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Human rights groups blast new terror laws

Human rights groups have branded new terror laws going through parliament this week as "a recipe for injustice".

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: "Yet again politicians resort to high talk and rushed legislation in an attempt to look tough in the face of terrorism.

"So youngsters will have their passports seized at borders and others will be prevented coming home. Even our universities must read from ministers' scripts on radicalisation.

"Another chilling recipe for injustice and resentment by closing down the open society you seek to promote."

Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, added Theresa May's speech had "highlighted that the 'snoopers' charter' was anything but dead and buried."

911 call before Cleveland shooting released

A man who called 911 call before a 12-year-old boy was shot dead by police in Cleveland, Ohio, did tell operators he thought it was "probably fake".

Tamir Rice was shot dead by police in Cleveland, Ohio, at the weekend. The 'gun' he had turned out to be a toy replica.

The caller added Rice was "probably a juvenile" who was sitting on a swing in a children's playground at the time.

It is not thought this information was passed on to officers who arrived on the scene to investigate.


DoH denies 60% of NHS staff will miss out on 1% rise

The Department of Health have dismissed union claims that the majority of NHS workers will miss out on a 1% pay increase.

Unions claim the Government rejected a 1% pay rise recommended by the independent NHS Pay Review Body for all NHS workers. They say the decision means 60% will now not even receive a 1% increase.

Dismissing the claims, the DoH said:

  • The 55% of NHS staff not receiving a 1% rise would get an incremental increase averaging 3% and increasing to 6% for the highest.
  • The remaining 45% will receive a 1% rise this year followed by a 2% increase in 2015.

The department added that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt met with trade unions last week.

12,300 NHS workers go on strike in row over pay

NHS workers join the picket line outside Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke Credit: PA Wire

More than 12,000 NHS workers went on strike today in a row over pay, NHS England figures suggest.

Initial reports showed that out of 453,664 staff due to attend work this morning, 12,303 were absent.

That is 3% or one in 30 in comparison to 4.6% during the strike action in October.

'Time is right' for new terror powers, May says

The "time is right" for stronger terror powers to be granted in Britain, Theresa May said.

Under the Counter-Terrorism Bill, internet services will be obliged to retain information which could lead to the arrests of potential terrorists, making them easier to trace.

In a terror awareness crackdown, officers will brief more than 6,000 people at schools, airports and shopping centres in a bid to get the public to help prevent attacks.

Since the summer the threat level in the UK has risen from "substantial" to "severe".


May unveils new anti-radicalisation laws

Schools, prisons and councils will be required by law to crackdown on terrorism or face a court order, the Home Secretary has announced.

Theresa May said measures to be put in place included extremist speaker policies in universities.

If organisations fail in their statutory duty "ministers will be able to issue directions to them, which will be enforceable by court order", she added.

New legislation will also ban insurance companies from footing the bill for terrorist ransoms.

And Terrorism Prevention and Investigations Measures (TPims) will be strengthened to re-introduce powers to relocate terror suspects around the country.

Since April 2010, 753 people have been arrested for terrorism-related offences, 212 have been charged and 148 have been successfully prosecuted.

A total of 138 people have been jailed for terror offences while 13, including hook-handed radical cleric Abu Hamza, have been extradited. A further 84 "hate preachers" have been excluded.

'Around 40 terror plots in Britain foiled since 7/7'

Home Secretary Theresa May.

Around 40 terror plots to attack Britain have been foiled since 7/7, the Home Secretary revealed today.

Theresa May said plans to stage a Mumbai-style atrocity, blow up the London Stock Exchange, bring down airliners and assassinate a British ambassador were among those stopped by the police and intelligence services.

But she added: "As the IRA once boasted, the terrorists only have to be lucky once."

Launching the start of Counter Terrorism Awareness Week, Ms May described IS as "one of the most serious threats we face" but said is not the only terror group Britain is at risk from.

She said: "This is a struggle which is being fought on many fronts and in many forms. It is a struggle that will go on for many years.

"And the threat we face right now is perhaps greater than it ever has been - we must have the powers we need to defend ourselves."

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