Asylum-seekers offered £3,000 deal to go home
Thousands of rejected asylum-seekers are to be offered up to £3,000 each to return home voluntarily. Failed claimants will be paid £500 as soon as they board a flight out of the country and another £1,500 will be available on their return to their homeland. They will also be able to claim a further £1,000 benefits “in kind”.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 13 January 2006, page 19

Howells admits approving sex offender for job as MPs attack Kelly
Former higher education minister Kim Howells has accepted the blame for allowing a PE teacher on the sex offender register to work in schools. Howells’s statement may take some of the pressure of Ruth Kelly but it will raise the question of which other ministers were responsible for allowing sex offenders to work in schools.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 13 January 2006, page 4

Bert Massie left stranded by train staff
Disability Rights Commission boss Bert Massie, who is disabled, was left stranded on a station platform. He was told staff were “too busy” to help him board his train at Euston in London, even though he had booked help.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Friday 13 January 2006, page 23

Electric shock treatment best response to depression
Drugs and electric shock therapy are still the best way to treat depression, says a paper in the Lancet medical journal. Klaus Ebmeier from Edinburgh University dismisses official recommendations that talking therapies are better and safer, saying it is pandering to public opinion.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 13 December 2006, page 14

Preacher held over claims of child witchcraft
Disturbing claims about witchcraft within Britain’s African communities have emerged with the arrest yesterday of a preacher, on suspicion of inciting child cruelty. Dr Dieudonne Tukala is accused of ill-treating children. More than 400 worshippers attend his services in north London.
Source:- Daily Mail, Friday 13 January 2006, page 47

Prescott red-faced over council tax bill
John Prescott has been forced into the embarrassing admission that he has not paid the council tax bill on his official residence for eight years. He blamed “inadvertent error” for the failure to pay the tax for his residence in Admiralty Arch, central London.
Source:- Financial Times, Friday 13 January 2006, page 2

Lack of planning in sexual health
NHS trusts have been criticised for an “alarming” lack of planning to ease England’s sexual health crisis, according to research by sexual health charities.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 13 January 2006, page 8

Labour-delaying drug linked to 1,000 pre-term babies a year
Up to 1,000 babies are born prematurely each year because of a drug, Metronidazole, that is prescribed to their mothers during pregnancy to prevent the early onset of labour, according to researchers from the babies’ charity Tommy’s.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 13 January 2006, page 8

US health giant to run GP practices as Hewitt looks for competition
The biggest US healthcare company is preparing to take over two GP practices in poorer areas of Derbyshire in a deal set to become a template for the government to develop its plans for more competition.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 13 January 2006, page 11

Watchdog orders Whitehall to lift veil of secrecy
The Freedom of Information watchdog has for the first time ordered a government department to surrender details of key policy meetings. The Department for Educatiion and Skills will have to provide minutes of meetings of its most senior civil servants.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Friday 13 January 2006, page 2

Scope to close 50 charity shops as £10 million loss looms
Scope is shutting 50 of its shops as it fights a predicted £10 million deficit.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Friday 13 January 2006, page 12

Scottish news

Thousands on sex list: 63 cannot work with children
Only 63 people are currently banned automatically from working with children in Scotland, despite the fact more than 3000 names appear on the sex offender register. New figures coincided with Jack McConnell conceding that a sex offender could slip through the net of checks.
The Disqualified from Working with Children list was expected by many to include convicted sex offenders automatically, but so far contains only those referred by the courts and employers, and endorsed by the civil servants who compile it.
Source:- The Herald, Friday 13 January 2006

Leave child care to the professionals
Feature by columnist Reg McKay describing the difficult task social workers have in taking children into care and why politicians shouldn’t get involved in the process.
Source:- The Record, Friday 13 January 2006

Welsh news

Tell us Ruth, are Welsh schools safe?
Welsh education minister Jane Davidson called on education secretary Ruth Kelly to reveal if any sex offenders had been allowed to work in Welsh schools. Davidson wrote to Kelly last night asking for her to provide clarification over the issue. List 99, the list that bars people from working in a school, has not been devolved and is under the control of Westminster.
Source:- Western Mail, Friday 13 January 2006

Man offered girl for sex on beach
A man has pleaded guilty to offering a young teenage girl for sex along with 17 other sexual offences.
Frederick Lawlor, 52, from Abergele, appeared at Chester crown court yesterday.
The court heard that he took the girl to Pensarn beach where he offered her to men for sex.
Source:- Western Mail, Friday 13 January 2006




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