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.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

BBC Radio 4 News. 7.30. Tuesday 16.2.2010

Within the last half hour Barclays Bank has announced record profits of eleven point six billion pounds for 2009; almost double the figure achieved the previous year. The results are likely to generate a bonus pot of around four and a half billion pounds, but the firm says that for the second year in a row its Chief Executive, John Varley and President, Bob Diamond have turned down their bonuses. During the financial crisis Barclays refused government support, choosing instead to raise money from the Middle East.

Officials in Washington say the top military commander of the Afghan Taliban has been captured in Pakistan. US and Pakistani intelligence agents detained Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in a joint operation last week. The Pakistani government has made no comment about reports that he’s in custody in the country. The development comes as a major NATO and Afghan offensive against Taliban fighters continues in southern Afghanistan.

The chairman of the body which will oversee the new expenses system for MPs has said that profits from the sale of second homes should be clawed back for the public purse. Sir Ian Kennedy of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority made the comments in an interview with the Times newspaper.

The broadcaster and gay rights campaigner, Ray Gosling has said he killed a lover who was dying from AIDS. Mr Gosling made the admission during a television film on so-called mercy killings. He said he’d agreed to help the man end his life when nothing more could be done, and was convinced he’d done the right thing.

The Scout Association says its deeply saddened by the death of a teenager in an avalanche in the Cairngorms. Stephen Young, who was eighteen and from Kent, was on an organised hill walking expedition when the incident happened yesterday afternoon. His mother was also on the trip.

Monday, 15 February 2010

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Debating Group

Chinese New Year Party

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Debate 3.2.10. Outcome

In today's debate we covered a number of different topics. Here are the decisions we came to:-
Should paedophiles have a right to privacy? We decided: No
If the world was going to end in 5 minutes what would you do? We decided: Hug/Talk to our partners/families. (No.2 was eat, No.3 prey)
Is being born into a religion a good enough reason to believe in it? We decided: No
Is it ok to speed? We decided: No (but Yes on the motorway)
Should Brad Pitt go out with Aniston or Jolie? We decided: Aniston
Is snow good or bad? We decided: Good
Would you have plastic surgery? We decided: No
Should parents have a say in their children's love lives? We decided: Yes
Should a football captain resign if he has an affair? We decided: No