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Home Office launches modern slavery campaign

The Home Office will launch a campaign to raise awareness of modern slavery, with a TV advert highlighting the complexity of the issue.

Read: Live sentences for traffickers in new slavery bill

Prostitution
Trafficked prostitutes were one of the most common forms of modern slaves, according to the campaign. Credit: PA

The national campaign, which will run until October, is the first of its kind in the UK and aims to encourage the public to identify the signs of modern slavery and report it by calling a new national helpline.

The advert will hit screens at 6:42pm on Channel 4 during the Hollyoaks break, and shows three of the most common types of modern slavery; labour exploitation in agriculture, sexual exploitation in a brothel and domestic servitude in a home.

A website - www.modernslavery.co.uk - will be launched with the aim of educating the signs of 21st century slavery.

Read: 'Crisis' over UK modern slavery

Argentina on brink of bankruptcy as debt talks fail

Argentina is on the verge of defaulting on its debt after talks with creditors broke down.

As the clocked ticked toward a midnight (0400 GMT) deadline, economy minister Axel Kicillof stuck firmly to the government line, repeatedly denigrating the creditors as "vultures" after two days of intense negotiations.

Argentine banks scrambled to put together a proposal to buy out the non-performing debt held by hedge funds to avert a default.

But that deal collapsed, a senior banking executive and a second source from the financial market told Reuters.

"It all fell through," said the banking executive.

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First Cross of Sacrifice to be unveiled in Dublin

Headstones in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.
Headstones in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. Credit: PA

Irish President Michael D Higgins and the Duke of Kent will today officially unveil the first Cross of Sacrifice ever erected in the Irish Republic to commemorate those who died in the two world wars.

The memorial to as many as 60,000 Irishmen and women killed in combat will stand in Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery, the country's largest burial ground and resting place to many of the state's founding fathers.

It is the latest milestone in the recent official recognition of Irish citizens who fought in the wars, who for decades were forgotten, pilloried and blacklisted for joining the British armed forces.

Drinkers who offend could wear 'alcohol bracelet'

Those responsible for alcohol-fuelled crimes could be forced to wear a bracelet which monitors their drinking, under a new pilot scheme.

Alcohol
Around one million violent crimes every year are alcohol related. Credit: PA

Offenders convicted of an alcohol related offence in one of four London boroughs - Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Sutton - could be forced to wear the bracelet and face tougher punishments if they drink again.

Up to 150 people are expected to be made to wear the tags for four months to make sure they comply and the scheme will run over the course of a year.

The aim of the scheme is to reduce the costs of alcohol related crime.

According to the Home Office, around one million violent crimes each year are alcohol related.

Read: Violent crime fall linked to rise in alcohol prices

Nato 'not well-prepared for Russian threat'

House of Commons Defence Committee chair Rory Stewart said:

The risk of attack by Russia on a Nato member state, whilst still small, is significant. We are not convinced that Nato is ready for this threat.

Nato has been too complacent about the threat from Russia, and it is not well-prepared.

Even worse, the nature of Russian tactics is changing fast - including cyber-attacks, information warfare, and the backing of irregular 'separatist groups', combining armed civilians with Russian Special Forces operating without insignia.

We have already seen how these tactics have been deployed by Russia and its proxies in Ukraine to destabilise a Nato partner state, annex part of its territory, and paralyse its ability to respond.

– Rory Stewart

Boost presence in 'vulnerable' Baltic states, MPs urge

Prince Harry meets Estonian troops in Sangaste in May.
Prince Harry meets Estonian troops in Sangaste in May. Credit: PA

The 28-nation Nato alliance should urgently undertake a "radical reform" to prepare for either eventuality, including by establishing a continuous presence of Nato troops in its "vulnerable" Baltic members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and pre-positioning military equipment in the three former Soviet states, a cross-party panel of MPs said.

"Dramatic" improvements should also be made to existing rapid reaction forces, headquarters structures should be established for eastern Europe and the Baltic and large-scale exercises involving military and political leaders from all Nato states should be conducted.

And they said that Nato should reconsider its Article 5 commitment for all members to come to the aid of any member which is attacked, to make clear that this includes countering unconventional threats such as cyber-attacks, information warfare and the use of irregular militia.

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MPs: Nato vulnerable to Russia's 'ambiguous warfare'

A checkpoint controlled by pro-Russia separatists in Sloviansk, Ukraine.
A checkpoint controlled by pro-Russia separatists in Sloviansk, Ukraine. Credit: TT/PA

Russia's destabilisation of Ukraine has exposed "serious deficiencies" in Nato's preparedness to deal with a military threat from its former Cold War adversary, a parliamentary report has warned.

While the risk of a conventional military assault by Russia on a Nato member state remains "low", the danger of an unconventional attack using the kind of "ambiguous warfare" tactics deployed by President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine is "more substantial", said the House of Commons Defence Committee.

Social work code will put service 'on path to success'

The code of conduct for social workers will put family services "on a whole new path to success", a government minister said.

Minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson, said:

Having grown up with around 90 foster children and worked as a family lawyer in the care system for over a decade, I've seen up close and personal the pressures that social workers are under - and also the wonders they can work in the most desperate circumstances.

These new measures announced today will help set social work on a whole new path to success - setting the very highest standards for social workers providing greater assurance to the public and most importantly ensuring the very best for our children.

– Edward Timpson

Social workers will 'watch for FGM and child marriage'

Social workers will be required to spot young girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage under fresh guidelines.

According to the Knowledge and Skills social workers will be required to:

  • Identify the full range of risks to children including sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect and know how to protect children.
  • · Support families by strengthening their relationships, resilience and access to resources.
  • · Understand the impact of adult mental ill health, substance misuse and domestic violence on family functioning and child development.
  • · Plan for permanence for children who can no longer live at home.

Social work code biggest shake up 'in a generation'

A new code of conduct for social workers is being hailed as the "most significant transformation" of family services "in a generation" by the Department of Education.

Read: New measures to end FGM to be announced at summit

Sad child
Social workers will have to pass a test based on the code of practice to qualify for the specialist license. Credit: PA

Social work chiefs want the Knowledge and Skills Statement to become the corner stone of the service, setting out what is expected from child and family care staff.

Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, Isabelle Trowler, said "having absolute clarity" about what was required from staff would restore public trust in the service.

The guidelines come as the Government launch plans for a new gold standard for social workers supporting vulnerable families and children at risk of abuse or neglect.

The new Approved Child and Family Practitioner status will ensure the highest levels of public protection for our most vulnerable children, but social workers will have to finish a rigorous 'pass or fail' test.

Read: Ofsted: Coventry children's services 'inadequate'

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