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Archive for October 2nd, 2009

Officer wins turban row tribunal

BBC: A Sikh police officer who was told to remove his turban during riot training has won his discrimination case against Greater Manchester Police.

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The Facebook paedophile ring

Independent: More than 300 families were warned last night that they may never know whether their children fell prey to a female nursery worker who sexually abused babies in her care and swapped sickening images of the acts with two other paedophiles she met on Facebook.

As Vanessa George, 39, was led away after pleading guilty to a string of child sex charges yesterday, a judge told the mother of two that the length of her sentence depended on whether she helped police to identify her victims. Judge John Royce urged her to do the “decent thing” and name children she had assaulted at Little Ted’s Day Nursery in Plymouth.

Speaking to George’s lawyer after her guilty plea, Judge Royce said: “Your client must know, it seems to me, who she has abused and who she has not. If I were a parent I would want to know whether my child was abused or not. Would it not be decent for her to indicate who she has abused? It is a factor I have got to take into account.”

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Brown left me fearful, officer tells US general

Independent: The Ministry of Defence intervened last night after an RAF officer used a high-profile speech by the US commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan to suggest that Gordon Brown had dented her confidence in the Afghan campaign.

Flight Lieutenant Victoria Anderton spoke out after US General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan, delivered a speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

“I’m actually going out to Kandahar to serve with the Tornado GR4s next year,” she told the General after he asked for questions from the floor.

“Can I say how much more confidence I have now in my chain of command than I had after Prime Minister Gordon Brown was here a couple of weeks ago.”

General McChrystal thanked her “for a great question from one professional to another” but did not rise to her comments.

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Couple bailed over girl’s hanging death

Independent: The mother and stepfather of an eight-year-old girl found hanged in her bedroom were on bail today after being arrested by police.

Simon and Susan Moody were arrested yesterday, more than two weeks after the body of Charlotte Avenall was found at their home in Mansfield, Notts.

The young girl, who had severe learning disabilities, was discovered hanged in her bedroom on 12 September.

Mr Moody, 32, and his 24-year-old wife were initially interviewed under caution following her death.

A Nottinghamshire Police spokeswoman said the couple were released last night on police bail.

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New advertising campaign to fight knife crime

Independent: New adverts aimed at turning young people away from knife crime were launched today.

Posters showing youngsters behind bars alongside the slogan “Carry a Knife and Lose Your Life” will be displayed at bus stops across England and Wales.

TV and online adverts will include accounts from young people held in young offender institutions warning of the dangers of getting involved with knives.

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Irish go to polls to decide fate of Lisbon treaty

Guardian: The Irish today began casting votes in a referendum that will decide the future of the EU and its Lisbon reform treaty.

Around three million Irish citizens are being asked to vote on the proposed treaty – a blueprint for reforming how the 27-nation bloc takes decisions and presents itself to the wider world – for the second time in less than 18 months.

Another majority vote against would be a huge setback to long-running plans for EU reform.

Ireland‘s premier, Brian Cowen, said there would be no third referendum on Lisbon if the Republic voted against it today. A second defeat of the treaty would also throw his own future into doubt.

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Brown stands back as BAE defence giant faces prosecution over bribes

Times: Gordon Brown is ready to leave Britain’s biggest defence manufacturer, BAE Systems, to the mercy of the courts over allegations that it paid millions of pounds in bribes to win contracts, The Times has learnt.

Senior Downing Street sources said last night that he was adopting a “strictly hands-off approach” to the case. It is understood that a plea from BAE for the Prime Minister to intervene — as Tony Blair did three years ago in helping to halt a previous investigation — has already been “firmly rebuffed” by officials.

Yesterday an ultimatum issued by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for the arms giant to accept an out-of-court settlement expired. Instead, the agency charged with stamping out corruption by British business vowed to pursue claims that BAE paid out millions of pounds for lucrative defence contracts in Tanzania, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Romania.

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