Smoking to be Banned in Cars With Children

Anna Soubry, public health minister, came out with a statement that smoking should be banned in cars carrying children. She admited she used to smoke but since she had two children she had decided she was responsible for their health and way of life.

David Cameron in his part said he agreed that smoking had to be banned in pubs and clubs but he did not feel pretty sure how smoking in cars could be controlled.

While at the Local Government Association’s annual public health conference, Ms Soubry said the government had at least to consider her proposal.

“I would ban smoking in cars where children are present.

“I would do that for the protection of children. I believe in protecting children. I would see it as a child welfare issue.”

After a survey taken last year, one in five smokers had said they would feel no worry to light a cigarette either at home or in the car when their children are there.

Another researches show that the number of children in the UK who go to their doctor due to second-hand smoke is about 300,000- 9,500 of which end up visiting hospitals.

The British Medical Association and the Royal College of Paedatrics also support the proposed ban.

In the words of the director of policy and research at campaign group Action on Smoking and Health, Martin Dockrell, such a ban would receive mass support: “The minister can count on our support and the majority of the public. A ban on smoking in cars is the right thing to do.

“We need to think about whether this should just be aimed at children. Older adults are vulnerable too.”

Some parts of Canada, the USA and Australia have already been implemented a ban of the kind.

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Jail for Twitter Users Who Shared Jon Venables Picture

In the words of attorney General Dominic Grieve everybody who shared a picture that is claimed to show James Bulger killer Jon Venables would soon be send to jail.

This happened because last week, exactly 20 years after the brutal murder of 2-year-old James Bulger by Venables and his friend Robert Thompson, somebody posted a picture of a supposedly 30-year-old Jon Venables which started circulating on Twitter.

In 2001 both Thompson and Venables were released on parole and received new identities. In order to save their new identities dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, of the High Court Family Division required from the court an order according to which any information about these two people is banned to be published.

This is the reason of the statement of Dominic Grieve- he just wanted to remind the society that this court order is still in place and everybody who violated it would go to jail. What matters is the fact that whoever posted the picture claimed that this was Jon Venables so even if in the end this picture turns out to be a fake one its sender will be accused of charge.

“There are many different images circulating online claiming to be of Venables or Thompson; potentially innocent individuals may be wrongly identified as being one of the two men and placed in danger,” said Mr Grieve’s statement. “The order, and its enforcement, is therefore intended to protect not only Venables and Thompson but also those members of the public who have been incorrectly identified as being one of the two men.”

Another thing which is mentioned in the statement is that all people who help such things to happen and encourage such malicious communication are also breaking the law.

It is nowadays not an easy task for Mr. Grieve’s office to cope with the problems that modern technology and social media cause.

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John Kerry: ‘Assad must go’

When on a visit in London the US secretary of state John Kerry said Bashar al-Assad “must go”.

The answer he got from the Britain’s foreign secretary William Hague was that the UK is about to increase significantly its support for Syria’s opposition.

Mr. Kerry said: “The Assad regime has rained down rockets on the people of Aleppo”.

On Tuesday in Berlin he is going to meet the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Syrian opposition members to whom he said they had better attend the conference in Rome in Thursday if they wanted any results.

He said he was “frustrated” from the number of killed people and the fact that there was a lack of an international political solution.

In the words of Mr. Kerry, Britain and the US opposed to the prospect of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.

He said: “An Iran with a nuclear weapon is simply unacceptable.”

The spokesman of the prime minister announced that at the meeting between Mr. Cameron and Mr. Kerry the latter did not talk about the possible exit of Britain from the European Union. The topic of their discussion was a free trade agreement between the US and the EU and the possibility of taking the progress forward at the next G8 summit in Northern Ireland in June.

The route of Mr. Kerry includes nine countries as he will stop in Paris, Rome, Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall said: “What is clear is that the British government is pretty pleased that the US secretary of state decided that his first port of call on this his first major trip abroad should be Britain, he then goes on to European capitals…and it is in marked contrast with the last secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who…rather pointedly went to Asia first.”

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Twitter Users Sued by Lord McAlpine

Lord McAlpine was wrongly accused to be a pedophile by some Twitter users so now he has decided to drop defamation claims against them.

He announced he would not pursue action against the people who have less than 500 followers but he would ask them to make donations for the BBC’s Children In Need

It all started from the Newsnight programme so the wish of Lord Mc Alpine is that his lawyers focus on Speaker’s wife Sally Bercow and her untrue words.

Mrs. Bercow’s lawyers said that the claim made by Lord McAline is limited to £50,000.

In a statement, Lord McAlpine said: “I have dropped all claims against those tweeters with less than 500 followers, in return for a very modest donation to BBC Children In Need, which funds 2,600 projects supporting disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

“I have requested that my lawyers, RMPI LLP, focus on the action against Sally Bercow and that damages arising from this are donated to a charity of her choice.”

A number of organizations faced legal action on the matter but BBC and ITV were the very first who had to pay.

After the libel settlement was agreed Lord McAlpine got £185,000 from the BBC.

The topic of the Newsnight broadcast on 2 November was on allegations of child abuse at care homes in north Wales.

The name of Lord McAlpine was nowhere to be heard in this broadcast but later he was incorrectly linked with such cases on the Internet.

In a week when everybody found out that Lord McAlpine was not guilty on the things he used to be accused of, Newsnight carried a full, on-air apology.

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Unemployment in the UK fell in the Last Three Months

The number of jobless people has fallen by 14, 000 and the number in work rose by 154,000.

Those who claimed Job-seeker’s Allowance in January are with 12,500 fewer than before.

The total number of employed people in the UK is 29.73 million only 27% of which are working part-time.

Researches showed that the unemployment rate was in the previous quarter 7.9% and now it is 7.8%.

Work and Pension Secretary lain Duncan Smith told BBC: “Economically inactive people who are not available for work, that’s now at the lowest level since the early Nineties”.

He told people to put themselves at the place of Frenchmen, Spaniards or Greeks and consider again if these nations do not want to be in the position in which the UK is now.

Talking about the payment ONS admitted “there continues to be a cut in the real value of pay”.

The answer of the, Labour’s shadow work and pensions Secretary Liam Byrne was that still more than five people were chasing every vacancy.

“Youth unemployment has risen yet again, back towards the million mark, the number of women out of work has gone up and long-term unemployment is still far too high.”

A year earlier, the weekly earnings excluding bonus payments and before taxes used to be £439 and in December 2012 they were £445.

John Philpott, director of the Jobs Economist, said that “The economy is producing the same amount of output with far more people – that is called falling productivity.”

The percent of unemployed people aged between 16 and 24 has risen from 20.5%, in the three months to November to 20.8%.

The chief executive at the Prince’s Trust, Martina Milburn, said she regretted that youth unemployment was back on the rise again.

“It’s now four years since the start of the recession and many young people have been left with nothing but a four-year gap on their CV.”

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Google should Change its Privacy Policy

As the European Union keeps on warning Google about its privacy policy till the summer it will probably face some serious sanctions.

After in March this year the search engine giant combined 60 privacy policies of their different services into one, the EU pushes it to change their privacy policy.

Some of the changes will include the right of Google to track individual users across different Google services. Google is known to operate also with some other services like Gmail, YouTube, Google+, and Android mobile systems.

Using these different services Google may now make their targeted advertising more effective.

This new privacy policy does not obey EU privacy regulations because through it Google collects too much personal information which in some of the cases users prefer not to share.

The warning of the EU towards Google was not to use the personal data collected simply for advertising purposes and to “reinforce users’ consent”.

Yesterday the French privacy regulator CNIL announced that Google did not manage to do some changes and give proper answers in the period of four months it was given.

“In this context, the EU data protection authorities are committed to act and continue their investigations,” CNIL added. “Therefore, they propose to set up a working group, led by the CNIL, in order to coordinate their reaction, which should take place before summer.”

Google, on the other hand, claims they had taken steps to comply with European law and that they will continue doing so.

According to Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s head of competition, Google used the fact it is a main search engine in order to unfairly promote their own products.

Another thing Google was also blamed for was that it paid for paying only £6 million in UK tax last year, despite generating $4.1 billion of revenue.

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Clegg and the UK Economy

According to the deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg the UK economy is nowadays focused mainly on London and it has to change its politics.

He is about to deliver a speech in which he will say that restoration of spending powers to authorities in other big cities is needed. In his words, if these changes do not happen Britain will lose out on £41bn a year.

“There can – and must – be more than one jewel in our crown.”

He added that political choices made UK’s economy so highly-centralized in London.

It turns out that the Labour and Conservative governments of the day were in a way enchanted by London’s financial services and eventually forgot about other industries and communities.

“The previous government, in particular, recycled and redistributed City of London tax receipts to other parts of the country through the long arm of Whitehall.

“Emasculating the north and overburdening the south. Trying to prop up a nation of 100,000 square miles on the profits of just a single Square Mile.”

The first speech from the annual series delivered by the deputy prime minister comes as the coalition is about to increase the amount of government spending local authorities in England.

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Unfair Dismissal Exemption for Employees Fired for Political Beliefs

After a ruling on the case of BNP member who lost his job because of his political beliefs, in similar cases such people will be exempt from unfair discharge rules requiring a minimum length of service.

Due to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, the sacking of the bus driver Arthur Redfearn was a breach of human rights.

Usually it is assumed that people claiming for unfair dismissal in the UK should have worked for at least two years at the position and place where they were later ousted from.

As Mr. Redfearn found out that the Court was in fact critical of this restriction he took the decision to not to lodge a complaint about unfair dismissal but about race discrimination.

Six months after Redfearn was dismissed into the job he was proposed to represent the BNP in the Bradford Council.

The explanation of the transport operator Serco was that they took that action because of fear of reprisals.

The employment tribunal dismissed his original claim basing itself on the fact that his position can make passengers anxious and spark attacks on vehicles by those opposed to the BNP’s views.

After some time Mr. Redfearn appealed successfully but Serco again succeeded with a counter-appeal.

This made Mr. Redfearn take his case to the ECHR which was the last step he had to take in order to triumph.

In the words of the business minister Viscount Younger of Leckie the requirement of minimum length of service regulation for people who wanted to claim unfair dismissal because of their political beliefs would be enshrined in law by an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which will come into force right after the Bill receives Royal Assent.

Viscount Younger told Parliament in a statement: “This amendment exempts claimants who allege that their dismissal was on the grounds of political opinion or affiliation from this two-year qualifying period.”

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Youth Offender Education and Secure Colleges

Talking about the future of young custody the government has announced plans to “put education at the heart of detention”.

Chris Graying said that free schools and academies should provide “secure colleges” for young offenders.

It is a fact that most of the 15-17 years old students who were sent to young offender institutes have been excluded from school and show a literacy level of a child at the age of 7-11.

The better education could provide these young people better way of life as they will acquire skills which would help them when searching a place to work.

The money given on detaining of about 1,800 young people is around £245m a year and this is why Mr. Grayling said the country spent too much money and the results were not satisfactory enough.

He said: “I want to see new models, perhaps something like secure training colleges, providing education in a period of detention rather than detention with education as an afterthought. I want young people to get the education and skills they need to turn their backs on crime for good.”

Nowadays youth offender’s institutes are bound to provide 15 hours of education each week, but the reality usually does not corresponds to the documents.

ManchesterCollege, which is the one of the main institutes that provides such courses, has received some critics on the quality of the courses.

Frances Cook of the Howard League for Penal Reform was confused by the plans, however. “We should never send children to prison to get an education”, she said.

“Almost all the children who end up in custody could be dealt with in the community, and that is the way to get them back into school, college or training”

This case was a good example for the thousands of other unemployed people who were forced to work this way.

These two cases may be assumed as a trouble for the Department of Work and Pensions because they will no longer have the possibility to force people work on their schemes.

“All of those who have been stripped of their benefits have a right to claim the money back that has been unlawfully taken away from them,” added solicitor Tessa Gregory.

However, the DWP said they will still not pay any money.

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A Labour MP Talks about the Protection for Gift Voucher Holders

A Labour MP complained that the law for customers does not protect them well enough when talking about gift vouchers.

Some high-profile chains such as HMV and Jessops, Michael McCann also joint the opinion that this law should give customers more rights in cases when retailers go out of business.

Nowadays usually the administrators of the firms decide on their own whether or not to give their clients any compensation when their firms collapse because they are considered as unsecured creditors and law does not reach them.

HMV changed their politics not to honour vouchers and Jessops said that in almost no way their vouchers will be redeemed.

According to Mr. McCann the law is too old and does not relate to the nowadays £4bn gift card market.

While introducing a Bill to the House of Commons, he mentioned the decision of HMV and said that other big names should also follow its example.

“The law in relation to insolvency does not seem to provide any protection at all and my aim is that, with this bill, we will strengthen the rights of consumers in this area so that… consumers are not left high and dry or at the mercy of administrators in deciding whether or not to honour the commitments entered into.”

In his words most of the retailers do not stop selling vouchers even when the “writing is on the wall”.

In a speech a spokesman for the Department of Business announced that even if they have “great sympathy” for the people who are not able to unable to redeem vouchers, “there are no current plans to amend insolvency law”.

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