Saturday, December 29, 2007

2,000 students reprimanded for bad behaviour

By Graeme Paton Last Updated: 2:56am GMT 29/12/2007

Almost 2,000 university students were reprimanded for bad behaviour including drug abuse, drink-driving, harassment and vandalism in just one year, new figures show.
Others were disciplined for posting defamatory statements on public websites, using university computers to access "inappropriate" material and plagiarism.
The institution with the highest exclusion rate was London's South Bank University
The figures - unearthed in a Freedom of Information Act survey - show 1,836 students were given formal warnings for unacceptable behaviour at 70 universities across the country while 56 were expelled.;jsessionid=CEBYTDDNOH2GDQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/12/29/nuni129.xml

Chaos predicted as luggage rule is lifted

By David Millward, Transport Editor Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 29/12/2007

Airline passengers face more confusion after the Government revealed that the limit of one item of hand luggage per passenger will be lifted at a handful of airports next month.
The Government had been under intense pressure to relax the rules on hand luggage
The changes are due to begin on Jan 7, which is earmarked for a strike by thousands of staff working for BAA, which operates seven major airports in Britain.
Heathrow and Stansted are among the 19 airports that have satisfied the Department for Transport that they can cope if the restrictions are relaxed - but Gatwick has been excluded.;jsessionid=CEBYTDDNOH2GDQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/travel/2007/12/29/nbags129.xml

Menace of addicts freed from prison

By Richard Edwards Last Updated: 2:55am GMT 29/12/2007

The public is being put at risk because addicts are being released from prisons "swamped" by drugs without receiving treatment, doctors' leaders have warned.
The British Medical Association says an escalating drugs problem within jails has led to hundreds of criminals who were clean when they were convicted becoming addicts while behind bars.
It claims that there has been a series of "terrible failures" in a prison system that is "releasing large numbers of individuals who are not fit to return to the community".;jsessionid=CEBYTDDNOH2GDQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/12/29/ndrugs129.xml

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Festive packaging will create 3m tonnes of waste

By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent Published: 24 December 2007

Three million tonnes of rubbish will be thrown away by families during Christmas, with as much as three-quarters of children's presents amounting to nothing more than plastic and cardboard packaging.
Trading standards officers and MPs called on manufacturers to cut the piles of plastic, card and wire used to wrap millions of toys after a survey found three-quarters of toys came wrapped in at least their own weight in packaging.

Jacqui Smith admits asylum error

Last Updated: 2:13am GMT 24/12/2007

The Home Secretary has admitted that the number of failed asylum seekers whose deportation flights are postponed because of their disruptive behaviour is almost double the figure previously released.
Jacqui Smith has apologised after stating that there had been 1,173 such cases over two years when the real figure is nearly twice as high.
In a letter to David Davis, the shadow home secretary, Ms Smith wrote: "It has now come to light that some of this information was incorrect and the figure is in fact 2,079.;jsessionid=0IAYDZG0HYZV1QFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/24/nasylum124.xml

Passengers spend Christmas at airport

By Richard Holt, Aislinn Simpson and Gary Cleland Last Updated: 10:16am GMT 25/12/2007

Hundreds of people are spending Christmas in hotels after dozens of flights were cancelled yesterday as a result of adverse weather.
While most managed to continue their journeys by this morning, some transit passengers were stranded in hotels near Heathrow airport waiting after 28 flights were cancelled yesterday. Six flights were axed at Gatwick yesterday and six at London City airport.;jsessionid=R4YGGPDW5CW2XQFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/25/ntravel125.xml

Monday, December 24, 2007

Anger over plan to broadcast Muslim call to prayer on loudspeaker in Oxford

Last updated at 12:46pm on 24th December 2007

Outrage: Proposals for loudspeaker Muslim calls to prayer in central Oxford have been attacked by local residents
Muslim plans to broadcast a loudspeaker call to prayer from a city centre mosque have been attacked by local residents who say it would turn the area into a "Muslim ghetto".
Dozens of people packed out a council meeting to express their concerns over the plans for a two-minute long call to prayer to be issued three times a day, saying that it could drown out the traditional sound of church bells.

Elderly face theft risk as bank data is lost

By Rosa Prince Last Updated: 3:11am GMT 24/12/2007

Thousands of pensioners have received an apology from the Post Office after bank details were sent to the wrong addresses, it was disclosed yesterday as the Government faced new embarrassment over the mishandling of confidential information.
In a blunder that has exposed the elderly to the risk of theft, 5,500 letters were sent following fears that monthly Post Office card account statements were dispatched to the wrong customers.
The revelation will raise fears about the loss of confidential information in Government departments.;jsessionid=IX0UU2LZKSI3XQFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/24/ndata124.xml

Air chaos leaves passengers stranded

By Richard Holt, Aislinn Simpson and Gary Cleland Last Updated: 6:12pm GMT 24/12/2007

Hundreds of people are faced with spending Christmas in hotels after dozens of flights were cancelled as a result of adverse weather.
Although the fog which caused major disruption at Britain's airports on Sunday had lifted by early Christmas Eve, the knock-on effect left planes in the wrong place and many passengers unable to get to their Christmas destinations.;jsessionid=UHXTKVCGQ3CZJQFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/24/nfog524.xml

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Asylum returners take cash and stay

By Ben Leapman, Home Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 2:15am GMT 23/12/2007

Failed asylum seekers are drawing benefits to which they are not entitled by claiming that they are about to return home - only to continue to live in Britain for years.
The scam, which may have cost taxpayers millions of pounds, has come to light with the cases of four migrants who signed up for the Home Office's voluntary repatriation programme and who then went on to live off state handouts worth tens of thousands of pounds.;jsessionid=YQHFIN4MWOIBNQFIQMGSFF4AVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/23/nasylum123.xml

Data loss crisis spreads to the NHS

By Tom Chivers Last Updated: 9:05am GMT 23/12/2007

The data crisis has taken a new twist, as nine NHS trusts admitted losing personal information of patients.
Hundreds of thousands of patients could be affected, according to a newspaper report.
The news comes in the wake of the loss of 25 million child benefit claimants' details on two discs belonging to HM Revenue and Customs, as well as three million motorists' details in Iowa.;jsessionid=M4RI4AZJ1BDDFQFIQMGCFFOAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/23/ndata223.xml

Britain has become a 'Catholic country'

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones Last Updated: 2:30am GMT 23/12/2007

Roman Catholics have overtaken Anglicans as the country's dominant religious group. More people attend Mass every Sunday than worship with the Church of England, figures seen by The Sunday Telegraph show.
This means that the established Church has lost its place as the nation's most popular Christian denomination after more than four centuries of unrivalled influence following the Reformation.
Last night, leading figures gave warning that the Church of England could become a minority faith and that the findings should act as a wake-up call.;jsessionid=M4RI4AZJ1BDDFQFIQMGCFFOAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/23/nchurch123.xml

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Betrayal of stay-at-home mothers: 8m women lose state pensions after Government u-turn

By BENEDICT BROGAN Last updated at 12:34pm on 20th December 2007

More than eight million women who took time out of work to care for their children have lost their chance of a full state pension
More than eight million women who took time out of work to care for their children have lost their chance of a full state pension after a Christmas u-turn by the Government.
Ministers have dropped plans to give women with a partial pension entitlement the chance to make up the shortfall before they retire, it emerged last night.

Mohammed to overtake Jack as favourite name

By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 1:39am GMT 20/12/2007

Mohammed is on track to become the most popular boys' name in England and Wales by next year.
The name was second only to Jack in 2007, which has been top for the last 13 years.
But there were just 385 more children called Jack and because of the high birth rate among Muslim families, the name is set to become the most popular boy's name by next year.
While Mohammed is in 17th place, its position would be number two if all 14 variant spellings of the name were taken into account.

Channel 4 fined by Ofcom over phone-in fixes

By Duncan Hooper and agencies Last Updated: 11:56am GMT 20/12/2007

Channel 4 has been fined £1.5 million following phone-in scandals on Richard and Judy's You Say We Pay competition and Deal Or No Deal, presented by Noel Edmonds.
Finalists for the Richard and Judy quiz were picked before lines closed.
In Deal Or No Deal viewers entering the competition were not given an equal chance of winning because earlier calls were favoured.;jsessionid=GFWXGI1IGV3FNQFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/20/nbbc320.xml

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Three million L-drivers hit in lost data fiasco

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 2:19am GMT 18/12/2007

The personal details of three million learner drivers have been lost by the Government, ministers have admitted. Data went missing 'in a routine operation'
Further fiascos could see civil servants jailed. Private information held on teenagers and other people taking the driving theory test - including their names, addresses and phone numbers - have gone missing from a company in America.
Details of the people that sat the driving theory test between September 2004 and April 2007 were lost
In the latest such blunder by the Government, Ruth Kelly, the Transport Secretary, disclosed that the files held on a hard disc drive were lost at a facility in Iowa City last May.

Report slams elderly care home treatment

By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 2:22am GMT 18/12/2007

The appalling treatment of elderly people in care homes has been laid bare in a report which found some are dragged around by their hair, strapped into wheelchairs, locked in their rooms and sedated.
The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), describes how frail and vulnerable people are mistreated and often threatened or intimidated. Its 65-page report, Rights, Risks and Restraints, is based on a survey of 253 older people and their carers and an analysis of complaints and official inspection reports.

Is Britain in the grip of a knife crime epidemic?

Analysis by Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor Last Updated: 2:05am GMT 18/12/2007

The weekend murders of two more teenagers stabbed to death continue a gruesome trend that has been apparent throughout the year.
In London alone, more than a dozen young men have died in knife attacks.
Every week brings another story of a teenage life cut short by a blade-wielding killer.

Britons 'forced out of work by immigration'

Foreign workers push 100,000 young Britons into unemployment, report claims.

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 2:44am GMT 18/12/2007

More than 100,000 young Britons may have been pushed into unemployment by the new wave of Eastern European immigrants, an economic analysis on the impact of migration has revealed.
The study, by the influential Ernst & Young ITEM Club, found that although the recent influx has boosted Britain's economy and kept inflation low, it may have increased unemployment for younger Britons and reduced pay increases for all.
Recent immigrant employment may have come at a cost to the domestic workforce
Since 1997, 1.5 million foreign workers have entered the British workplace, with many of these arriving from Eastern Europe in the past three years since the European Union expansion. This new group typically earns 40 per cent less than British workers.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Row over payments to failed asylum seekers

By Ben Leapman, Home Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 2:31am GMT 16/12/2007

Thousands of failed asylum seekers have been flown out of Britain and set up in business back home in a £36 million taxpayer-funded scheme, it can be revealed.
The unwanted foreigners, who had no legal right to remain, were given free flights, handed £1,000 in cash at the airport, then paid a further £3,000 to start enterprises in their homelands.
More than 23,000 migrants have taken advantage of the scheme. Their UK-funded businesses range from market stalls to hotels and clothes factories, in countries as far-flung as South Africa, China and Colombia.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

'Desperate' stores slash prices for Christmas

By Harry Wallop Last Updated: 3:20am GMT 15/12/2007

Retailers are offering their biggest pre-Christmas discounts as the credit crisis takes its toll on High Street spending.
Prices are being slashed at big-name stores, including Argos, BHS, Debenhams, Halfords, Toys R Us and Boots, with 80 per cent off the cost of some gifts in a "desperate attempt" to woo reluctant shoppers.

Passengers to pay more for a worse service

By David Millward, Transport Editor Last Updated: 8:56am GMT 15/12/2007

Leading rail operators have been accused of cashing in on Christmas by charging passengers high fares despite long delays because of engineering work.
Thousands of people face diversions, being rerouted and even having to complete their journey by bus.
Travel chaos is predicted over the festive season
Cheap tickets have been snapped up, so passengers booking late will have to pay far dearer fares - some five times as much - even though their trip will take far longer.

Newsnight told a small story over a big one

By Charles Moore Last Updated: 9:01am GMT 15/12/2007

It is a weakness, no doubt, in a journalist, but I normally do not watch Newsnight, the BBC's "flagship" current affairs programme.
The programme's strange menu of preachy reports followed by all-in wrestling with Jeremy Paxman, does not, for me, round off the day pleasantly. I'd rather be in bed.
On Wednesday, however, I had to watch it. I am the chairman of the centre-Right think-tank Policy Exchange, and Policy Exchange was coming under Newsnight's attack.
On a day when the world's central banks were combining to rescue the global banking system, and when Gordon Brown was trying to think of a way of signing away Britain's independence in Lisbon without cameras, there were big things for the programme to lead on.
Instead, it presented a huge, 17-minute package about Policy Exchange.
Although Newsnight's portentousness was unjustified, the allegations did look serious. It should be said at once that they need proper investigation. But when you know the background, you come to see how very different this story is from the way Newsnight told it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gordon Brown dithers over EU treaty

By Bruno Waterfield in Lisbon and James Kirkup Last Updated: 3:13am GMT 14/12/2007

Gordon Brown has finally signed Britain up to the European Union Reform Treaty after an embarrassing period of dithering over whether to attend the formal signing ceremony in Lisbon.
Mr Brown signed the controversial document in a coach museum, having arrived late and missed a ceremony in the city's 500-year old Jeronimos monastery, which was attended by all of the other 26 EU leaders. As Mr Brown put pen to paper, most of the other leaders were still eating lunch.

Soldiers charged with embezzling jungle funds

By Gary Cleland Last Updated: 3:20am GMT 14/12/2007

Six soldiers, reportedly members of the SAS, were arrested yesterday and charged with embezzling thousands of pounds earmarked for jungle training.
The soldiers are the first in the history of the elite regiment to be publicly court martialled for such a serious criminal offence.
It is alleged that more than £250,000 was taken from a budget for exercises in Brunei and Borneo between 2003 and 2006.

Millions risking their health with excess booze

By Nick Britten, Rebecca Smith and Lucy Cockcroft Last Updated: 3:15am GMT 14/12/2007

Almost 13 million adults are risking their health by drinking too much because of a failure to appreciate both the increasing strength of alcoholic drinks and the trend for larger measures, Government statisticians have revealed.
Wine drinkers, and women in particular, may be at risk as the strength of the average bottle has increased from nine per cent in 1978 to 12.5 per cent today. Wine glasses have also increased in size.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Deprived UK children 'still trapped by poverty'

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor Last Updated: 2:23am GMT 13/12/2007

The gap between rich and poor has failed to narrow under Labour as class barriers remain as rigid as they were in the 1970s, according to research published today.
Despite billions being invested in education, children born in deprived homes are no more likely to escape the poverty trap than they were 30 years ago, it is claimed.
By the age of seven, bright children from poor backgrounds will be overtaken at school by less gifted pupils raised in the wealthiest families.

Army recruitment stepped up in Afghanistan

By Thomas Harding and James Kirkup Last Updated: 2:37am GMT 13/12/2007

Britain will have to recruit more soldiers to sustain a prolonged military mission in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister has indicated. Gordon Brown made the admission as he outlined a new long-term strategy to "isolate and eradicate" the Taliban.
Senior military figures believe that British troops could be in Afghanistan in large numbers for up to a decade, raising worries about the pressure on the over-stretched Army. It is also believed that the force in Iraq is being rapidly reduced in order to maintain a steady supply of troops for Afghanistan, where almost 8,000 are deployed.

Police 'at war' with Government over pay

By Andrew Porter, John Steele and Megan Levy Last Updated: 11:22am GMT 13/12/2007

The largest police federation in the UK has declared that its officers are now "at war" with the Government over a pay dispute.
The Metropolitan Police Federation today accused ministers of attempting to "trample on the well-being" of rank-and-file police officers, and attacked the Metropolitan Police Authority for its "shameful silence" over the dispute.
The Police Federation have passed a vote of no confidence in the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith

Up to 11,000 migrants work illegally in security

By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor Last Updated: 1:35pm GMT 13/12/2007

Up to 11,000 foreign nationals could be working illegally in the security industry, the Home Secretary told MPs.
This is more than double the number previously admitted by the Government - and one in four of all the non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals licensed to work as guards.
Jacqui Smith said checks had found that nearly 40,000 non-EEA citizens had been given licences by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the government agency that checks whether they have a criminal record.
Of these, 6,653 do not have a right to work in the UK and a further 4,447 have not be able to show they are entitled to work.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Anti-drink adverts 'are backfiring'

By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:14am GMT 10/12/2007

Health campaigns highlighting the consequences of drinking too much could be failing because young people take pride in their drunken exploits, according to state-funded research.
Advertisements that show someone being thrown out of a nightclub, being carried home or passing out in a doorway are often seen by young people as a typical story of a fun night out, rather than as a cautionary tale, it is claimed.

MoD blunders leave Forces short of pay

By Gary Cleland Last Updated: 2:14am GMT 10/12/2007

Thousands of British Service personnel will be left desperately short of money this Christmas because problems with a new computer system have held up their salaries.
Some have gone five months without receiving their full pay and are having to request regiment hardship funds to cover household bills, while some reservist TA officers have not been paid at all.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Homeopathic remedies 'put lives at risk'

By Lucy Cockcroft Last Updated: 6:41am GMT 07/12/2007

The Government's chief scientific adviser gave warning yesterday that people who use homeopathic medicines could be putting their lives at risk.
Sir David King said homeopathy was of no medical use whatsoever and that those who trusted it to cure serious health problems could be causing themselves more harm than good.

Warning of slump as Bank cuts rates to 5.5pc

By Harry Wallop, Edmund Conway and Andrew Porter Last Updated: 2:25am GMT 07/12/2007

The Bank of England admitted for the first time yesterday that the economy is facing a serious slow-down because of the global credit crisis.
After announcing the first interest rate cut for two years, the bank issued a statement saying that growth had begun to slow, with serious potential knock-on effects for the economy's overall output.
The warning, the starkest yet from the bank, came as the western world's leading economic authority issued a warning on Britain's faltering property market.

Supermarkets fined for dairy price fixing

By Richard Blackden Last Updated: 9:07am GMT 07/12/2007

Supermarket giant J Sainsbury has agreed to pay £26m to the Office of Fair Trading to settle a long-running investigation into the price fixing of milk, cheese and butter.
The OFT concluded in September that supermarkets including Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda has colluded to fix the prices of milk and cheese, costing shoppers an estimated £270m.
In a short statement today, the OFT said it had concluded settlements with Asda, Dairy Crest, Safeway, Sainsbury’s, The Cheese Company and Wiseman.;jsessionid=TT25UTDZMC55HQFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/money/2007/12/07/bcnmilk107.xml

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Thursday December 6,2007

Town hall chiefs have warned of inflation-busting council tax rises as they accused ministers of starving them of enough cash to fund essential services.
Local government minister John Healey is due to tell MPs there is "no excuse" for big rises as he sets out a "fair and affordable" three-year funding settlement.

Cheating primaries have test results cancelled

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor Last Updated: 3:00am GMT 06/12/2007

Teachers condemned the excessive pressure of national tests yesterday as it emerged that a string of primary schools had been stripped of their results for cheating.
Full league tables: Primary schools from best to worst | Primary schools A-Z
Official inquiries at five schools in England uncovered irregularities in tests taken by 11-year-olds this summer.
In some cases, schools were found to have doctored papers after the examinations.

Government proposes 42-day terror detention

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor, and Richard Holt
Last Updated: 11:18am GMT 06/12/2007

The Government wants to increase the period terrorist suspects can be held without charge to 42 days, Jacqui Smith has confirmed.
The Home Secretary said: "We are proposing that where there is a compelling operational need, the Home Secretary can extend the operational limit that a terrorist can be held for up to a maximum of 42 days.;jsessionid=30X3PW5CTET4DQFIQMGCFFOAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/06/ndetain206.xml

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Prisoners 'to be released early' despite jail plan

By Christopher Hope, Home Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 4:58pm GMT 05/12/2007

The prisons crisis is set to get worse next summer with overcrowding likely to force ministers to free thousands of convicted criminals early, a major Government review has warned.
Lord Carter of Coles' review of the prisons service (pdf) In full: Jack Straw's statement on the Carter report
Judges could also face pressure to take into account prisons overcrowding into account when sentencing. At the end of last month the prison population stood at 81,454
The news came despite Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, announcing an extra 10,500 prison places and plans for three new super-prisons to house Britain's most dangerous prisoners.
A Government-sponsored review by Lord Carter of Coles forecast that by next summer there will be a shortage of 3,000 prison places in England and Wales.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Video released of five Britons held hostage in Iraq

Allegra Stratton and agencies Tuesday December 4, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

A video of five British citizens kidnapped in Iraq and held since May has been aired on Al Arabiya television today.
The video calls for British forces to withdraw from the country or the kidnappers would kill one of their five hostages.
The video showed a statement in which the group threatened that "this hostage will be killed as a first warning, which would be followed with details that you would not wish to know".,,2221759,00.html

Peter Hain caught up in Labour funding row

By Robert Winnett and Andrew Porter Last Updated: 6:43am GMT 04/12/2007Page 1 of 3

The Labour funding scandal has taken a fresh twist as another Cabinet minister was forced to admit he had banked "hidden" donations.
Peter Hain, the Work and Pensions Secretary, admitted that he had not registered all the donations to his unsuccessful deputy leadership campaign with electoral watchdogs as is legally required.

UK 'among Europe's worst' for cancer funding

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor Last Updated: 12:25am GMT 04/12/2007

The UK is lagging behind "nearly every other" European country when it comes to investment in cancer services and has some of the poorest survival rates for the disease.
The Government came under fire yesterday after its wide-ranging report into cancer services revealed its woeful under-investment in tackling the problem compared to other Western countries.
In England, just £80 per head of population is spent on cancer compared to £121 per head in France and £143 per head in Germany. Just 5.6 per cent of the total health budget is spent on cancer compared to 7.7 per cent in France, 9.2 per cent in the United States and 9.6 per cent in Germany.

Cancer cases 'to hit 300,000 annually'

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor, and Gary Cleland Last Updated: 6:14am GMT 04/12/2007

England is facing a cancer timebomb, with cases of the disease predicted to rise by a third within 15 years.
Figures show that one in five patients wait over a month to be seen by a specialist
An ageing population, a rise in "lifestyle" cancers and the obesity epidemic will see the number of people diagnosed with the disease rise from 230,000 a year to almost 300,000 by 2020.

Anger as fines from speed cameras soar

By James Kirkup and David Millward Last Updated: 7:00am GMT 04/12/2007

Almost two million speeding tickets are being issued to motorists each year following Labour's vast expansion of the speed camera network, official figures disclosed last night.
Since the party came to power, the number of fixed penalty notices for speeding has almost trebled from 700,000 a year to more than 1.9 million, the Government statistics showed.

Top terror officer Andy Hayman to retire

By Natalie Paris and agencies Last Updated: 3:29pm GMT 04/12/2007

Britain's most senior anti-terror police officer today announced he is to step down, after reports that he was facing an investigation into his expenses claims and following criticism of his role in the aftermath of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.
Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman has denied any wrongdoing and described the criticism as "hurtful".

Sunday, December 2, 2007

MoD braced for row over Nimrod crash report

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent, and Stephen Adams Last Updated: 3:46am GMT 03/12/2007

Fresh questions over Britain's defence budget are set to be raised this week when an official report is published into why an RAF surveillance plane exploded over Afghanistan last year, killing 14.
The Ministry of Defence is braced for criticism when a board of inquiry announces its findings into the loss of the 37-year-old Nimrod MR2 aircraft.
Bereaved families believe the crash, which resulted in the biggest loss of British servicemen's lives in a single incident since the Falklands conflict, was the result of "incompetence and lack of funding".

Wendy Alexander accused in donations row

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 3:46am GMT 03/12/2007

Gordon Brown has suffered another blow in the illegal donations row as one of his staunchest allies came under intense pressure to resign with Labour facing a second criminal inquiry into the scandal.
Wendy Alexander, the leader of Scottish Labour, is fighting accusations that she was aware that an offshore benefactor made a donation to her leadership campaign.

Children living in poverty 'up by 200,000'

By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 3:46am GMT 03/12/2007

The number of children living in poverty rose by 200,000 in 12 months, according to a damning report which highlights the Government's failure to tackle the problem.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said Gordon Brown's approach to poverty needed a "radical rethink" and was "now largely exhausted".

Navy would struggle to fight a war - report

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent Last Updated: 3:44am GMT 03/12/2007

The Royal Navy can no longer fight a major war because of years of under­funding and cutbacks, a leaked Whitehall report has revealed.
With an "under-resourced" fleet composed of "ageing and operationally defective ships", the Navy would struggle even to repeat its role in the Iraq war and is now "far more vulnerable to unexpected shocks", the top-level Ministry of Defence document says.
The report was ordered by Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, who had intended to use it to "counter criticism" on the state of the Navy in the media and from opposition parties.;jsessionid=XTJRDREULNQOLQFIQMFSFFWAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/12/02/navy102.xml