Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Are you living in fear of Britain's teenagers?

Millions of adults are living in fear of Britain’s young people, according to a new survey which has found that one in five have been victimised 'by teenagers' during the past year.

New stop and search powers planned

By Andrew Porter Last Updated: 10:41am GMT 30/01/2008

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to overhaul stop and search powers in a bid to tackle rising gun and knife crime.
Police require permission from senior officers to stop and search
A report by former RUC chief Sir Ronnie Flanaghan was delivered to the Home Office and Downing Street yesterday.;jsessionid=YXURIINGZFBCBQFIQMGSFF4AVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/30/nsearch130.xml

Firm finds nearly 3.7m pay highest income tax

By Toby Helm, Public Policy Editor Last Updated: 2:08am GMT 30/01/2008

The number of people paying the highest level of income tax has almost doubled since Labour came to power, according to recent statistics.
The statistics show that the number paying tax at 40 per cent will have increased from just over two million in 1997 to almost 3.7 million by the end of this financial year.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fanatic wanted to kill British soldier 'like a pig'

By Martina Smit Last Updated: 2:16pm GMT 29/01/2008

An Islamist fanatic has admitted to hatching a plot to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier "like a pig" in a lock-up garage, a court has heard.
The suspects were arrested during high-profile raids in Birmingham last January.
Parviz Khan, 38, an unemployed charity worker, planned to film the beheading and post the footage on the internet, Leicester Crown Court was told.;jsessionid=BDQLYZLSCOPQDQFIQMFSFFOAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/29/nkidnap329.xml

Education gap has widened under Labour

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor Last Updated: 2:27am GMT 29/01/2008

The educational gulf between rich and poor has widened over the last 20 years as more middle-class teenagers go to university, according to a report published today.
They benefited significantly from an expansion in higher education places under the Conservatives and Labour, it is claimed.;jsessionid=BDQLYZLSCOPQDQFIQMFSFFOAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/29/nedu129.xml

Phones tapped at the rate of 1,000 a day

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent Last Updated: 2:33am GMT 29/01/2008

Britain is in danger of becoming a "surveillance state" as authorities including councils launch bugging operations against 1,000 people a day.
Councils, police and intelligence services are tapping and intercepting the phone calls, emails and letters of hundreds of thousands of people every year, an official report said.;jsessionid=BDQLYZLSCOPQDQFIQMFSFFOAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/29/ntap129.xml

Cameron suspends Derek Conway over cash

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 1:42pm GMT 29/01/2008

Derek Conway, the senior MP under fire for making improper payments to his teenage son, has been suspended from the parliamentary Conservative Party after it emerged that he paid a total of more than £260,000 to members of his immediate family in the past six years.
David Cameron, the Conservative leader who had stood by Mr Conway, said he had personally decided to withdraw the whip after asking chief whip Patrick McLoughlin to speak to the senior Tory backbencher this morning.;jsessionid=HQZNKPDILWOOTQFIQMFSFFOAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/29/nconway429.xml

Monday, January 28, 2008

Violence blamed on binge drinking

Police have introduced a range of measures to tackle binge-drinking
Nearly 70% of casualty admissions in a north Staffordshire town are alcohol-related, according to a police report.
Staffordshire Police say the number of people binge drinking in Newcastle-under-Lyme has increased, along with associated violence and drink-driving.
At weekends up to 20,000 people go out in the town, and some nights there may only be 10 police officers on duty.


By Nick Fagge Monday January 28,2008

POLICE are struggling to cope with a wave of violent crime caused by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, one of Britain’s senior officers has warned.
Mike Fuller, Chief Constable of Kent, says his force is being stretched to the limit by the huge numbers flocking into the UK.

Many elderly denied care in their own homes

By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 2:14am GMT 28/01/2008

The drastic tightening of rules affecting which elderly people qualify for state-funded care in their own homes has left hundreds of thousands bereft of help and in dire straits, a report published on Tuesday is expected to say.
The report, by the care watchdog, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, comes as dozens of councils in England start to "pay by the minute" for care which elderly people receive in their own homes.;jsessionid=ETP2MNSW0AFTPQFIQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/28/nold128.xml

Alan Johnson engulfed in new donations row

By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent and Gary Cleland Last Updated: 2:10am GMT 28/01/2008

Gordon Brown’s Government appeared mired in sleaze on Sunday as a third Cabinet senior minister became engulfed in a row over donations.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson declared he was "100 per cent honest" after it emerged a donor to his deputy leadership campaign had given cash on behalf of a relative, and had no interest himself in politics.;jsessionid=ETP2MNSW0AFTPQFIQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/27/npols627.xml

Property prices fall as buyers stay away

By Harry Wallop Last Updated: 2:14am GMT 28/01/2008

House prices have fallen for the fourth month in a row, according to the latest survey, which highlights the worsening state of the property market.
As buyers stay away from the market, sellers are being forced to cut their asking prices, and homes are taking longer to sell than at any time in the last seven years.;jsessionid=ETP2MNSW0AFTPQFIQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/28/nmoney328.xml

Friday, January 25, 2008

Survey finds millions of Britons without savings

Reports by Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 2:53am GMT 25/01/2008

The nation's "spend today, pay for it tomorrow" culture has been revealed by a new survey showing that 13 million adults have no financial savings or investments.
The report into the nation's economic well-being shows that one in three has no financial security blanket, leaving them dangerously exposed at a time of impending recession and job insecurity.;jsessionid=FNLA0H1YPXDTNQFIQMGSFGGAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/25/nsave125.xml

New mothers failed by NHS, says watchdog

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor Last Updated: 8:41am GMT 25/01/2008

Mothers are being failed by the NHS, it has been claimed, after a report branded half of "crumbling" maternity units fair or weak.
A shortage of midwives means mothers and babies are often sent home before they are ready and do not receive the help they need to start breastfeeding, said the Healthcare Commission.;jsessionid=FNLA0H1YPXDTNQFIQMGSFGGAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/25/nhs125.xml

28 gun crimes committed in UK every day

By Christopher Hope, Home Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 10:50pm GMT 24/01/2008

The spiralling problem with gun culture was highlighted by figures that show 28 firearms crimes are committed in England and Wales every day.
Home Office figures showed gun crimes rose by four per cent last year, the largest increase for three years.;jsessionid=FNLA0H1YPXDTNQFIQMGSFGGAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/24/nguns324.xml

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Migrants add to pressure as council tax soars

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 1:24pm GMT 24/01/2008

The typical council tax bill will rise above inflation to £1,145 this year, an authoritative study discloses.
The Local Government Association said proposed council tax rises drawn up by 102 councils showed the average increase would be about four per cent.
The imminent council tax rises will come as a blow to hard-pressed families already facing above-inflation rises in grocery costs, energy bills and petrol prices.;jsessionid=PWLBOKSBCUOTHQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/24/nmigrants124.xml

Police challenge pay 'betrayal' in the courts

By Christopher Hope and John Steele Last Updated: 6:38am GMT 24/01/2008

Police officers have launched a High Court battle to overturn the Government decision to ignore an independent panel and cap this year's pay award at 1.9 per cent.
Yesterday more than 22,000 off-duty officers marched through Westminster to protest about the pay deal in the biggest gathering of police officers in Britain's history.;jsessionid=PWLBOKSBCUOTHQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/24/npolice124.xml

Gun crime up as Smith says UK safer than ever

By Christopher Hope, Home Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 3:05pm GMT 24/01/2008

Gun crimes rose by four per cent last year - the largest increase for three years - with more one incident a day reported by police in England and Wales.
Jacqui Smith pledged to tighten the police's grip on violent crime in 2008
Police chiefs said the figures were concerning, while Tories said the figures showed that Labour was "failing to combat both violent crime and its causes".;jsessionid=SGNRTVIL3VPL3QFIQMFSFF4AVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/24/nguns324.xml

Peter Hain resigns over funding row

By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent Last Updated: 3:29pm GMT 24/01/2008

Peter Hain has resigned after police launched a criminal investigation into his failure to declare donations to his unsuccessful Labour deputy leadership campaign.
The Work and Pensions Secretary phoned Downing Street at 11.30 this morning to tell Gordon Brown the Electoral Commission had referred his case to the Metropolitan Police.;jsessionid=TSKBX1A0N2BWHQFIQMFSFF4AVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/24/nhain324.xml

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

British NGO: UK taxes fund PA hate education


British taxpayers are funding hate education and violence in the Middle East, according to a new report published by a British NGO over the weekend.
In the first of a series of papers analyzing the effectiveness of Britain's overseas aid, the Tax Payers Alliance (TPA), which lobbies for lower taxes and better government, has published a report looking at the effects of British aid spending in the Palestinian territories.

Extremists turn attention to Muslim women

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor Last Updated: 2:12am GMT 22/01/2008

Growing numbers of young Muslim women are being "groomed" by extremists, the Government has warned.
They are becoming targets for radical groups linked to al-Qa'eda that are attempting to recruit impressionable young people in Britain, it is claimed.
Radical groups are thought to be attempting to recruit impressionable young people in Britain
The disclosure is made in new guidance designed to clamp down on extremism on university campuses.;jsessionid=1GITR3JTFNL43QFIQMGSFGGAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/22/nmuslim122.xml

FTSE 100 stabilises after slump

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor and Richard Blackden
Last Updated: 9:25am GMT 22/01/2008

The FTSE 100 stabilised in early morning trading as investors' digested yesterday's slump, which was the steepest for the index since the Sept 11 terrorist attacks.
The index dropped sharply to 5441.1 at the open hours after all of Asia's major stock markets plummeted, continuing the bloodbath in share prices that saw London's FTSE 100 yesterday suffer its biggest one-day fall since the 9/11 terror attacks.;jsessionid=NL2IW3QLJJUAJQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/money/2008/01/22/bcnftse122.xml

Monday, January 21, 2008

Channel 4 film attacks Ken Livingstone's 'astonishing and shocking drinking habits'

By SIMON WALTERS Last updated at 20:41pm on 20th January 2008

Ken Livingstone has been filmed allegedly swigging whisky at official meetings.
TV documentary footage is said to show London's mayor drinking in City Hall at 10am while in session with London Assembly members.
He is also alleged to have been seen repeatedly drinking "an amber liquid" at a question-and-answer session with voters in Ilford on October 25.
An undercover reporter for Channel 4's Dispatches managed to obtain a sample of the liquid and the programme says scientific analysis showed it was 47 per cent alcohol.

500,000 fake guns a month reach Britain

By CHARLOTTE GILL Last updated at 15:17pm on 21st January 2008

Up to half a million replica guns are flooding into Britain each year just through one port alone, police revealed today.
The imitation weapons, which can be converted into real guns in a matter of hours, are bringing terror onto the UK's streets.
Uzis, Berettas and AK47 rifles are among the huge stash of firearms being shipped in from across the globe by importers at Felixstowe in Suffolk.

'It's not safe to walk the streets after dark', admits Home Secretary skewered in kebab farce

By JAMES SLACK Last updated at 12:43pm on 21st January 2008

Jacqui Smith suffered a barrage of criticism yesterday after admitting she would not feel safe walking the streets after dark.
Opposition MPs said the Home Secretary had made an "admission of failure" to the millions of shift-workers who have no option but to brave the threat of violence.

Northern Rock deal is 'economic incompetence'

Robert Winnett and Andrew Porter Last Updated: 1:51pm GMT 21/01/2008

Government plans to rescue Northern Rock with more than £50bn in state-backed loans and guarantees have been dismissed by the Conservatives as an act of "economic incompetence" which could saddle taxpayers with massive debts for decades to come.
This morning, the Treasury unveiled plans to turn the £25bn loaned by the Bank of England to Northern Rock into bonds, which will be sold to investors and guaranteed by the Treasury. The scheme was devised by investment bank Goldman Sachs.;jsessionid=33SK0SL3EGBK5QFIQMFSFFWAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/money/2008/01/21/bcnrock621.xml

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kit shortages put troops' lives at risk

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent Last Updated: 1:54am GMT 19/01/2008

Thousands of troops had their lives endangered when they were sent to Afghanistan without essential equipment due to Government dithering, a damning report obtained by The Daily Telegraph shows.
The revelation is contained in a document which forms part of the Board of Inquiry report into the death of paratrooper Capt James Philippson of 7 Para, Royal Horse Artillery, which it partially blames on shortages of vital kit including night vision goggles and machine guns.;jsessionid=MZ0CSGS4J4TTNQFIQMGCFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/19/ntroops119.xml

Migration by Poles 'out of control'

By Harry de Quetteville Last Updated: 1:45am GMT 19/01/2008

A senior British diplomat has admitted that Polish immigration to Britain has spun out of control.
Paul Fox, who is consul general at the British Embassy in Warsaw, said that the influx of Poles in the last three years was "one of the largest immigrations Britain has ever seen, in such a short time".
He said that it was a "miracle" it had not sparked ethnic clashes.
More than two million Poles have left Poland since it joined the European Union in 2004, with up to one million heading to Britain and Ireland.;jsessionid=MZ0CSGS4J4TTNQFIQMGCFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/19/npoles119.xml

Pensioner who shouted at yobs ends up in cells

Last Updated: 1:44am GMT 19/01/2008

A pensioner who stepped in to stop youths throwing stones at ducks on a canal was arrested by police.
Bill Marshall was expecting officers to investigate his complaints about being repeatedly taunted by the gang. Instead the 73-year-old great-grandfather was taken to a cell and accused of attacking the teenagers.;jsessionid=MZ0CSGS4J4TTNQFIQMGCFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/19/nhaveago119.xml

'School for scandal' teacher escapes prison

By Duncan Gardham Last Updated: 1:45am GMT 19/01/2008

A teacher from a school where two staff members have already been jailed for affairs with pupils walked free from court yesterday after admitting a relationship with a schoolgirl.
Terry Mann, 45, was investigated for having a relationship with a teenager while working at the same school as Ian Blott, 55, and Steven Edwards, 35, who were both imprisoned last year for affairs with 15-year-old-girls.;jsessionid=MZ0CSGS4J4TTNQFIQMGCFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/19/nteach119.xml

MoD loses data of 600,000 would-be recruits

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 8:53am GMT 19/01/2008

The personal details of 600,000 people interested in joining the Armed Forces have been lost after a laptop belonging to a Royal Navy officer was stolen, the Ministry of Defence has said.
The latest data loss incident involving a Government department is potentially the most serious as recruits to the Armed Forces are targets for terrorists.
The laptop was stolen from a vehicle parked overnight in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham a week ago but the theft was only made public late last night.;jsessionid=TTKEZDIHHYZM3QFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/19/ndata119.xml

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

MoD criticised over soldiers' compensation

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent Last Updated: 2:28am GMT 16/01/2008

Families of injured soldiers have attacked the Government for failing to increase its compensation settlement for those hurt in battle to more than £285,000.
In a move first announced in October, the Ministry of Defence said the proposals to award the most seriously wounded soldiers a lump sum of £285,000 would now go ahead from next month.
But MoD officials admitted the package would only benefit 20 Servicemen. Military charities said that would leave dozens of other seriously injured Servicemen with insufficient support.;jsessionid=ZW4HM5CFO2LXXQFIQMGSFGGAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/16/nmod116.xml

Illegal security workers 'given NI numbers'

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent Last Updated: 2:28am GMT 16/01/2008

Thousands of foreign nationals who took jobs illegally as security guards may have been issued with national insurance numbers, it emerged last night.
The disclosure adds to Government embarrassment over the fiasco, which saw illegal immigrants working in sensitive areas, including guarding the Prime Minister's car.;jsessionid=ZW4HM5CFO2LXXQFIQMGSFGGAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/16/nworkers116.xml

Muslim M&S worker 'refused to touch Bible'

By Nick Britten Last Updated: 2:29am GMT 16/01/2008

Marks and Spencer has launched an investigation after a customer claimed a Muslim shop assistant refused to handle a Bible she was buying.
Sally Friday said she felt “humiliated” after going to the till to pay for a First Bible Stories for her young grandson.
She said the woman behind the till refused to touch the book once she realised what it was, and made a reference to a fellow worker about being “unclean”.

Damaged pavements 'injure thousands'

By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 2:28am GMT 16/01/2008

Thousands of elderly people are being seriously injured each year because councils are failing to repair broken and uneven pavements, a report claims today.
The figures lay bare the shameful state of England's footways, disclosing that as many as one in four is in need of repair. Those in Yorkshire and Humberside are said to be most at risk from poorly maintained streets, with a third of pavements in the region needing repair.
Physiotherapists say they see hundreds of elderly people each week who have been injured falling over, mainly because of uneven pavements. Falls are said to cost the NHS almost £1 billion a year.;jsessionid=ZW4HM5CFO2LXXQFIQMGSFGGAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/16/npaving116.xml

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

'White flight' increasing, race chief says

By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor Last Updated: 10:01am GMT 15/01/2008

The flight of the white middle classes from the inner cities is accelerating, the Government's race relations chief has said.
Trevor Phillips said so-called ''white flight" - an American phenomenon now increasingly seen here - was deepening racial segregation.
Mr Phillips has warned in the past of the growing polarisation of the country along ethnic lines.

Food cost increase adds £750 to annual bill

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent Last Updated: 7:06am GMT 15/01/2008

Food prices are accelerating at their fastest rate since records began, fuelling a rise in the average family's shopping bill of £750 a year.
Official figures showed wholesale food prices rose by 7.4 per cent in the past 12 months - more than three times the headline rate of inflation.;jsessionid=UG3M3UYHF3DFXQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/15/nfood115.xml

British birds face potential eco-disaster

By Charles Clover, Environment Editor Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 15/01/2008

Familiar British bird species will be driven hundreds of miles further north by the end of the century because of the "potentially disastrous" impact of global warming, according to a new book.
If man-made climate change persists at the present rate, eight species including the Scottish crossbill, the snow bunting, pintail and osprey may face total extinction in Britain by 2100 as rising temperatures reduce the areas they can live in, it is claimed.;jsessionid=UG3M3UYHF3DFXQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/earth/2008/01/15/eabirds115.xml

UK foreign interventions as a middling power

By Simon Heffer Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 12/01/2008

It's awfully difficult to be a middling power. If you are a great power - and there are hardly any of those now - you can follow your instincts in international affairs, call the tune and, to a certain extent, manage the consequences: unless you happen to be the Americans in Iraq, of course.
If you are a small power - in other words, if you don't really have any power at all - you will usually find yourself standing on the sidelines watching the bigger boys play, and occasionally get picked to be on their team if it suits their purpose to have you.
But if you are neither big nor small, like Britain - what to do? A country like ours is not so small that it doesn't feel it has some weight to throw around in the world, but not so big that it can throw it with any confidence - except in concert with others.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Delays on road and rail as winter hits the west

By Paul Stokes Last Updated: 12:29am GMT 12/01/2008

Snow showers and heavy rain hit Britain yesterday, bringing travel chaos to roads and train services.
The snow fell on many parts of the south west, causing tailbacks on motorways - with the M5 between Bristol and Gloucester reduced to one lane - while there were heavier falls on higher ground.
Other parts of western England and south Wales were hit by severe flooding after torrential rainfall, leading to major disruption for thousands of rail passengers.;jsessionid=IOMB1WLJA4EHRQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/12/nsnow112.xml

Britain in grip of norovirus as cases hit 3m

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor Last Updated: 9:24am GMT 12/01/2008

Three million people have been struck down by the winter vomiting bug - with experts fearing that cases could rise through this month and next.
The norovirus season began a month earlier than normal this winter. Cases of the bug increased rapidly, with more than 200,000 people a week now catching the infection, official figures claim.
Hospitals struggling to cope have closed hundreds of wards to new patients. Three hospitals have been put on red alert because of a critical shortage of beds caused by people falling ill with the bug.;jsessionid=IOMB1WLJA4EHRQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/12/nnoro112.xml

Peter Hain: Donations cover-up claim is absurd

By Patrick Sawer Last Updated: 7:12pm GMT 12/01/2008

Beleaguered Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain came out fighting today, saying it was “absurd” to suggest he had tried to cover up donations to his deputy leadership campaign.
In response to mounting calls for his resignation, Mr Hain said he would “get on” with his cabinet jobs.
Peter Hain has the full confidence of the Prime Minister, said Downing Street.
He said he would now make immediate arrangements to repay £25,000 given to him as an interest free loan by wealthy diamond dealer Willie Nagel.;jsessionid=0PWN4H5UAHJUZQFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/12/nhain612.xml

Friday, January 11, 2008

Abuse of cannabis puts 500 a week in hospital

By James Kirkup and Richard Edwards Last Updated: 2:48am GMT 11/01/2008

The public health impact of the Government's decision to downgrade cannabis is disclosed today in official figures showing a 50 per cent rise in the number of people requiring medical treatment after using the drug.
Since cannabis was downgraded from a Class B to a Class C drug, the number of adults being treated in hospitals and clinics in England for its effects has risen to more than 16,500 a year. In addition, the number of children needing medical attention after smoking the drug has risen to more than 9,200.;jsessionid=CCFT03BLULJBXQFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/11/ncnbis111.xml

Thursday, January 10, 2008

UK the 'third most expensive country to live in'

By Aislinn Simpson Last Updated: 2:08am GMT 10/01/2008

Britain is the third most expensive country in the world in which to maintain a good standard of living, research shows.
With the exception of France and Norway money would go further in every other country in the world, according to a poll carried out for high street bank HSBC.

Schools failing 500,000 pupils

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor and Lucy Cockcroft Last Updated: 8:40am GMT 10/01/2008

More than half a million children are being taught in under-performing schools, official league tables show today.
They are languishing in comprehensives where fewer than 30 per cent of pupils leave with five good GCSEs, including the vital subjects of English and mathematics.
Gordon Brown insisted last year that it was "no longer acceptable" for schools to fall below the key benchmark and warned that those failing to improve by 2012 would be closed or taken over.

British at risk from contaminated US blood

By Laura Clout Last Updated: 3:06am GMT 10/01/2008

British soldiers have been put at risk of contracting deadly diseases from contaminated American blood, it was claimed last night.
The 18 servicemen received emergency blood transfusions at American field hospitals after being seriously wounded in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
British servicemen severely injured in combat received blood transfusions from batches that were not properly screened

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Veil row magistrate reprimanded

A magistrate has been reprimanded for refusing to deal with the case of a Muslim woman because she was wearing a veil covering her face.
Ian Murray walked out of court when Zoobia Hussain, 32, first appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court in June.
Ms Hussain, from Crumpsall, who was accused of criminal damage, was wearing a veil covering her entire face.
The Office of Judicial Complaints said Mr Murray had been given a formal reprimand and further training.
He left the hearing without explaining why, but said later he felt the way Ms Hussain was dressed, in a niqab, raised identity issues.

Examination flaws give pupils wrong grades

By Graeme Paton, Education Editor Last Updated: 1:53am GMT 08/01/2008

Almost a third of pupils are being given the wrong grades at school because of flaws in examinations, academics have claimed.
Thousands may be denied places at grammar school or university as marks fail to match ability. Experts said forcing students to sit exams after two- or three-year courses could produce inaccurate results.;jsessionid=KQZD13TAWOWM1QFIQMGSFF4AVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/08/nexams108.xml

Blood stocks dangerously low because of virus

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor Last Updated: 1:53am GMT 08/01/2008

The health service is running dangerously low on blood as the winter vomiting bug means donors have stayed away.
Around two million people across the country are thought to have caught norovirus so far this winter, with cases expected to peak over the next few weeks.;jsessionid=KQZD13TAWOWM1QFIQMGSFF4AVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/08/nbug108.xml

Man pleads guilty to planning terrorist acts

By Duncan Hooper and agencies Last Updated: 1:47pm GMT 08/01/2008

A 29-year-old man has admitted planning to fly to Pakistan to carry out "acts of terrorism".
Sohail Qureshi is the first person to be convicted under a new law covering those found to be preparing terror attacks.
He was arrested at Heathrow Airport in October 2006 carrying thousands of pounds in cash, a night sight, medical supplies and computer material for terrorist purposes.;jsessionid=KQZD13TAWOWM1QFIQMGSFF4AVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/08/nterror108.xml

Monday, January 7, 2008

Cost of home loan highest in seven years

By Edmund Conway, Harry Wallop and Robert Winnett Last Updated: 12:40pm GMT 07/01/2008

The cost of the typical home loan has soared to a seven-year high with families facing mortgage bills more than 20 per cent higher than two years ago as the effects of the credit crunch take their toll.
Bank of England figures show that the typical homeowner is paying £135 more a month for their mortgage than last year, prompting fears of a rise in home repossessions as people struggle to pay debts.

Bishop warns of no-go zones for non-Muslims

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones Last Updated: 1:31am GMT 07/01/2008

Islamic extremists have created "no-go" areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter, one of the Church of England's most senior bishops warns today.
The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester and the Church's only Asian bishop, says that people of a different race or faith face physical attack if they live or work in communities dominated by a strict Muslim ideology.

Ex-minister in new row with junior doctors

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor Last Updated: 1:28am GMT 07/01/2008

Hundreds of junior doctors are doubling up on jobs and wasting millions of pounds in wages after a promise made by Patricia Hewitt, the former health secretary, backfired.
As the junior doctor recruitment system collapsed in chaos last summer Mrs Hewitt said any doctor currently working in the NHS could continue in their job until the end of the year.
But these doctors have been displaced by new trainees who were recruited into the posts that were supposed to have been made vacant.;jsessionid=WPRLYY5FYFBL5QFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/07/ndocs107.xml

Students who overstay visas 'not deported'

By Sophie Borland Last Updated: 9:28am GMT 07/01/2008

Foreign students who overstay their visas are not being deported as they are not regarded as a high priority by the Home Office, it was reported last night.
As part of a recent change in the laws, designed to crack down on student overstayers, people who apply to extend their visas for study purposes can be turned down.
According to a leaked memo, however, officials are rarely sending students home when their request to stay in the country longer is turned down because they are not regarded as a high enough priority.;jsessionid=WPRLYY5FYFBL5QFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/07/nstudent107.xml

Thursday, January 3, 2008

'More bad news to come' on data loss

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 11:57pm GMT 02/01/2008

The personal data scandal may be far worse than the Government has admitted MPs warn today, as they announce that there are more cases to come.
Gordon Brown and his ministers have yet to disclose the full extent of the losses, which stem from a "truly shocking" series of failures to protect the public's information, a report says.
This follows a "widespread problem within government" which has put personal data at risk, an influential Commons committee says.;jsessionid=KBBCMC1BM4CO3QFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/03/ndata103.xml

The misery continues for rail travellers

By David Millward and Gordon Rayner Last Updated: 2:06am GMT 03/01/2008

Rail passengers face more misery as Network Rail announce that holiday engineering works will overrun for at least another day.
The Office of Rail Regulation, the industry watchdog, announced an urgent inquiry into the fiasco on the West Coast main line, which will have affected 300,000 rail travellers by the end of this week.;jsessionid=KBBCMC1BM4CO3QFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/03/nrail103.xml

Tax credit blow to working families

By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent Last Updated: 1:11am GMT 03/01/2008

Gordon Brown's flagship tax credit policy is penalising working families while rewarding unemployed single parents, a leading Left-wing think tank claims.
A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research, often described as New Labour's favourite think tank, shows that 1.4 million children live in households that are officially impoverished despite at least one parent going out to work.
The report is scathing of Mr Brown's tax credits, saying they fail low-income families by punishing them financially if both parents work.;jsessionid=KBBCMC1BM4CO3QFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/03/ntax103.xml

GPs urge millions hit by bug to stay at home

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor and Aislinn Simpson Last Updated: 2:14am GMT 03/01/2008

Doctors' leaders warned people struck down by a violent stomach bug sweeping the country not to return to work as GPs reported that they were being inundated by sufferers.
More than 100,000 people a week are catching norovirus, which causes sudden vomiting and diarrhoea, and the numbers contracting the disease will peak this month.;jsessionid=JVIUMWJCPEJI5QFIQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/03/nnoro103.xml

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Teachers face surge in violence from pupils

By Peter Hutchison and Graeme Paton Last Updated: 2:27am GMT 02/01/2008

Discipline in some of England's schools is disintegrating, with violence and intimidation toward teachers endemic, figures disclose today.
An analysis of Government data shows that in several towns and cities, the equivalent of one in 20 secondary school children has been suspended for physical or verbal assaults against staff.;jsessionid=XIDKBPEHC2Y1NQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/02/nteach102.xml

Five people killed in New Year violence

By Richard Alleyne and Nick Britten Last Updated: 12:54am GMT 02/01/2008

Five people were killed in a spate of violence across the country that marred the New Year celebrations.
Bradley Whitfield, 16, was stabbed to death in a street brawl in Leicester and a teenager was knifed after he stepped off a nightbus in London.
Elsewhere a pensioner was burned alive in her home in Northamptonshire and a man collapsed and later died after a fight near the Park Lane Hotel in London.
The grim death toll - five times higher than last year - was completed when a man died from shotgun wounds after admitting himself along with two injured friends.;jsessionid=XIDKBPEHC2Y1NQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/01/nny301.xml

NHS patients told to treat themselves

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent Last Updated: 8:50am GMT 02/01/2008

Millions of people with arthritis, asthma and even heart failure will be urged to treat themselves as part of a Government plan to save billions of pounds from the NHS budget.
Instead of going to hospital or consulting a doctor, patients will be encouraged to carry out "self care" as the Department of Health (DoH) tries to meet Treasury targets to curb spending.;jsessionid=XIDKBPEHC2Y1NQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/02/nhs102.xml

Britons 'love fast food more than Americans'

By Bonnie Malkin Last Updated: 9:56am GMT 02/01/2008

America's reputation as the home of fast food is under threat from the British, who are more addicted to burgers, chips and pizza than any other nation in the world.
Almost half of all Britons would be unable to give up fast food.
Despite fears over an obesity epidemic, a survey has found that Britain's relationship with junk food has become even stronger than that enjoyed by the US, traditionally known for its devotion to all things deep fried.;jsessionid=XIDKBPEHC2Y1NQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/02/nfast102.xml

Cargo ship runs aground in English Channel

By Matthew Moore Last Updated: 10:42am GMT 02/01/2008

A massive cargo ship has run aground on a sandbank in the English Channel, one of the busiest waterways in the world.
The 90,000 tonne LT Cortesia hit the Varne Bank in the middle of the Dover Straits around 5am today.;jsessionid=XIDKBPEHC2Y1NQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/02/nship102.xml

Rail chaos affects 120,000 passengers

By David Millward, Transport Editor Last Updated: 11:10am GMT 02/01/2008

Britain's railway system was in complete disarray this morning with around 120,000 passengers facing a nightmare return to work because of late-running engineering works.
Two of the parts of the network were blocked forcing long-suffering travellers to use buses and other means of transport to complete their journeys.
Passengers have also been hit by steep fare rises.
The delays coincided with the latest batch of fare increases coming into force, leaving some passengers facing dramatic hikes in the cost of their season tickets.;jsessionid=44FO5EHTNNFAJQFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/02/nrail402.xml

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Biggest drop for sterling since '92

By Edmund Conway, Economics Editor Last Updated: 11:03pm GMT 31/12/2007

The pound suffered its weakest annual performance for 15 years in 2007, as markets bet that 2008 will be a miserable one for the British economy.
But despite the chaos caused by the credit squeeze, London's blue chip index the FTSE 100 has risen by 3.8pc since the start of 2007, along with a host of other equity markets around the world.
The sterling exchange rate index has weakened by 6.7pc in the past six months
Although sterling rose yesterday against other world currencies, it has fallen by 6.1pc in the past year, which is the biggest annual decline since 1992 - the year in which Britain was ejected from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.;jsessionid=DZQXAL2PBQLBHQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/money/2008/01/01/cnecon101.xml

Patients to lose weight before NHS treatment

By James Kirkup Political Correspondent Last Updated: 12:39am GMT 01/01/2008

Patients could be required to stop smoking, take exercise or lose weight before they can be treated on the National Health Service, Gordon Brown has suggested.
Health premiums slashed for gym users
In a New Year message to NHS staff, the Prime Minister indicates people may have to fulfil new "responsibilities" in order to establish their entitlement to care.
Conditional treatment: Smokers are one group of patients that may be asked to change their habits
The new conditions could be set out in a formal NHS "constitution", Mr Brown says.;jsessionid=DZQXAL2PBQLBHQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2008/01/01/nhealth201.xml