Wednesday, 17 February 2010

News Bulletin 7.30 am

Today Programme Wednesday
BBC Radio 4 17 February 2010

The weather: well,cold and wintry, quite a bit of precipitation in the form of rain, snow or sleet.

You’re listening to today on Radio Four with Evan davies and john Humphrys. It’s twenty seven minutes to eight. A summary of the news now, from Neil Sleat.

British citizens living in Israel, whose names were used on fraudulent passports in a plot to kill a Hamas commander in Dubai, have said they’re stunned and horrified to have been linked to the murder. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed last month. Hamas has accused Israeli agents for his murder. It’s thought the people named on the passports were victims of identity theft.

A report for the Ministry of Justice has suggested that fewer than a third of jurors in criminal trials fully understand the legal directions set out by a judge. The research indicates that one or two jurors in every high profile trial find it difficult to put media coverage out of their minds. The study’s author, Professor Cheryl Thomas, told us that juries were fair and effective, but she said juries should be given a written summary of legal directions, so they’re clear about what’s required of them.

US marines fighting the Taliban in Marjah in southern Afghanistan have called in NATO helicopter gunships to provide cover. Operation Moshtarak is now into its fifth day. An Afghan commander has said insurgents are increasingly using civilians as human shields when coming under fire from coalition forces.

President Obama has formally nominated a senior US diplomat to become America’s first ambassador to Syria in five years; Robert Ford was most recently deputy Ambassador to Iraq.

The Children’s Commissioner for England has called for major improvements to the care of youngsters who are detained with their parents at Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire. Sir Al Ainslie Green said progress had been made there since last year but Yarl's Wood remained ‘no place for a child’.

A review of all the research available on flexible working has said it’s good for employees’ health because it improves their wellbeing. The study found that workers who choose their hours could have better blood pressure, heart rates and mental health.

Wildlife experts in Scotland are warning that thousands of deer are in danger of starving to death if the severe weather continues into spring. Hundreds have already died because heather and grass has been buried beneath snow and ice for months.

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