Monday 14 March 2005

    By Maria Ahmed, Lauren Revans, Clare Jerrom, Amy Taylor
    and Derren Hayes

    Gangs cash in on disabled car badges

    Disabled drivers are increasingly falling victim to the soaring
    demand for their parking badges, with a record 6,000 stolen last
    year, according to the Disabled Driver’s Association.

    Source:- The Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page 13

    Tormentors of drowned boy jailed for his

    The father of a boy who drowned after being pushed off a bridge
    said yesterday that the sentences imposed on two teenage bullies
    were disgusting and insulting. After a two-week trial at
    Bournemouth Crown Court the 17-year-olds were convicted of
    manslaughter of

    David Berry, 16. One of the boys, who denied the charge, was
    detained for 18 months. His accomplice, who had pleaded guilty at a
    hearing in November, was detained for eight months.

    Source:- The Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page 27

    Life for pizza killer

    A 14-year-old boy was given a life sentence at the Old Bailey for
    stabbing Noor Kasimi, a London pizza shop worker.

    Source:- The Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page 27

    Labour sees rise in public sector workers

    The number of public sector workers has risen by more than 500,000
    since Labour came to power in 1997, according to revised figures
    from the Office of National Statistics, including the Probation
    Service and housing associations.

    Source:- The Financial Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page

    Threat of biggest one-day strike since 1926

    Ministers face a strike by more than one million government workers
    three weeks before the expected official launch of the general
    election campaign.

    Source:- The Financial Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page

    Councils hit back at shift on gypsies

    Gypsies and travellers no longer have to be on the move in order to
    claim rights as a minority group, the government has decided. The
    new definition recognises that gypsies can stop travelling, either
    permanently or temporarily. Local government leaders warn that the
    definition will increase the numbers of people who can be
    classified as a gypsy or traveller.

    Source:- The Financial Times Saturday 12 March 2005 page

    Life for abused boy who raped teacher

    A 12-year-old boy who was raped as a child was detained for life
    yesterday for raping a special needs teacher as she tried to help
    him one-to-one sessions. The child with severe learning
    difficulties will be held in secure accommodation for at least 21
    months but was warned by a judge that he could face a much longer

    Source:- The Guardian Saturday 12 March 2005 page 7

    Anger as addict gets jail for Asbo breach

    A fuel sniffer has been jailed for breaching an antisocial
    behaviour order that banned him from petrol station forecourts in
    north-east England.

    Brian Taylor received the Asbo last month after he was caught on
    CCTV slashing a fuel line at the Asda petrol station in South Bank,
    Middlesbrough, inhaling the fumes and dancing around the

    Source:- The Guardian Saturday 12 March 2005 page 9

    Third of children in north-west live in poverty

    Almost one in three children in the north-west of England living in
    poverty, according to figures released yesterday. The latest
    statistics from End Child Poverty coalition show that 450,000 of
    the 1.5 million children in the region are living below the

    Source:- The Guardian Saturday 12 March 2005 page 11

    Body of baby in canal

    The body of a two-week-old girl was pulled from a canal off
    Longford river, Feltham, west London. A woman in her 30s is in

    Source:- The Guardian Saturday 12 March 2005 page 13

    143,000 ‘teachers’ are really dinner ladies and
    town hall staff

    New figures reveal that 143,000 would-be teachers are in fact
    dinner ladies, school psychologists and town hall

    The workers, now reclassified by the Office of National Statistics
    as administration staff, had previously been counted by Labour as
    part of its 1.45m-strong army of teachers and classroom

    Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 12 March page 8

    Gypsies are wising up to their ‘human

    Local Government Association chair Sir Sandy
    Bruce-Lockhart has warned that appeals against council decisions to
    refuse planning permissions for gypsy and traveller encampments are
    soaring – largely thanks to new human rights laws.

    Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 12 March page 10

    Eighty per cent of hospitals in the red despite extra

    Hospital trusts have run up debts of almost £500 million
    according to a survey by the Daily Mail.

    The figure is despite spending on the NHS more than doubling from
    £33bn to £69bn between 1997 and 2005.

    Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 12 March page 20

    Ethnic groups back clamp on migrants

    A study by YouGov pollsters has revealed that 55 per cent of
    non-white Britons favoured stricter controls on immigration.

    The survey, commissioned by Channel 4 for its Immigration on Trial
    programme, reveals that this figure rose to 71 per cent for
    respondents of all backgrounds.

    Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 12 March page 24

    Children of the damned

    It is the child sex case that shames a nation: 45 innocents sold
    for abuse – many by their own parents. What sort of society
    could have spawned such depravity?

    Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 12 March page 39

    Demonised by the media, travellers lead a lonely life on
    the margins of society

    Fury was heaped on gypsy encampments last week after
    deputy prime minister John Prescott advised local authorities that
    travellers and gypsies should be treated with the same cultural
    sensitivity as other ethnic groups when making planning

    Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March page 11

    MPs told how to deal with fears about encampments

    The deputy prime minister’s office has issued Labour MPs with
    a nine-point briefing note to answer criticism from the public over
    gypsy planning rules after The Sun newspaper claimed John Prescott
    had suspended laws for travellers.

    Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March page 11

    How an angelic-looking child turned into a psychopathic
    racist who murdered a cellmate

    Four months’ of evidence in the inquiry into the death of
    Zahid Mubarek at Feltham Young Offender Institution came to a close
    yesterday. However, his killer Robert Stewart has remained 48 miles
    away at Woodhill Prison throughout, serving life for the
    19-year-old’s death.

    Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March page 24

    The Saturday profile: Charles Clarke

    Blair’s bruiser takes the punches

    Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March page 40

    Child Trust Fund Providers to take candy from your

    There are worrying signs that, with less than a month to go before
    the government finally introduces Child Trust Funds, many families
    may not get a good deal from the new scheme.

    Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March Save &
    Spend page 3

    Better time-off deal is cold comfort for new parents

    Maternity leave reform is criticised for not going far enough

    Source:- The Independent Saturday 12 March Save &
    Spend page 4

    Call for law to ban illegal gypsy camps

    The leader of Kent Council and chair of the Local Government
    Association has called on the government to introduce criminal
    penalties to stop illegal sites being set up by gypsies.

    Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart also proposed giving statutory powers to
    councils to prevent utility companies from supplying illegal sites
    with electricity, water and gas.

    Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 12 March page
    Double killing remand

    A man appeared at Thames magistrates court over the killing of a
    mother and her six-year-old daughter yesterday.

    Mark Nicholas was charged with the murder of Nicole Batten and her
    daughter Ukleigha Batten-Froggatt.

    Source:- The Observer Sunday 13 March page 6

    Alarm as postnatal depression soars

    One in five women has postnatal depression during the weeks and
    months after they give birth.

    Experts have warned that the fact that many women only stay in
    hospital for short periods afterwards is likely to be making the
    problem worse.

    Source:- The Observer Sunday 13 March page 12

    Children as young as three should be told the truth about
    their sperm-donor fathers

    Children as young as three should be told that their fathers were
    sperm donors or risk mental health problems when they are older,
    according to new research.

    The study carried out by university of Huddersfield and the Open
    University will be presented to fertility experts at the Human
    Fertilisation and Embryology Authority annual conference.

    Source:- The Independent on Sunday Sunday 13 March page

    Police cancel raid on migrants to ‘avoid embarrassing

    The police held off from arresting 25 suspected illegal immigrants
    at the last minute to stop the government from being embarrassed,
    immigration sources have told the Mail on Sunday.

    Police and officials from the immigration service identified the
    group of Africans after their national insurance numbers did not
    match they had given to a housing department.

    Source:- The Mail on Sunday Sunday 13 March page 18

    School sued by expelled boy’s parents over
    ‘libellous’ letter

    Parents of an expelled pupil are planning to take libel action
    against the school after a headmistress told them the reasons
    behind the exclusion in a letter.

    The parents claim Jill Judson, headmistress of Cherwell School,
    Oxford’s comments are defamatory.

    They say lawyers have told them that they have an “actionable

    Source:- The Mail on Sunday Sunday 13 March page 39

    Expertise of highly qualified refugees ignored, says

    The wealth of expertise from many highly qualified refugees and
    asylum seekers is being ignored causing gaps in vital areas of the
    economy, according to a leading charity.

    The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics estimates that there
    are around 1,500 refugee doctors, dentists and other health
    professionals in the UK yet only a minority are employed here  at
    the same level as in their country of origin.

    Source:- Financial Times  Monday 14 March page 4

    Overwhelmed police force wants to farm out its murder

    The chief constable of one of Britain’s largest forces has
    admitted that officers cannot cope with the level of violent

    Steve Green, chief constable at Nottinghamshire police force, said
    current financing arrangements left his force unable to cope with
    the number of murders which have overwhelmed his officers.

    Source:- The Times  Monday 14 March page 6

    Missing persons charity faces closure

    The National Missing Persons Helpline is set to close this month
    due to a lack of funds.

    Police chiefs fear the charity’s closure will force the Home
    Office to start its own operation from scratch.

    Source:- The Times  Monday 14 March page 16

    Childcare pays

    Children of full-time working mothers do better at language skills,
    reading and maths if they have paid childcare rather than being
    left with relatives or friends, according to a study to be
    published in the Royal Economic Society’s Economic

    Source:- The Times  Monday 14 March page 22

    Unmarried couple in line for divorce rights

    Unmarried partners who separate are likely to win new rights to
    make divorce-like claims for financial support if Labour is

    A new legal protection for the four million people living together
    may be introduced as ministers are concerned about the lack of
    safeguards for couples who do not formalise their

    Source:- The Guardian Monday 14 March page 1

    Minister intervenes in row over drugs to treat

    Stephen Ladyman has intervened in the growing row over plans by NHS
    advisers to stop the routine prescription of four drugs to treat
    Alzheimer’s disease.

    The health minister wants to ensure the advisers recognise the
    social implications of withdrawing official support for the

    Source:- The Guardian  Monday 14 March page 8

    Prisons inquiry to take in suicide

    The case of a man who killed himself while on suicide watch is to
    be included in a review of inmates’ treatment at segregation
    units by the chief inspector of prisons.

    Anne Owers told Pauline Day that nothing could bring back her son
    Paul but she hoped the review to be expected later this year might
    “save lives in future”.

    Source:- The Guardian  Monday 14 March page 11

    Refugees could cut skills shortages and pay £100m

    The skills and experience of up to 5,000 foreign academics seeking
    refuge in this country could be worth more than £100 million
    to the economy.

    Source:- Independent  Monday 14 March page 1

    Comic Relief and a £100,000 grant to gipsies

    Gypsies and Travellers were given £100,000 in grants by Comic

    The fund gives gypsy groups grants of £3,000 each to help with
    basic rights including legal advice.

    Source:- Daily Mail  Monday 14 March page 29

    Scottish news

    £2m for disabled

    Nearly £2 million is to be spent on extra staff and equipment
    for Scotland’s five wheelchair centres to speed up allocation of
    wheelchairs for those that need them. Deputy health minister Rhona
    Brankin said waiting times for wheelchairs were

    Source:- Daily Record Saturday 12 March

    Carstairs fence holds key to £3m legal bill

    Health chiefs at Carstairs mental hospital are considering a plan
    to move the perimeter fence to house less dangerous patients
    outside to avoid a £3 million compensation bill. The move is
    being considered to counter the introduction of the new Mental
    Health Act in 2006 which will allow patients to contest being held
    in excessive security if their mental health has improved. Up to
    100 patients at the unit are eligible for release to less
    restrictive conditions, but a lack of available spaces in other
    hospitals prevents them from moving on.

    Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 13th March

    Muslim miscarries in cell after grilling at airport

    The Sunday Herald claims that a Muslim woman detained for hours by
    officials at Glasgow Airport suffered a miscarriage in an
    immigration cell.

    Marina Miraj claims the stress of the interrogation and detention
    contributed to the miscarriage and is now considering legal

    Miraj had flown into the UK from Toronto to make plans to settle in
    Glasgow with her husband.

    Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 13th March

    Tell IVF children truth of their conception

    Children conceived with donated eggs or sperm are facing an
    “unexploded bomb” of problems if they are not told
    about their origins, an expert in the field has warned. New
    research to be presented this week at a conference on human
    embryology reveals that children conceived with donated eggs or
    sperm will avoid psychological problems in adulthood if they learn
    the truth about their origins at an
    early age. Olivia Montuschi, co-founder of the Donor Conception
    Network, believes families who don’t reveal the history of
    their children’s conception are risking potential
    psychological complaints for the future, despite traditional advice
    to parents who have had IVF treatment not to tell their

    Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 13th March

    Drugs expert warns: cannabis as dangerous to society as

    Scottish drug workers have reacted angrily to claims by a leading
    Scottish drugs researcher that cannabis could be as big a danger to
    society as cocaine and heroin. In a Sunday Herald comment piece,
    Professor Neil McKeganey, of the Centre for Drugs Misuse

    Research at the University of Glasgow, warns the government and
    drug workers should put the focus of enforcement back on cannabis
    because it can lead to harder drug taking. But David Liddell,
    director of the Scottish Drugs Forum said poverty and deprivation
    is more likely to be the gateway into problematic drug use.

    Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 13th March

    Teaching primary kids about depression could cut

    Kay Jamison, professor of psychiatry at John Hopkins School of
    Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and an authority on manic
    depressive illness, will tell Scottish mental health professionals
    this week that teaching primary school children about depression,
    its symptoms and treatments could prevent many suicides among the
    young. Too often the victims of depression, their parents and their
    teachers fail to spot the signs that can show someone is on a
    downward spiral to taking their own life, she said.

    Source:- The Herald Monday 14 March

    Housing crisis may prompt suspension of right to buy

    Council tenants in parts of the Highlands could become the first in
    Scotland to have their right to buy suspended, in an effort to
    tackle a housing crisis. Skye and Lochalsh councillors on Highland
    Council are expected to back an application for “pressured area
    status” – which would mean all council and housing association
    tenants who took up tenancies after September 2002 having their
    right to buy suspended for five years. Advocates of the move say it
    would help to ensure that social rented housing remained available
    in areas of short supply.

    Source:- The Scotsman Monday 14 March

    Welsh news

    Pupils in drug raid escape charges

    None of the five boys arrested for possessing cannabis resin at a
    school in Wales are to be charged by the police. The year nine
    pupils were arrested at Cowbridge Comprehensive in the Vale of
    Glamorgan. All five have been reprimanded under Home Office

    Source:- Western Mail Saturday 12 March

    Average Welsh council tax rise less than one pound

    Council tax rises in Wales are likely to be less than £1, a
    Wales on Sunday survey has revealed. The study covered every
    council in Wales. It is thought that the rises for 2005-6 could be
    the lowest ever.

    Source:- Wales on Sunday Sunday 13 March

    Postcode lottery of health care quality in Wales

    There are not enough good quality management people available to
    staff the 22 local health boards in Wales, doctors have

    The local health boards replaced the old five health authority
    structure two years ago.

    Doctors made the comments after the Local Medical Committee
    conference in Usk on Saturday.

    Source:- Western Mail Monday 14 March


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