News You Can Use: October

6 Oct 2014 Ryan Miller    Last updated: 6 Nov 2014

Scope's pick of the month, for those who want to know what is happening but don't have the time to trawl through all the papers themselves: we read the news so that you don't have to ...

Friday 31st

Pope Francis attacks American critics who label him a communist because of his concern for the poor, saying that challenging injustice is central to the Gospel 

Thursday 30th

A Home Office report has found there is no evidence tougher laws and enforcement relating to drug possession has any effect on usage. However, Westminster indicated it will not change its approach which it says is working.

Wednesday 29th

The Samaritans launch a Twitter app that warns people when friends are having suicidal thoughts by detecting potentially worrying tweets and gives guidance on how to give support to the person at risk. 

Tuesday 28th

The UK slips to 26th in global rankings for gender equallity, according to the latest report from the World Economic Forum - the worst ranking since 2008, lower than both Rwanda and the Phillipines.

Monday 27th

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers chooses the Forum for Cities in Transition conference in Belfast to lay down the gauntlet to local politicians on Welfare Reform and budget cuts.

Friday 24th 

Republicans in Donegal describe as "baseless smears" a claim by Eileen Calder of the Belfast Rape Crisis Centre that Donegal was used by Sinn Fein as a "dumping ground" for paedophiles within its own ranks.

Thursday 23rd 

The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools creates outrage when it calls for legisalation to promote integrated education to be revoked.

Wednesday 22nd 

Convicted rapist Ched Evans takes to YouTube to make his case for being allowed to continue his career as a footballer.


Tuesday 21st

Theresa Villiers rules out pleas that allegations about establishment and intelligence service involvement in Kincora should be investigated by the UK-wide investigations into child abuse. Instead she said it should be investigated locally. Strange, given the seriousness of the allegations which go to the heart of the State. Not surprisingly this has not gone down well with local party leaders.

Monday 20th 

Sinn Fein and the DUP finally get into bed together ... to make paying for sex in Northern Ireland a crime.

Friday 17th 

Crikey! A small group of bird watchers campaign to preserve a bee colony in Southern Ontario, and days later get a warning letter from tax authorities claiming that this amounts to political activity. UK campaigners against the Lobbying Bill will be alarmed ...

Thursday 16th

Peter Robinson reiterates his party's commitment to the new round of talks at Stormont, explaining that his party did not attend the plenary session because they objected to the "tinsel and fancy lights".

Wednesday 15th

Oh dear! Whatever was the Minister for the Disabled thinking of when he told a fringe meeting at the Tory Party Conference that people with disabilties were not worth £2 an hour? Labour released a tape of his comments, forcing an apology and causing outrage.

Tuesday 14th

The NSPCC is opening a helpline in Northern Ireland because it claims that people here are less likely to report child abuse and neglect than in the rest of the UK. Last year it received just under 1,000 calls in Northern Ireland, 58% of which were serious enough to be referred to social services or PSNI.

Monday 13th

The gulf between the super rich and the rest of us continues to widen with revelations that the average salary of a director of a FTSE 100 company is now £2.4 million, 120 times that of the average worker and a 21% rise year on year.

Friday 10th

Social enterprises are growing business in Pakistan, where a burgeoning third sector is using innovation to try and fill huge gaps in public service provision in one of the most troubled countries in the world.

Thursday 9th

Welfare Reform - First Minister Peter Robinson penned a first-person piece for the Belfast Telegraph. It's 800 words long, with over four percent of those words being either "Sinn" or "Fein".

Wednesday 8th 

An alarming investigation by The Detail reveals that less than a third of pupils at post primary non Grammar schools in Northern Ireland are achieving expected levels in literacy and numeracy, Professor Tony Gallagher of Queens University is quoted as saying this is evidence of growing social inequality, with little sign of improvement.

Tuesday 7th

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) ruled that the cannabis derived drug Sativex which is used by many with multiple sclerosis to relieve symptoms is too expensive, even though it is approved for use in Wales. This does not bode well for Northern Ireland where the MS Society is already campaigning against the Post Code lottery for treatments.

Monday 6th

The Tourist Board announced it was closing its Events Fund at 5pm on Friday, a great time to bury bad news: except the media is alert to this kind of manoevre and blanket coverage ensued, with events such as Culture Night likely to fall by the wayside.

Friday 3rd

The Conservative Party announced it planned to scrap Human Rights Legislation and replace it with a UK Bill of Rights. Had it forgotten the Good Friday Agreement? The CAJ warned that this could plunge Northern Ireland's fragile peace process into crisis.

Thursday 2nd

Embattled chancellor George Osborne asked businesses to look “above the parapet” and fight back against “anti-business views” put forward by charities and trades unions. He told the Institute of Directors annual convention that free market ideas are more at risk in the UK than any time since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Wednesday 1st

SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie opened the South Eastern Social Enterprise Hub – aiming to provide a leg-up for those looking to start or build a third-sector business, which she said will co-ordinate policies across departments in order to better tackle various social issues, such as poverty and poor health.


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