Dovish words from Obama, a rejected poppy plea and a call to scrap Bedroom Taxby Prospect Team / September 11, 2013 / Leave a comment
Obama pursues diplomatic path on Syria with caution
President Obama pledged to pursue a diplomatic initiative with Russia in an attempt to resolve the impasse over Syria in a televised address on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The US president has cited the Russian-backed disarmament plan as a reason for postponing a congressional vote to authorise the use of force in Syria. Obama said there were “encouraging signs” of a political resolution “without the use of force,” though he voiced scepticism and ordered the military to “maintain their current position to keep the pressure on Assad and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails.”
Nigel Evans quits admit sexual offence charges
Nigel Evans has resigned as Commons Deputy Speaker after the Director of Public Prosecutions announced that he would be charged with sexual offences against seven men, the Guardian reports. The 55-year-old Conservative MP, who strongly denies the allegations, is accused of two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one rape count. He is set to stand down as Deputy Speaker but pledges to continue working as an MP from the backbenches. Evans, who was previously arrested in May and June, answered questions following his re-arrest yesterday.
UN rules to scrap Bedroom Tax
The UN special investigator on housing has called for the new “bedroom tax” to be abolished, after hearing accounts of how the policy has affected the most vulnerable people in the UK, the Independent reports. Raquel Rolnik, the UN special rapporteur who has met with tenants affected by the policy around the country, said the UK had “much to be proud of in the provision of affordable housing” but it was “going backwards in the protection and promotion of the human right to housing.” Under the government’s welfare reform strategy, social tenants deemed to have more bedrooms than they need have received reduced housing benefits.
British Legion Poppy Project turned down for funding
Funding for the 2014 Real Poppy project, endorsed by David Cameron and the Prince of Wales, was dealt a blow after its funding was rejected by the Heritage Lottery Fund, says the Daily Telegraph. The British Legion-led initiative planned to plant millions of poppies ahead of the First World War centenary next year. The disclosure comes just days it emerged that the HLF has been awarded £100,000 by the Peace Pledge Union, a pacifist organisation that raises awareness of the role that conscientious objectors played in the war.
Vince Cable warns Chancellor against complacency over deficit reduction
Vince Cable will warn George Osborne against complacency over economic recovery on Wednesday, says the BBC. Speaking on the Today programme, the business secretary defended the Chancellor’s “tone” but intimated that Britain is not seeing “the kind of growth we want.”