Cannabis use linked to 40% rise in risk of schizophrenia

By Mithran Samuel and Derren Hayes

Cannabis use linked to 40% rise in risk of schizophrenia

People who smoke cannabis daily have a 200% increased risk of psychosis, according to a study of previous research into the drug published today in The Lancet journal.

The research also suggested there was a small additional risk of developing severe schizophrenia among those who have smoked cannabis, from 1% to 1.4%.

Rethink director of public affairs Paul Corry called for more health warnings about cannabis in the wake of the findings, but said this was not a rationale for upgrading it from a Class C to a B drug, as the government has mooted.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 27 July 2007 page 4

Extra cash found for low-paid NHS staff

The government is to improve its pay offer this year for low-paid nurses and healthcare workers in a bid to avert industrial action across the NHS in England this autumn.

The Royal College of Nursing is balloting on industrial action against the government’s decision to stagger a 2.5% pay award for 2007-08, rather than pay it in full, as of April this year.

However, health secretary Alan Johnson has said that the staged deal has created a surplus, below the government’s pay target of 2%, which could be given to the lowest-paid workers.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 27 July 2007 page 7

Woman arranged ‘honour killing’ of daughter-in-law during trip to India

A woman and her son were yesterday convicted of murdering his wife in a so-called ‘honour killing’ yesterday, though the body of the victim, Bachan Athwal, has never been found.

Bachan Athwal and son Sukhdave were convicted of murdering Surjit Athwal in the Punjab in India in 1998, after a 13-week trial at the Old Bailey.

Surjit began an affair with a colleague and decided to leave Athwal after ten years of unhappy marriage, but was lured to India in December 1998 to attend family weddings, and never returned.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 27 July 2007 page 11

Minister pledges £184m to revamp youth clubs

The government has pledged £184m over three years, plus an estimated £100m lying unclaimed in dormant bank accounts, to provide centres and activities for young people in every community.

In a 10-year strategy, the government said the money would help charities provide sport, music, drama and other activities, while it also set a target of enabling young people to control at least 25% of councils’ youth budgets.

Charity 4Children warmly welcomed the strategy, but Clubs for Young People said the new money “will only scratch the surface of the challenges facing young people”.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 27 July 2007 page 14

Lib Dem pledge on poverty

The Liberal Democrats claim a package of tax and benefit proposals today will lift nearly 5million people out of poverty.

Under the plans, schools could earn about £1,500 a year for each disadvantaged child on their roll, child benefit and the state pension would increase, while the basic rate of income tax would fall from 22% to 16%.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 27 July 2007 page 15

Boy shot dead after bike chase is 10th young London victim in six months

A 16-year-old boy shot dead yesterday after he was chased across a south London estate by armed youths became the 10th high profile teenage victim of gang violence in the capital in six months.

Abukah Mahamood died on the Stockwell Gardens estate, and police believe he had been chased by up to seven youths on bikes, at least two of whom were carrying firearms.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 27 July 2007 page 3

The NSPCC says social networking websites should be given access to the register of sex offenders so that paedophiles can be blocked from targeting children on the sites.

It said that so long as the information was encrypted it could be used safely by social network sites, such as MySpace and Facebook.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 27 July 2007 page 2

Teen violence is rocketing yet only one in 50 is jailed

Just over 40% of young people convicted of an offence reoffended within 12 months in 2004-5, a drop of just 2.5 in five months, government figures published yesterday show.

The Youth Justice Board welcomed the figures, however, saying reoffending had fallen across a range of crimes, including robbery.

Source:- The Daily Mail Friday 27 July 2007 page 24

Hundreds of doctors work with no checks

Hundreds of junior doctors, including overseas staff, will be employed by hospitals from next week without undergoing full Criminal Records Bureau checks.

Hospital trusts have been unable to complete checks because they have only received the names of some junior doctors in the past two weeks, while checks take four weeks to complete.

The problem was blamed on the crisis over the introduction of a new training system for junior doctors, which created a bottleneck in the number of juniors waiting for training places to come up.

Source:- The Times Friday 27 July 2007 page 1-2

Scottish news

Justice system failing to save hundreds of children from life of crime

A generation of vulnerable teenagers is falling into crime after being “failed” by education and social work authorities, says new research.

A study by Edinburgh University found that young people referred to the children’s hearing system in their early teens are three times more likely to have a criminal record by the time they reach 19.

And young people who are excluded from class or leave school at the earliest opportunity are also far more likely to become deeply disaffected adults who commit crime.

Source:- The Scotsman, Friday 26th July

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