A beach somewhere in the sun

A flight of fancy!

As the new year unfolds, exotic locations are not far from the FM's thoughts.

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First Minister visits Kidney Wales Centre

The First Minister will visit the Kidney Wales Renal Centre at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff Credit: Dave Thompson / PA Wire

The First Minister will visit the Kidney Wales Centre at the University Hospital of Wales today to spend time with some of the children waiting for organ transplants.

He will also be shown plans for Phase 2 of the development at the Children's Hospital - a project backed by £63.8m of funding from the Welsh Government.

First Minister writes to President Obama on behalf of the people of Wales

Carwyn Jones has sent his condolences to President Obama after the shooting massacre in America Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has sent his condolences to President Obama after the tragic shootings in America.

27 people were killed when a gunman went on a shooting rampage in a school in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday.

In his letter, the First Minister said:

Dear Mr President, I write on behalf of the people of Wales to express our deepest condolences to you and the American people following the tragic and horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut.

No words can truly express the deep sense of shock and sadness of losing a child. To lose so many children in such horrific circumstances is truly heartbreaking.

We stand with you in your hour of grief.

Yours Sincerely,

Carwyn Jones

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Capital investment 'will help bolster' economic confidence

The joint ministerial committee at a meeting in 10 Downing Street earlier this year Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Wales' First Minister has made a fresh plea to Chancellor George Osborne for more capital investment funding.

Carwyn Jones has joined forces with Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond to make the plea ahead of today's Autumn Statement.

The ministers say that an injection of funding for new business ventures would "support the recovery and help bolster economic confidence".

Adding that they have employed a "variety of innovative measures" to increase funding for major public infrastructure projects but these cannot "fully offset" the cuts from Westminster or their impact in the three countries.

In a statement the ministers said:

"Increasing capital investment by simply cutting departmental budgets will not achieve the increase in demand in the economy that is so urgently needed. This investment must be additional.

This afternoon's Autumn Statement provides the UK Chancellor with an ideal opportunity to invest in growth, support the economic recovery and help bolster economic confidence."

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Disagreements with UK Government will be inevitable - First Minister

Carwyn Jones told AMs on the Scrutiny of the First Minister Committee that there will inevitably be times when the UK and Welsh Governments disagree about how much power Welsh ministers have. But he said he hoped those occasions would be 'infrequent.'

He was asked by Liberal Democrat AM Eluned Parrott about a recent decision by the UK Attorney General to refer the Welsh Government's first bill to the Supreme Court.

'We could do more' to involve people in lawmaking - First Minister

Carwyn Jones has acknowledged that his government could do more to involve organisations and members of the public when it draws up Welsh bills. He told members of the Scrutiny of the First Minister committee that 'this is a system we had to learn.'

In written evidence given to the committee in advance he'd previously said:

I accept that we may not have always got this aspect of our legislative preparations quite right and some of our stakeholders feel we could do more to engage with them at an earlier stage.

Many Welsh Civil servants lack lawmaking experience -First Minister

The First Minister has acknowledged that Welsh Government civil servants need more experience drawing up bills. He's told a group of AMs questioning him about his government's legislative programme that the loss of 1,000 civil servants has made the job of developing legislation 'challenging.'

Carwyn Jones told the committee that despite that he's seen 'no problems' in drafting or developing policy. But in written evidence given to the committee in advance, he said:

However I recognise that the capacity and capability of our civil service to deliver the legislative programme needs to be strengthened. There are fewer officials than there were before, and many of them have not developed primary legislation before. For those that have legislative experience this has generally been in the context of working with Whitehall Departments on legislation to be passed by Parliament for or in relation to Wales.

Conservative AM Paul Davies asked if one recent bill which was accompanied by 140 government amendments was evidence that legislation wasn't being drawn up properly. The First Minister said that was normal practice in Westminster as legislation went through Parliament.

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