those faced by children placed in local
authority care or traumatised by death or divorce.

Source: The Times, June 19, page 13

Work until you’re 70 plans leaked

Ministers are planning to raise the retirement age to at least 70,
a leaked document reveals.

The move, expected to be announced within weeks in response to a
Brussels ruling that outlaws discrimination against older workers,
could be introduced in 2006.

Critics say the move is intended to save the Government money in
the face of a pensions crisis.

Source: The Sunday Times, June 20, page 1

Babies that live after abortions are left to die

Babies born alive after botched abortions by doctors are allowed to
die, midwives have revealed.

A Sunday Times investigation found six cases where babies were
denied medical treatment after they failed to die during the
abortion including a mother whose handicapped child lived for three

A daily record kept by a midwife said there was an unwritten rule
on not resuscitating aborted babies that survived termination

The practice will be debated at the British Medical Association
conference this week.

Source:- The Sunday Times, June 20, page 3

Labour anti-smackers prepare to slap down Blair

Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing a rebellion from Labour MPs who
are pro supporting a ban on parents smacking their children.

The rebels are threatening to defy a three-line whip in the Lords
this week. Blair and other ministers have consistently refused to
back calls for a ban and resisted pleas for a free vote on the
issue in parliament. They believe the ban would prove

Source:- The Sunday Times, June 20, page 4

Revealed: radicals who backed girl in dress fight

The teenage girl who fought a two-year battle to wear a full
Islamic dress in school was backed by extremist Muslim splinter

The 15-year-old orphan Shabina Begum was advised by Hizb ut-Tahrir
(HuT) which is legal in Britain but banned in Germany and much of
the Middle East.

Her case was funded by legal aid but thrown out by the High Court
last week.

Source:- The Sunday Times, June 20, page 5

Huntley police face calls to resign

Two chief constables David Westwood of Humberside and Tom Lloyd of
Cambridgeshire will come under increasing pressure to resign this
week over why Soham.

Murder Ian Huntley was not spotted as a potential killer.

The move follows the publication of a 200 page report passed to
Home Secretary David Blunkett this week.
More than 1,800 documents obtained by the inquiry trace
Huntley’s development into a violent and dangerous sex

Source: The Sunday Times, June 20, page 10

Elderly patients betrayed as Government breaks promise
to abolish mixed-sex hospital wards

At least 80 of the National Health Service’s open-plan
Nightingale wards which destroy patient’s dignity are still
in operation despite the Government’s pledge to abolish them
by April this year, reveals a survey.

Most of the patients in the wards are elderly people who say they
feel embarrassed and degraded by sharing wards with the opposite

The Government vowed to abolish all 366 mixed-sex Nightingale wards
which sleep up to 30 patients by this April.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph, June 20, page 1

Junkie father seizes baby from mother

More than 100 police officers are searching for a junkie father who
broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house and kidnapped their
one-week old baby.

Rodney Wallace pushed past Melanie Townsend in Gloucester to take
the child wearing a lemon romper suit and a bib. He was driving a
green Fiesta registration mark L246 VOY.

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph, June 20, page 2

One in 10 patients ‘shouldn’t be in

Health chiefs say one in ten patients do not need to be in hospital
and could be cared for at home.

The NHS Confederation which represents hospital managers is
expected to debate the issue which could lead to a major rethink of
the NHS including cut in the number of beds, diagnostic tests
carried out in the community and hi-tech methods to monitor the
chronically ill at home.

Source:- The Observer, June 20, page 2

Patient’s secrets sold for £4

A computer hard drive bought at a car boot sale contained 180
highly confidential reports on NHS psychiatric patients.

The computer is registered to Dr Navin Svavla, a consultant
psychiatric at Whips Cross Hospital, East London.

Source:- The Observer, June 20, page 4

Civil rights group contests curfews for

Night time curfews to curb antisocial behaviour is to be challenged
in the European Court of Human Rights after a teenager in West
Sussex agreed to let the civil rights group Liberty take on a test

If successful it will be a humiliating for the Government which
introduced the legislation despite opposition from civil right

Source:- The Observer, June 20, page 8

Secret drugs test to catch school addicts

Secret two-minute drug tests that can detect traces of cocaine or
ecstasy on desks and keyboards are being carried out by head
teachers and employers.

Drugwipe say their products are used in 30 schools and 60

Source:- The Independent on Sunday, June 20, page 8

Nursing home resents given six weeks to leave

Thirty six frail residents were given just six weeks to quit their
nursing home. Within three months, seven were dead.

The closure of a nursing home to make way for mentally ill
criminals has led to the death of seven residents. They were given
six weeks to leave Holland House, Goole, East Yorkshire, and it is
thought many of the residents were badly affected by the trauma of

It is impossible to prove a link between those that died before
leaving and those shortly after moving to other

Source:- The Daily Mail, June 21, page 15

Older people suffer loneliness

Of those over 75, almost a fifth felt life not worth living,
according to a survey by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Despite being free of illness and disability afflicting earlier
generations, many said loneliness was a problem.

The survey of social trends also showed a changing family model,
with twice the number of men born in 1970 being step fathers,
compared to those born 12 years earlier.

Source:-  The Financial Times, Monday 21 June 2001,
page 5

Blair under pressure to ban smacking

The prime minister is under increasing pressure from with
the Labour Party to ban parents from smacking their children as MPs
and peers claim the current rules allowed parents to abuse their

A vote in the House of Lords expected this week will see a
cross-party alliance of more than 100 peers call for a ban, other
than exceptional circumstances. The government has so far resisted
changing the law, fearing it would lead to thousands of cases in
which parents would be prosecuted for minor offences.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph, page 6, Monday 21 June

Police investigating asylum abuse

Police and immigration officers are investigating the
Zimbabwean Community in the UK after claims it forged documents and
provided false life histories for asylum seekers.

The organisation, which receives National Lottery funding, is
denying accusations that its founders provided National Insurance
numbers and fake passports to help immigrants get jobs.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Page 8, Monday 21 June

Alcohol linked to cot deaths

Research has shown that babies are more likely to suffer
cot death on Saturdays and Sundays compared to week days.

For babies less than four months old there is an independent
increased risk of four per cent of dying at the weekend.
Researchers says that the persistent weekend peak could be because
parents are less attentive to their babies at weekends and some may
be more likely to be drunk.

Source: The Daily Telegraph, Page 9, Monday 21 June, 2004

Parents to get help line for childcare advice

Working parents could have a personal adviser to help them find
childcare and negotiate flexible working with their employers,
under a scheme being considered by the government.

Parent Direct would offer telephone helplines and face-to-face
service to help millions of working parents who say that they do
not know where to find the information to help them balance family
and work responsibilities, said Patricia Hewitt, the secretary of
state for trade and industry.

Source:- The Guardian, page 1, Monday 21 June, 2004

Government ignore pleas to stop returning Somali

The Home Office has said it will continue to send failed asylum
seekers back to Mogadishu against the advice of the United Nations
and the Somali government.

Reports have claimed that rejected asylum seekers are failing to
make it beyond a transit flight to Dubai because they are being
abandoned by their escorts.

Somalia’s transitional government has written to refugee
charity Asylum Aid saying it does not advise forced returns for the
foreseeable future because of “existing insecurity of affairs
in the country”.

Source:- The Guardian, Page 7, Monday 21 June, 2004

Scottish newspapers

School staff suspended over claims on use of

Three employees at a school for young people with significant
social, emotional or behavioural difficulties have been suspended
as part of a police investigation into allegations of
“excessive and inappropriate” restraint of

A further six members of staff at the council-run Kerelaw School in
Aryshire have been redeployed as a precautionary measure by Glasgow

The council has also asked the Scottish Care Commission to carry
out an independent investigation of the standard of care and
management at the school.

Source:- The Scotsman, Saturday 19 June 2004

City care home ‘failing to ensure OAPs’

The Health and Safety Executive has ordered Lynedoch Nursing Home
in Dean, Edinburgh, to carry out urgent improvements to its
premises after an inspection discovered elderly residents risked
suffering burns and falling from windows.

Inspectors found that residents could have been scalded as they
took baths, risked being burned by coming into contact with exposed
pipes and radiators, and risked falling as far as two metres form
unprotected windows at the private home.

Source:- Evening News, Saturday 19 June 2004

Charity slam ‘unfair’ benefit

Thousands of older people’s pension credits are less than the
cost of processing the benefit, it has been revealed.

Twelve thousand pensioners get less than £1 benefit –
less than a quarter of the cost of handling each application.

Source:- Daily Record, Saturday 19 June, page 2

Government rejects pleas to cap lending rates to aid

A Department of Trade and Industry report due out next month will
rule out interest rate ceilings despite calls from church groups
and opposition MPs to tackle the growing problem of huge credit and
consumer debt.

Source:- Sunday Herald, Sunday 20 June

Top doctor: knock the f*** out of neds

A senior accident and emergency consultant was due to tell a
conference on alcohol abuse this week that Scotland needs a
“zero tolerance approach to rowdy neds”.

Ian Anderson, a former president of the UK’s Faculty of
Accident and Emergency Medicine based at Glasgow’s Victoria
Infirmary, believes Scotland has a serious problem with antisocial
behaviour and violence and that society has become overly
politically correct in the way it deals with drink-fuelled loutish

Source:- Sunday Herald, Sunday 20 June

Anger at plans for nurses to chaperone doctors

Doctors will be forced to use nurse chaperones during intimate
examinations under plans being considered by ministers.

An independent inquiry, prompted by the case of Kent GP Clifford
Ayling who was jailed in 2000 for indecently assaulting 10 female
patients, is to recommend next month that qualified healthcare
professionals should be present to judge whether an examination is
being carried out appropriately.

Source:- Sunday Herald, Sunday 20 June

Children’s tsar vows to oppose antisocial

Scotland’s new children’s commissioner has warned that
she may take legal action if powers under the controversial
Antisocial Behaviour Bill are used inappropriately.

Kathleen Marshall, who took up her post in April, said she
regretted coming into office too late to influence the bill, saying
she was unhappy about some of the attitudes behind the new

The bill was passed in the Scottish parliament on Thursday and is
awaiting Royal Assent.

Source:- Sunday Herald, Sunday 20 June

Terrorised by hidden epidemic of child criminals

Scottish children are committing more than 6,000 serious crimes a
year, including serious assault, rape and murder, new figures

The vast majority of these are dealt with by Children’s

But critics of the system claim the panels are no longer up to the
job of dealing with serious juvenile offenders because there are
too few secure places for young people.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday, Sunday 20 June

Unique tagging scheme leads Europe

Scotland is leading the way in Europe with an electronic tagging
scheme which ensures stalkers and perpetrators of domestic abuse
stay away from the homes of their victims.

More than 23 orders have been made by sheriffs across Scotland, and
women claim the measure has greatly increased their safety and
quality of life.

Source:- The Herald, Monday 21 June, 2004

Fresh claim of flaw in rape laws

An appeal court ruling is due within weeks which could effectively
decide if the Sexual Offences (Procedure and Evidence) Act 2002 is
fatally flawed by denying accused men a right to a fair

If the Lord Justice Clerk Lord Gill rules that the Act does breach
human rights legislation, scores of sex offenders could

Source:- The Herald, Monday 21 June

Fears that reforms may ruin smaller charities

The Scottish executive’s charities bill could bring financial
ruin to many of Scotland’s charities as 25,000 voluntary
groups face being vetted by a government watchdog.

Critics warn that the bill, designed to root out fraud, will force
many smaller organisations to fold as donors will be reluctant to
fund them while they wait for the status of larger charities to be
given clearance first.

Source:- The Scotsman, Monday 21 June

New claims on cot death

Babies are more likely to die at the weekend, researchers have

Experts believe the danger is caused by parents being more relaxed
and less likely to consult GPs at the weekend.

Source:- Daily Record, Monday 21 June, page 16

Welsh newspapers

Dentists ‘put pressure on patients to go

Welsh assembly first minister, Rhodri Morgan has promised to
investigate a ‘disturbing practice’ being adopted by
some dentists in Wales to put pressure on NHS patients to go

He says that it is unacceptable for patients to be that they can
only stay on dentist’s lists if they signed up for private
medical insurance.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 21 June page 2

Housing helpline launch helps fight homophobia

Triangle Wales is launching a helpline for lesbians, gays and
bisexuals who face housing problems.

The helpline, which will operate for 12 hours each week, will
assist people to access services and is staffed by members from a
wide diversity of backgrounds and age groups.

Source:- Western Mail, Monday 21 June page 2

Woman speaks out over fight to claim mother’s care
home fees

A woman has told of her fight to win back the care home fees paid
by her late mother.

Ann Carlton says that her mother Lady (Doris) Holmes paid out
£7,000 in care homes fees in just three months when the NHS
should have been paying for her long-term care.

Although the NHS agreed to pay for some of Lady Holmes’ care
prior to her death, it has not reimbursed her estate for fees paid
to a nursing home, after she was discharged from hospital following
a fall. Her daughter now wants the NHS in Wales to settle the

Source:- Western Mail Monday 21 June page 5

Hodge to be slapped down in children’s champ

A report due out next month is expected to criticise
children’s minister, Margaret Hodge for her attack on the
children’s commissioner for Wales, Peter Clarke.

During evidence to the Welsh Affairs committee Hodge criticised
Clark for losing sight of the bigger picture on children’s
issues and described his publication of only one report in the last
three years as disappointing.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 21 June page 6

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