Hague leads fresh ceasefire calls
WILLIAM Hague has led fresh calls for a ceasefire in the Middle East after the bloodiest day of the Gaza crisis increased growing concerns over the safety of innocent civilians caught up in the conflict.
The Foreign Secretary warned Israel that it risked losing international sympathy if it escalated its campaign against Palestinian militants into a ground invasion.
But he repeated his insistence that Hamas bore “principal responsibility” for the violence and urged its leaders to cease a barrage of missiles still being fired at Tel Aviv and other areas
Cameron vows to speed up decisions
A CRACKDOWN on “time-wasting” legal challenges to planning decisions and other public policies will be promised by David Cameron today as part of efforts to boost economic recovery.
Opponents will be given less time to apply for judicial review, face higher fees and see the chances to appeal halved under proposals to be published by the Ministry of Justice.
The Prime Minister will tell business leaders that he is determined to “get a grip” on the process after the number of applications almost trebled in a decade, delaying major projects.
Church set for women bishops vote
THE Church of England’s national assembly will begin a key three-day meeting today where members will be asked to give final approval to legislation introducing women bishops.
The 470-strong body, meeting in Church House, London, will vote tomorrow on whether to allow the legislation to clear its final hurdle before going to the Houses of Parliament for approval.
The decision is billed as the biggest the General Synod has taken in the 20 years since it first backed the introduction of women priests.
Clarke warning over ‘legal purism’
CABINET minister Kenneth Clarke accused critics of secret court legislation of putting “legal purism” ahead of hard reality as the Government prepared for what is expected to be a bruising battle in the House of Lords.
Detailed scrutiny begins today of the Justice and Security Bill, which controversially allows more civil cases to be held in secret without claimants being able to hear the evidence against them.
And former director of public prosecutions Ken Macdonald, a Liberal Democrat peer, said he expected the upper chamber to force through significant changes limiting its scope and giving more discretion to judges.
Alcohol poll prompts action call
YOUNG people in the UK are more likely to have been drunk by the age of 13 than those in almost any other country, according to a study.
Those aged 15 to 16 are more likely to have been drunk at least once in the last month than their counterparts almost anywhere else, while young people agree that “drinking to get drunk” is the defining feature of their relationship with alcohol, the survey for the charity Alcohol Concern found.
Only Estonia, Malta and the Isle of Man have recorded higher figures.