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from UK News:

Should parents be allowed to smack?


mumtoddler0401kierandoherty.jpgShould parents be allowed to smack their children, or should smacking be treated the same as an assault?

A group of MPs is again pushing for a change in the law for an outright ban on smacking.

The current law allows parents to smack their children but the punishment cannot leave bruises, cuts or scratches.

Those who overstep the mark can face prison. Campaigners say this situation is a mess and confusing for parents. Children's Commissioner for England Al Aynsley-Green has spoken out against it.

from UK News:

Ban smoking in cars?


rtr1xxhr.jpgAnti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) says serious thought should be given to a ban on smoking in cars.

In a report which says smoking costs the NHS 2.7 billion pounds a year, the lobby group argues that millions of children and young people are exposed to second-hand smoke in vehicles every day.

Hey-hey! Do you love clowns?

Can clowns REALLY be scary?

A poll of children, aged four to 16, published by researchers at Britain’s University of Sheffield suggests they are. Their survey, which was looking at what decor to have in hospital children’s wards, found all 250 respondents thought they were frightening.

But this has deeply upset clowns around the world. Not only are they regular fixtures at youngsters’ birthday parties, many also work in hospitals where they say their visits brighten up the day for sick children.

Should the Queen call it a day?

queen1.jpgThe Queen becomes Britain’s oldest monarch on Thursday beating the record set by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria.

Despite being the ripe old age of 81, the monarch shows little sign of slowing down and there is no talk of an abdication.

from UK News:

Should police be allowed to strike?

policetape-martinbennett1.jpgPolice Officers are meeting in London on Wednesday to consider what action, if any, they should take over their pay dispute with the government.

Last week Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said police would be given a 2.5 percent rise, as recommended by an independent arbitration panel, but this would not be backdated to September as expected. She said this was necessary to keep a lid on public spending.

Led Zeppelin – the greatest band ever?

Led ZeppelinAbout 20,000 fans crammed into London’s O2 Arena on Monday as rock giants Led Zeppelin took to the stage together for the first time in years, blasting their way through a two-hour set that left fans baying for more.

The rockers had sparked a ticket-buying frenzy when they announced in September that they were reuniting for the one-off gig, having rarely performed together since their split in 1980.  A million fans registered for a chance to win a ticket and one man forked out 83,000 pounds for a pair of tickets in a BBC auction for “Children in Need”.

Abortion – time for a change?

embryo1.jpgThe highly charged issue of abortion is once again becoming a hot political issue.

Ever since terminations were legalised in1967, there has been heated debate between those who argue that abortions are morally wrong and those who say it is a woman’s right to choose whether to have a baby.

The big question – whose fault is obesity?

obesity3.jpgFor the last few years, the government has been encouraging us to avoid scoffing too many pizzas and burgers, and to exercise more to avoid becoming obese.

But now a government think-tank says obesity isn’t anyone’s fault – modern life causes the problem, not laziness or greed.

Is it time to leave Iraq?

British troops in Iraq

U.S. President George W. Bush flew to Iraq with his security chiefs to meet the U.S. commander for a final review of the war before a showdown in Congress over troop levels.

Earlier, British troops quit Basra, leaving the city without British forces for the first time since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam in 2003. The withdrawal from the Basra Palace complex is a step towards handing over Basra province to Iraqi control and an eventual British pullout from Iraq.

Should inheritance tax be scrapped?

Scrap the tax?A Conservative Party policy group has recommended scrapping the unpopular inheritance tax.

At the moment, only estates worth more than 300,000 pounds are liable for the tax. The government says that means the levy is paid on only about 6 percent of estates.