Archive for September 11th, 2009

MI6 faces torture investigation after reporting its own officer

Times: MI6 is to be investigated over alleged ill-treatment of a suspect after the security service raised concerns over one of its own officers.

Baroness Scotland, QC, the Attorney General, asked the Metropolitan Police to act on concerns that the operative might have been linked to a non-British detainee who was subsequently tortured during interrogation.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, who has political responsibility for MI6, revealed in a letter made public today that the case was referred to the Attorney General “on its own initiative, unprompted by any accusation against the service or the individual concerned”.

In the letter to William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Mr Miliband said it was a matter for the police to investigate.


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Policewoman who worked as a prostitute is jailed

Guardian: A police constable who also worked as a prostitute was jailed for 15 months yesterday after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office. Victoria Thorne, 29, lived a double life as a uniformed Northumbria police officer while moonlighting as a £100-an-hour sex worker, Newcastle crown court heard. Judge John Evans told her: “It is plain that those who thought they knew you are at a loss as to how you came to be involved in such a seedy world.”

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Parents who take children to clubs face crime checks

Times: Parents who ferry groups of children to Scouts, Brownies or after-school sports clubs will have to undergo a criminal record check or face fines of up to £5,000.

They are the latest group to fall within the scope of the Government’s vetting and barring scheme, which is due to be introduced next month. Officials estimate that more than 11 million people — almost everyone in any position of authority who comes into contact with children — will have to be registered with the new Independent Safeguarding Authority. The scheme is aimed at stopping paedophiles infiltrating children’s activities, but critics believe that far too many innocent people will be affected.

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Phoenix Four face ban as MG Rover report published

• MPs given ‘inaccurate and misleading’ information, report says
• Phoenix Four brand report ‘a witch hunt’ and ‘a whitewash’

The Phoenix Four face being banned as company directors after the long-awaited report into the collapse of MG Rover was published this morning.

The business secretary, Lord Mandelson, said proceedings would begin against the four controversial Midlands-based businessmen to formally ban them.

The 850-page report also said MPs investigating the collapse of the carmaker were given “inaccurate and misleading” information by one of the Phoenix Four.

It added that there had been evidence that government officials had given questionable briefings to the media.

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Iraqi pair are cleared of killing two British soldiers

Independent: Two Iraqis accused of murdering two British soldiers have been cleared of any involvement in the killings by a criminal court in Iraq.

Faisal al-Saadoon and Khalaf Mufdhi had faced the death penalty after they were controversially handed over to the Iraqi authorities by Britain in defiance of a European court order last year.

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Lockerbie Bomber: Barack Obama rebukes Gordon Brown

Telegraph: President Barack Obama has rebuked Gordon Brown over the release of the Lockerbie bomber, telling the Prime Minister of his “disappointment” over the controversial decision to free the convicted terrorist.

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Child poverty reduced if both parents go to work

Guardian: Both parents in families living below the breadline will be urged to go to work to lift their children out of poverty, one of the ministers responsible for developing the government’s child poverty strategy said yesterday.

Conceding that it was now unlikely New Labour‘s pledge to halve the number of children living in poverty by 2010 would be met, the financial secretary, Stephen Timms, said the state of the economy had forced the government to rethink how best to fulfil the longer term goal of eradicating child poverty in the UK by 2020.

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