WEDNESDAY’S WORLD NEWS UPDATES: MY VIEWS
Bringing you a rounded update of the news by collating information from various publications and broadcasters, and sharing my opinion on this week’s top stories.
1. The number of rapes reported to and recorded by police in England and Wales is at its highest level ever, official figures have shown. The BBC reported that while overall crime in England and Wales has fallen, rape cases have increased by 29%.
‘There were 22,116 recorded rapes in the year to June, a rise of 29% on the year before, police figures released by the Office for National Statistics show.’
‘Separate statistics from the Crime Survey for England and Wales showed overall crime fell by 16% to 7.1m.’ ‘The overall figure covers crimes against households and adults in England and Wales, and this type of crime is at its lowest level since the survey began in 1981.’
According to the MailOnline, ‘overall, 13,455 women reported being raped in 2013/14 – the highest in 10 years of recording the crime. Attacks on men, girls and boys also soared – with the number of rapes almost twice as high as a decade ago.’
This morning, the Huddersfield Daily Examiner reported that ‘one in three rape cases dismissed by West Yorkshire Police in the past three years are now being re-investigated, the force has revealed’.
‘A review by Northumbria Police found that 54 allegations of rape were not investigated properly, possibly allowing sexual abusers to go unpunished’, reported the MailOnline in a separate article earlier this month.
In international news, The Huffington Post reports ‘A young Yazidi woman being held by Islamic State militants has reportedly begged the West to bomb the brothel where she says she is being repeatedly raped.’
‘I’ve been raped 30 times and it’s not even lunchtime. I can’t go to the toilet. Please bomb us.’
2. After fatally shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide and faces a five year prison sentence, but could be released after just 10 months. Regardless of the sentence he serves, ‘the leg amputee sprinter, 27, will not be allowed to compete in International Paralympic Committee events until 2019’, reports BBC Sport.
Fox News reports that after his first night in a single cell in the hospital wing of a prison in the capital Pretoria, Pistorius was reported as being ‘confused and tired when he entered the Kgosi Mampuru facility and was visited by the jail’s psychologist and chaplain yesterday evening’.
Viljoen, a convicted rapist who wears a prosthetic leg, he has spent the past year fighting prison authorities and begging for a transfer from what he describes as the “worst of the… prisons in which he has done time”, The Guardian reports.
In the latest developments, NBC News reports that ‘the parents of Reeva Steenkamp said Wednesday they have forgiven Oscar Pistorius for fatally shooting their daughter – but believe he has not told the full story of the night he killed her.’
3. GPs will be paid £55 per patient for diagnosing dementia. The Independent states: ‘GPs are to be paid a £55 bonus for every patient they diagnose with dementia over the next six months in a controversial new scheme, the NHS has confirmed.’
‘Health chiefs say they have identified a gap of 90,000 people who could benefit from a quicker diagnosis in plans costing an additional £5 million.’
‘The bonuses are on top of an existing scheme rolled out last year, which costs £42 million nationally and involves 85 per cent of GP practices.’
‘The Royal College of General Practitioners has warned that paying GPs £55 every time they diagnose someone with dementia, could lead to “inappropriate actions being taken” and “over-medicalisation” of patients.’ (source: www.carehome.co.uk)
This is clearly a case of more carrot than stick. If a builder did not find damp while re-plastering a house, would you expect the owner of the house to pay the builder more? This is the same with the incentive introduced for GPs. According to Sky News ‘Health experts believe that just under half of the people living with dementia are not being diagnosed.’ Are they supposed to be diagnosed by GPs? If so, why aren’t they being diagnosed sufficiently? Money should be put towards finding a cure for dementia. It is of course necessary to diagnose dementia sufferers in the first place but boosting GPs pay when that money can be used for finding a cure rather than towards a bonus towards a job they should already be able to do and be doing.
4. Computer-generated 10-year-old ‘Sweetie’ created to catch online predators and led to a conviction. ‘An undercover sting that used a computer-generated girl to tackle webcam child sex tourism has produced its first conviction in Australia’, reports The Mirror. It came as a ‘result of an undercover operation in which charity workers pretended to be a 10-year-old girl from the Philippines, as part of a campaign to tackle webcam child sex tourism.’
‘During the 10-week sting, more than 20,000 men interacted with Sweetie.’ ‘The names and chat logs of 1,000 of them – many of whom asked ‘her’ to perform sex acts on camera – have been passed over to the police by the Dutch charity, Terre des Hommes.’ ‘110 of those who made contact were British – although so far no arrests have been made.’
In other new about child sex abuse, the MailOnline reports: ‘A taxi company in a town tainted by a child sex-grooming gang scandal is offering customers white drivers on demand.’ ‘Rochdale minicab firm Car 2000 is offering the choice after two taxi drivers of Pakistani origin were jailed for their part in the sex trafficking and rape of young white girls in the town.’
5. Drones pose a serious safety threat. Tech Week UK reveal findings by the University of Birmingham that highlight ‘the privacy, safety and indeed security risks of drones over the next 20 years, especially as the aircraft could be possibly used by terror groups to attack public events.’ ‘The warning comes just days after the US TV show, Hawaii Five-O, featured a drone attacking members of the public.’
ITV News Central reports ‘Shopping centres, sporting events and public rallies face being exposed to chemical or biological attacks by terror groups exploiting unmanned aircraft, research led by a former director of GCHQ has found.’ ‘Terrorists could also turn the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) into flying bombs by hooking them up to improvised explosive devices, intelligence experts have warned.’
It comes after it was reported last week that the defence will be using drones in the attack against the Islamic State. The Telegraph reports: ‘Last week, the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, announced that the UK’s Reaper drones would be deployed in Iraq to support the coalition’s efforts against Isil – and yesterday, he confirmed that they would also be flying surveillance missions over Syria. These are the first operational uses of such drones outside Afghanistan. And they represent a significant – and timely – development in the Government’s approach to “drone warfare”.’
There are always positives and negatives to the weapons used in war. We fear attacking as much as we fear being attacked which proves that humans are innately good beings. Diverting what seems like an implicitly religious comment, the military will use drones to fight against Isil while the risks of drones are potential ones that ‘could’ happen. Terror groups ‘could’ ‘possible’ use drones to attack public events, but it is a fact that the country will use them to wipe out terror groups which will hopefully prevent them before they form to ‘possibly’ attack.
7. The Government have come under fire after failing to deport foreign criminals. Sky News reports: ‘A damning report by the National Audit Office (NAO) revealed 760 foreign national offenders awaiting deportation have absconded and 395 of those have been missing for more than four years.’
‘Some 58 of these offenders are described as “high harm” and present a serious danger to people or property.’
ITV News Central reports that more than 700 foreign suspected criminals have been arrested in the bid to crackdown on overseas criminals. ‘A 51-year-old Polish man in Smethwick was arrested this morning on suspicion of being involved in a fraud of around £11,500.’ ‘He will now be taken to Westminster Magistrates Court and faces deportation to the Poland to face the charges.’
In recent days, there have been substantial arrests in the operation to tackle foreign criminals in the country. However, this issue has deeper roots. It is partly to do with sovereignty and the power Prime Minister David Cameron has – or does not have. Abu Qatada is a clear case of overseas criminals fighting against deportation which arouses the debate about our position with the European Union. Following Jose Manuel Barroso’s statement that Britain will be worse without the EU, Cameron’s hands are tied if we do stay and if we don’t.
8. Apple and Facebook will give female staff the opportunity to delay starting a family by paying for them to freeze their eggs. Sky News reports; ‘The initiative is part of the so-called “perks arms race” as Silicon Valley firms battle to recruit top talent and it is hoped the perk will attract more women into a traditionally male-dominated sector.’
‘Other benefits offered by companies to keep workers happy include free lunches, dry cleaning, yoga and massages.’
On the one hand it is clearly one solution to the lack of women in tech jobs. But it implies that the reason employers have an issue with employing women is because they reproduce – and are therefore making reproduction seem like it is a problem whereas the problem is women’s bodies and natural biology not fitting into a male-dominated system.