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Wales' children's 'champion' dies
21 Jan 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

The Children's Commissioner, Peter Clarke, has died of cancer aged 58. Mr Clarke pioneered the role in the UK of a children's "champion" when he took up his post on St David's Day, 1 March, 2001. He was previously director of Childline Cymru and the National Schizophrenia Fellowship in Wales. One of his first challenges was to hold the long-running Clywch inquiry into allegations of sex abuse by a drama teacher who had committed suicide. His decision showed that he was unafraid to use the le ...


Richardson takes presidential step
21 Jan 2007 source: cnn.com

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Sunday he is taking the first step toward an expected White House run in 2008, offering extensive experience in Washington and the world stage as he seeks to become the first Hispanic president. "I am taking this step because we have to repair the damage that's been done to our country over the last six years," said Richardson, a D ...


Cameron hint on cannabis medicine
21 Jan 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

Conservative leader David Cameron says he would be "relaxed" about legalising cannabis for medicinal use if there were evidence of its health benefits. In response to a question posted on his internet site, he said he would be "guided by the science and evidence". Mr Cameron said he opposed making cannabis legal but added: "If it could be proved there was a real medicinal benefit I would be relaxed by that." Mr Cameron made clear he did not favour legalising the drug's recreational use. He s ...


Muslim Pc refused to shake hands
21 Jan 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

A Muslim woman police officer refused to shake hands with the head of the Metropolitan Police on faith grounds. The officer, who has not been named, was granted the exemption at a passing-out ceremony where new recruits met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair. The woman's refusal was based on her view that her faith prevented her touching a man other than her husband or close relative. Sir Ian had questioned the validity of the Wpc's refusal, Scotland Yard said.  ...


Beached container ship sheds cargo and oil
21 Jan 2007 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Jeremy Lovell LONDON (Reuters) - A crippled freight ship was shedding containers from above deck within sight of the southern English coast on Sunday after being deliberately run aground to stop it sinking. The MSC Napoli, abandoned by its crew after being holed during storms last Thursday, was listing at 30 degrees and had already lost more than 200 of its 2,400 containers into the sea, a coas ...


SNP unveils 'Trident toll' plans
21 Jan 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

A toll on the transportation of nuclear warheads in Scotland could raise up to £85m, according to the Nationalists. The Scottish National Party's leaders say they will seek to impose a levy on Trident if the party leads the Scottish Executive after May's election. But the plans were dismissed as a diversionary tactic by Labour. Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram questioned the legality of such a move and said taxpayers would end up footing the bill. The SNP wants to impose a £1m tol ...


Spanish gangs clash with police
21 Jan 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

Gangs of youths have clashed with police in Spain's Basque country, throwing bottles and stones. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets and made one arrest during the clashes in the northern town of Mungia. It came two days after Spain's highest court ruled that three outlawed Basque youth organisations should be re-defined as terrorist organisations. The court said it was because of their li ...


Runners gather in Geeling memory
21 Jan 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

Hundreds of people braved the cold and driving rain in Greater Manchester for a fun run to raise money for a charity in memory of a murdered schoolboy. Joe Geeling's family, school friends and about 30 police officers took part in the 5km run (3.1 miles) around a lake in Littleborough, Rochdale. They were hoping to raise about £5,000 for the Joe Geeling Trust, set up to help sufferers of Cystic Fibrosis. The 11-year-old was murdered by fellow pupil Michael Hamer in March 2006. Hamer lur ...


Sunshine scoops surprise film win
21 Jan 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

Low-budget film Little Miss Sunshine has won a key movie award that is one of the main pointers to Oscars success. In a surprise decision, the quirky family comedy was named best picture by the Producers Guild of America (PGA). Little Miss Sunshine had been seen as an Oscars outsider - but beat fancied contenders Babel, The Departed, The Queen and Dreamgirls to the PGA award. The winner of best picture at the Oscars has matched the PGA's choice in 11 of the last 17 years. Little Miss Sunshin ...


Tributes to bike crash teenagers
21 Jan 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

Floral tributes have been left near the spot where two teenagers were killed when the motorbike they were riding crashed into a kerb. Natalie Athey, 15, of Heckmondwike, and 18-year-old Anthony Bentley, of Cleckheaton, died in Hunsworth Lane, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, on Friday. Daniel Booth, 14, who was also on the bike, was in a stable condition at Leeds General Infirmary on Saturday. None of the teenagers was wearing a crash helmet when police arrived. A motorcycle helmet was found nea ...


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