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
    justice.
    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
    charter”

    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
    days.

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

    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
    unenforceable.

    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
    group.

    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
    offender.

    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
    sex.

    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
    hospital’

    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
    teenagers

    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
    case.

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

    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
    businesses.

    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
    moving.

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

    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
    children.

    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
    2004

    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
    2004

    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
    refugees

    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
    restraint

    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
    children.

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

    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’
    safety

    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
    poor

    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
    behaviour.

    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
    laws

    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
    law.

    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
    reveal.

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

    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
    trial.

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

    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
    claimed.

    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
    private’

    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
    private.

    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
    matter.

    Source:- Western Mail Monday 21 June page 5

    Hodge to be slapped down in children’s champ
    row

    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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