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Archive for August 13th, 2009

David Cameron plans big cuts in ministers’ pay if Tories win election

Guardian: David Cameron is planning to make his ministers take significant salary cuts if he forms the next government, senior sources have told the Guardian.

The Conservative party high command have calculated that if they are to push through cuts in public services, their politicians have to show they are prepared to “take a financial hit”.

A pay cut would also help the party as it attempts to renegotiate public sector pay deals. One senior Tory said a cut as high as 25% was being discussed, which would cost figures such as William Hague and George Osborne nearly £20,000 a year.

At the moment, cabinet ministers get £79,754 in ministerial entitlement on top of their MP’s salary of £64,766, making a total salary of £144,520. If Cameron were to cut the ministerial entitlement by a quarter, cabinet members would be paid £124,581.50.

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Abercrombie & Fitch told to pay disabled worker Riam Dean £9,000

Times: A law student who was prevented from working on the shop floor of a clothing chain because her false arm was contrary to its “look policy” has been awarded more than £9,000 by an employment tribunal.

Abercrombie & Fitch, a US chain that opened its first branch in London in 2007, told Riam Dean, 22, that her prosthetic arm was deemed unsavoury by its “visual team”

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Cyclist jailed for seven months after fatal crash

Independent: A cyclist who knocked down an 84-year-old pedestrian who later died has been jailed for seven months.

Darren Hall was riding “like a bat out of hell” when he came down a hill and jumped on to the pavement to avoid a red traffic light, Dorchester Crown Court heard.

As he went round a blind bend, he saw Ronald Turner but was travelling too quickly to take evasive action. He knocked over the pensioner, causing him to fall into the road and suffer head injuries on 8 August last year in Weymouth, Dorset….

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One third of all children in jails are ‘wrongly imprisoned’

Independent: More than a third of children sent to prison last year were wrongly jailed, a report into child custody rates says.

The study by Barnardo’s found that the Government had breached its own guidance on child custody by allowing so many 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds to be imprisoned for a non-serious offences.

The charity examined the cases of 214 children – nearly half of those in this age group who were jailed in 2007-08 – and found that more than a third had not committed grave offences or were not persistent offenders. One in five had been sent to custody for breaching a community order.

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Extradited for ‘stealing’ a mobile phone

Times: Ervin Juresa does not seem like a man on Europol’s most-wanted list. He is mild-mannered, well dressed and articulate — less international master criminal, more suburban accountant.

But Juresa, a Slovenian national, was not only the subject of a European arrest warrant (EAW), but recently found himself deported for an alleged crime that took place more than five years ago and that, had it come before a UK court, might have been treated as a civil rather than criminal matter.

Extradition is high on the political agenda — pushed up by the case of Gary McKinnon, the computer hacker, who has just lost his latest appeal in the High Court against being extradited to America. His is the latest of a series of highly publicised cases that have focused attention on the extradition arrangements with the US. The first were the NatWest Three and then Ian Norris, the former chief executive of Morgan Crucible, battling to avoid being sent for trial over alleged white-collar crimes….

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Lockerbie bomber could be freed from prison next week

Guardian: Preparations are under way to free the Libyan man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing from prison next week, after doctors said his terminal prostate cancer was in its final stages.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, sentenced to a minimum life term of 25 years in 2001 for killing 270 people in the bombing, is expected to be released on compassionate grounds in time to return home for the start of the festival of Ramadan next week.

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