Blair seeks gay adoption compromise

Blair seeks gay adoption compromise
Prime minister Tony Blair said that he was trying to reconcile the ban on discrimination against gay people with the effective work of Catholic adoption agencies in seeking a compromise over the current row.
With more and more ministers lining up against any exemption for Catholic adoption agencies, the government is expected to agree a transitional period for agencies to evade the ban before they close or accept it.
Source:- The Financial Times, Friday 26 January 2007, page 3

Child Support Agency allows fathers to avoid paying £3.5bn
Official figures show absent fathers owe £3.5bn in maintenance payments to their children, official figures show, and the amount owed grew by £242m last year, leaving 1.4m families waiting for payment.
Source:- The Daily Mail, Friday 26 January 2007, page 29

Westminster divided over curbs on forced marriages
A debate today on forced marriage in the House of Lords is likely to highlight division over the issue in parliament.
Labour peer Lady Uddin is expected to speak against the Liberal Democrat Lord Lester’s private member’s bill, which seeks to introduce civil redress for victims of forced marriage, but does not go as far as making it a criminal offence.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 26 January 2007, page 13

Care worker murdered
The Probations Service launched an internal inquiry after a murderer released on licence killed a care worker before hanging himself. Shaun Clarke, 45, was found dead in woodland near Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, on Monday soon after 30-year-old Donna Wilson died from stab wounds.
Source:- The Times, Friday 26 January 2007, page 2

Child porn user spared jail after Reid’s message
John Reid was under new pressure last night after a judge declared that he was taking account of the “current sentencing climate” when he gave a suspended sentence to a user of child pornography.
Source:- The Times, Friday 26 January 2007, page 7

Psychiatric patient accused of attacking health worker sent to hospital where alleged crimes took place
A judge has strongly criticised the Home Office for allowing an accused sex attacker to be transferred from prison to a hospital where his alleged victim works.
The judge said that he was powerless to intervene but said that it was totally inappropriate for Christopher Parker to be housed in the hospital.
Mr Parker was remanded to prison accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a health worker while he was a psychiatric patient at Lincoln county hospital. The Home Office is to transfer him back to the hospital, even though it is where he allegedly committed his crimes. Source:- The Times, Friday 26 January 2007, page 7

Specialist units key to saving stroke victims
Stroke patients who are treated in specialised units are almost 20 per cent less likely to die or suffer disability than those on conventional wards, according to a recent study.
The study, which was carried out in Italy and published in The Lancet, followed more than 11,000 patients who had suffered strokes and had been admitted to hospital within 48 hours.
Source:- The Times, Friday 26 January 2007, page 9

Officer hunting paedophile cops admits sex offences
A police officer who was appointed to hunt out paedophiles within the force has admitted 17 charges of online sex abuse, including inciting a child to have sex.
Detective Constable Glen Algar, 44, groomed someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl, who was actually a fellow police officer who had set a trap to catch him.
Source:- The Daily Mirror, Friday 26 January 2007, page 35

Scottish news

Scots child abuse report delayed
A report on institutionalised child abuse in Scotland over a 45-year period has been delayed for a further six months.
Abused former residents of children’s homes who gave evidence to the review were expecting to see the results in March.
Instead, a new date in September has been requested, putting it a year behind the original schedule.
Source:- The Herald, Friday 26 January 2007

Councils face bill on elderly care
Councils could be forced to refund more than £20m after overcharging the elderly for care costs, it has been claimed.
In a report going to councillors next week, Edinburgh Council says it has been prompted into action by an independent legal opinion on the regulations governing free personal care.
Peter Gabbitas, director of health and social care, said the council should use its reserves to make a one-off payment of £2.1m to a total of 820 people. A council source added there could be a further £1m owed to others, while ending the overcharging adds new annual costs of £1m.
Source:- The Herald, Friday 26 January 2007

Dawn raids on asylum seekers may be scrapped
The Home Office has admitted that dawn raids to forcibly remove failed asylum seekers can have “traumatising effects” on parents and children, raising hopes of an end to the controversial policy.
A review last year by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, the Home Office agency that implements asylum policy, received a flood of complaints and submissions from pressure groups and others about its removal raids.
In a written answer to a question in the House of Commons, Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, appeared to sound a conciliatory note on removal operations, which some hope will lead to a softening of the Home Office stance.
Source:- The Scotsman, Friday 26 January 2007

Child protection still lacking after girl’s killing
Child protection services in the Highlands are still in need of improvement more than four years after the murder of a five-year-old girl, says a new report.
Inspectors said considerable progress had been made by agencies, but further improvements were needed.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education was asked by ministers to follow up a report on child services in 2005 and a review of the circumstances surrounding the death of Danielle Reid to check what progress had been made.
Source:- The Scotsman, Friday 26 January 2007

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