We are failing our children – Obama
A MOURNFUL Barack Obama has told Newtown the United States is failing to keep its children safe, pledging that change must come after an elementary school massacre left 20 children dead.
“What choice do we have?” the president said. “Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?”
In a vigil for the fallen, in a moment of grief that spread around the world, he conceded that none of his words would match the sorrow, but he declared to the Connecticut community, site of the second-deadliest school shooting in US history: “You are not alone.”
Clegg to defend welfare reforms
DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg will today mount a vigorous defence of the coalition’s welfare reforms, insisting the Government had an “absolute duty” to ensure the system was fair to all.
While acknowledging the changes had at times been “painful and controversial”, he will use a keynote speech to argue that the Liberal Democrats had ensured they were firmly anchored in the political centre ground.
He will say that without reform, there was a risk of a “total collapse” in public support for the whole principle of welfare.
Officer held over Mitchell row leak
A POLICE officer has been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office over the leak of information to national newspapers about Tory former chief whip Andrew Mitchell’s tirade at officers on Downing Street.
A constable in the Diplomatic Protection Group was held on Saturday evening and bailed yesterday to return next month, Scotland Yard said.
Mr Mitchell resigned in October after weeks of controversy over what he was reported to have said to police after being told he could not ride his bike through the main gates.
Kate returns at sport awards event
THE Duchess of Cambridge last night made her first public appearance since being treated in hospital for severe morning sickness, at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
Wearing an emerald green floor-length dress, Kate presented cyclist Bradley Wiggins with the top award and Lord Sebastian Coe with the lifetime achievement honour at London’s ExCeL Centre.
Following the ceremony she told presenter Gary Lineker backstage she was “very well” when he asked about her condition, after she was recently forced to miss two royal engagements while she recovered.
Ten girls killed by Afghan bomb
A BOMB has killed 10 young girls in the east of Afghanistan, an official said today.
The girls, aged between nine and 13, were gathering firewood outside Dawlatzai village in Nangarhar province’s Chaperhar district when the explosion went off, according to Mohammad Seddiq, the government administrator for the district.
Speaking from the site of the blast, he said it was not clear what caused the bomb to go off.