Tories fear drink price plan axe
TORY backbenchers have expressed dismay amid suggestions that plans for minimum pricing of alcohol are being dropped.
David Cameron had thrown his weight behind the policy, which medical groups argue would save lives.
A consultation document issued last year floated a base price of 45p per unit, and the Government has yet to release its conclusions.
Faithful await papal smoke signal
THE world was kept waiting for a new pope, with the mystery of who – and when – as thick as the unmistakable heavy black smoke billowing from the Sistine Chapel chimney.
As thousands waited in a cold night rain in St Peter’s Square, the cardinals signalled at 7.41pm that they had failed on their first attempt to find a leader for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and their troubled church.
“It’s black, it’s black, it’s waaay black!” screamed Eliza Nagle, a 21-year-old Notre Dame theology major on an exchange programme in Rome, as the smoke poured from the 6ft copper chimney.
Sniper appeals against conviction
AN SAS sniper jailed for illegally possessing a pistol and ammunition will ask the Court of Appeal to overturn his convictions today.
Sergeant Danny Nightingale, of Crewe, Cheshire, was sentenced to 18 months military detention by a judge sitting in a military court, in early November 2012, after admitting illegally possessing a Glock 9mm pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition.
The Court of Appeal concluded in late November that the sentence was too harsh. Three appeal judges cut the term to 12 months, said it should be suspended, and ordered Sgt Nightingale’s release.
Syrian children ‘forgotten victims’
AS MANY as two million children have had their lives torn apart by the bloody conflict in Syria as the fighting enters its third year with no end in sight, Save the Children warned today.
These “forgotten victims” are at constant risk of malnutrition, disease, trauma and, in the case of girls, being married off at a young age in a bid to protect them from burgeoning sexual violence, it said in a new report.
Ahead of talks starting in London today between Foreign Secretary William Hague and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, which are likely to be dominated by the conflict, the charity urged the international community to push for an end to the violence that has torn Syria apart.
Hospitals can be dangerous – medics
PATIENTS should be treated in the community rather than in hospitals because they can be “dangerous places”, some of the UK’s leading doctors warned.
The NHS Alliance, which represents GPs and primary care staff, said that all non-urgent care should be shifted from hospitals into the community as an “immediate imperative” to keep people safe.
The appeal comes as the Government’s new health adviser warned that a robust new culture was needed in the NHS to restore public trust to the health service.