Date: 01.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Smokers may face tougher bans 

The government launched plans on Monday to halve the number of smokers in Britain by the end of the decade and said it would consider removing branding from cigarette packets and banning cigarette vending machines.


At the moment, 21 percent of the population smoke and ministers want to reduce that figure to 10 percent by 2020, with a particular focus on young people. "We've come so far and now we'll go even further -- to push forward and save even more lives," said Health Secretary Andy Burnham. "One day, in the not too distant future, we'll look back and find it hard to remember why anyone ever smoked in the first place." The number of people lighting up has fallen by a quarter in the past decade as a result of various policies including a ban on advertising, putting grisly pictures on packets and raising the age of sale for tobacco to 18.

In 2007, the government introduced a ban on smoking in virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces, and last year 337,000 people quit cigarettes. But despite falling smoking rates, the number of deaths attributed to smoking is 80,000 a year, costing the National Health Service some 2.7 billion pounds a year. The government said seven out of 10 smokers want to give up and, as part of the new strategy, smoking restrictions will be reviewed to see if they should be extended to include entrances to buildings. It also will look at protecting children from second-hand smoke by promoting smoke-free homes and cars. Tailor-made anti-smoking strategies will be available on the NHS, and the government will crack down on cheap, illicit cigarettes. Ministers are also to consider the case for plain packaging, and banning the sale of tobacco from vending machines as part of the moves to deter young people. "Now that we've banned advertising and will soon see an end to attractive displays in shops, the only remaining method of advertising tobacco is the packaging," Burnham said.

"So we will carefully consider whether there is evidence for making tobacco companies use plain packets." Pro-smoking group Forest said the measures were draconian and illiberal, and that people should be allowed to make choices about their own lifestyle. The Tobacco Manufacturers Association said it welcomed the crackdown on illicit trade but criticised other proposals. "The government's dictatorial approach to tobacco control is hardly conducive to changing consumer lifestyle choices," said chief executive Christopher Ogden. (Reporting by Avril Ormsby and Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)

Date: 02.02.2010. Time: 22.00

A police officer died after his vehicle left the road and crashed, police have said.


He had been driving along Westwood Road towards Trowbridge, Wiltshire, at around 8pm on Wednesday. Wiltshire Police said the officer lost control on a left-hand bend and veered off the road. A force spokeswoman said: "Wiltshire Police were called to the scene of a road traffic collision at 8pm on Westwood Road, near Bradford on Avon. "The car involved was a marked Wiltshire Police vehicle traveling towards Trowbridge and was being driven by a male serving police officer. "Great Western Ambulance Service attended but sadly the officer had sustained very serious injuries and died at the scene. "An investigation is currently being conducted into the circumstances surrounding the

Date: 03.02.2010. Time: 22.00

An Indonesian tobacco company has agreed to pay the medical expenses of a man who lost six teeth when a cigarette he was smoking exploded.


The cigarette blew up in Andi Susanto's mouth while he was riding his motorcycle in Bekasi, near Jakarta. He lost six teeth and received 51 stitches. Mr Susanto told Metro TV in an interview from his hospital bed that cigarette producer PT Nojorono Tobacco Indonesia was paying for his medical treatment. "The company's officials have talked to my family and we agreed to settle it amicably, as an out-of-court settlement," he said through bandaged lips. "They will pay all the medical expenses." The cause of the explosion remains unknown.

Mr Susanto said he wasn't chewing anything when he lit the Clas Mild cigarette, and didn't notice anything strange about its odour, colour or taste. The victim, who has been smoking since primary school, said he was shocked by the incident. "It had been always fine. The incident was all so unexpected," said the 31-year-old, who works as a security guard. He admitted that he was traumatised by the incident and would try to quit smoking. Tulus Abadi, from the Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation, said there was only a small chance the explosion was triggered by the ingredients of the cigarette. "From around 4,000 chemical substances found in a cigarette, there is one substance that is identical to a substance used to formulate rocket fuel," Tulus told The Jakarta Post, referring to methanol. "But although it exists in cigarettes, I think the amount is too small to trigger an explosion." Muhammad Warsianto, NTI's senior adviser, confirmed that its products, branded as Clas Mild, did not contain any explosive materials.  Mr Warsianto said the company assisted with the medical bill as a form of sympathy to "a loyal customer".

Date: 04.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Patient killed unlawfully by overseas doctor

An overseas doctor employed to provide out-of-hours care unlawfully killed a patient, a coroner has ruled. German medic Daniel Ubani - on his first NHS shift - gave patient David Gray, 70, an overdose of diamorphine. He was working for Take Care Now, which provided care in Cambridgeshire. Coroner William Morris said the doctor has been "incompetent" and called for a shake-up of the out-of-hours care system to ensure patient safety. He said Dr Ubani had made "a gross error" and was "not of an acceptable standard" in carrying out his duties in Cambridgeshire in February 2008. But he also criticised the "insufficient induction" he was given by Take Care Now as well as the NHS system which meant his skills were not properly assessed. The company's contract has now been terminated. Mr Morris called for a review of European regulations which allow free movement of doctors, a national database of overseas doctors applying to work in out-of-hours services in the NHS, and more consistent standards in monitoring by local health chiefs working for primary care trusts. A second patient Dr Ubani had treated - Iris Edwards, 86 - was ruled by the inquest to have died of natural causes. Dr Ubani had had an application to work in the UK rejected by the NHS in Leeds because of inadequate English. But he later got approval in Cornwall after they did not test his language skills. Mr Morris also said there should be better assessment by the NHS of overseas doctors' ability to work in the UK. 

'Profound apology'

Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust issued a "profound apology" in court to the families of David Gray and other patients treated that day. The PCT said Dr Ubani had delivered "substandard and dangerous treatment", and it apologised for "these failures and failures in the system". Mr Gray's son Stuart, who is a GP, said: "My father's tragic death happened because of Dr Ubani's actions and because of serious failings within the Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust and Take Care now "We want to see him tried under UK law for his death but we also want safeguards put in place nationwide to prevent this happening again." He added that proficiency in English should be an requirement for those applying to work as doctors in the UK and that there should be mandatory training before overseas doctors start work for the NHS and training on out of hours systems needs to be an essential part of that programme. Peter Walsh, chief executive of Action Against Medical Accidents, said there are "systemic failings" which could affect anyone using out-of-hours care and called for an urgent wide-ranging review. "No-one in their right mind would design out-of-hours services they way they currently exist across England if they started with a blank piece of paper," he said. Mr Gray was suffering from renal colic when he was given 10 times the normal amount of the painkiller diamorphine by Dr Ubani at his home in Manea, Cambridgeshire on February 16 2008, and was pronounced dead fours hour later, the hearing was told. In April 2009, the German authorities gave Dr Ubani a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and he was ordered to pay a £4,500 fine for causing Mr Gray's death by negligence. But he continues to practise as a cosmetic surgeon in the west German town of Witten. The German conviction meant he could not be extradited to face possibly more serious charges in the UK. Ms Edwards' case was not part of the criminal inquiry, although medical experts believe she was inappropriately treated and should have been sent to hospital. Mr Gray's family are now appealing to the European Court of Human Rights as the German authorities have refused an extradition request because of the action taken against him. 

'Unacceptable variation'

The government, which had carried out a review of out-of-hours services in advance of today's verdict acknowledged improvements in the system were needed. Changes will be made in the coming months but it is not yet clear whether they will meet the demands of the family or the coroner. Dr David Colin-Thome who led the review said: "The quality of out-of-hours care for most people is better than it was in 2004 but there is unacceptable variation in how services are implemented and monitored around the country." Responding to the coroner's inquest, Christine Braithwaite, head of investigation and enforcement at the CQC said: "The death of David Gray was a tragedy. "It should not have happened and such an incident must not happen again. "The coroner has clearly highlighted what went wrong. "Take Care Now, and the PCTs that commission its services, must learn the lessons." The Patient's Association said they had repeatedly called for PCTs to take their responsibilities on out-of-hours care seriously. "The urgency of the out-of-hours situation is critical. Every PCT or equivalent throughout the UK should reassure their patients that the out of hours service for which they are paying is safe."

Date: 05.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Four MPs charged with theft over expenses scandal

Pressure was growing last night for more MPs to be reported to police over their dodgy expenses after four politicians were charged with theft. In another shameful day for Westminster, Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer announced Labour's Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine and Tory peer Lord Hanningfield are to be prosecuted. The charges followed a seven-month Scotland Yard probe into their claims for tens of thousands in taxpayers' money.But campaigners said action should not stop there - with crooked MPs punished like those who falsely claim the dole. Sir Alistair Graham, ex-chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, blasted: "Expenses should be treated in exactly the same way. It is public money. No one should be above the law. "If anybody is found guilty of wrongfully claiming in a deliberate way, then it is a form of theft and therefore serious penalties should apply."


Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, added: "It is essential that MPs face justice, just like any normal person who had behaved like this. "The tax-paying public wants to see justice done, and it is right that MPs aren't able to simply wave repayment cheques and walk away from this." Morley, Chaytor, Devine and Lord Hanningfield could face up to seven years in jail if they are found guilty. Lawyers for the three Labour MPs are expected to use the ancient law of parliamentary privilege for their defence. It has traditionally been used to protect members from libel laws when they speak in the House of Commons. But, in his statement yesterday, Mr Starmer effectively told them that would not wash. He said: "We have considered that question and concluded that the applicability and extent of any Parliamentary privilege claimed should be tested in court." Ex-environment minister Morley has been charged with two counts of false accounting over claims for £14,428 and £16,000 over mortgage expenses. The first relates to "excess" claims made for a house in Winterton, in his Scunthorpe constituency. The second charge relates to claiming for a mortgage on the same property which he had already paid off. Morley - who the Mirror revealed yesterday would be charged - is standing down at the next election after being suspended by the party. Chaytor, MP for Bury North, is accused of dishonestly claiming £1,950 for IT services and further sums of £12,925 and £5,425 relating to rent on properties in London and Lancashire. He is also standing down as an MP and was suspended by the party. Livingston MP Jim Devine is accused of dishonestly claiming £3,240 for cleaning services and £5,505 for stationery using false invoices.

Date: 06.02.2010. Time: 22.00

MRSA in care homes

One in four residents in private nursing homes in a particular area here has been found to be carrying the MRSA infection.   The revelation came in a study carried out by Queen's University and Antrim Area Hospital. The study also found that staff were carrying the bacteria. The report focused on homes in the former Northern Board area and there have been calls for tough and immediate action from those in both the public and private sectors. Our Health Correspondent, Marie-Louise Connolly reports.

Date: 07.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Free home care for cancer patients

All 1.6 million people who have or have had cancer are to be offered free one-to-one care in their homes from a personal nurse under plans to be announced by Gordon Brown. The proposals are expected to be a key plank of Labour's general election manifesto as the party promises to "personalise" public services. In a speech to the King's Fund on Monday, the Prime Minister will say that within the next five years he wants to ensure every cancer patient has access to home treatment and advice from a specialist nurse. The move would be part of a wider drive to reform community healthcare, giving people the option of chemotherapy and dialysis without having to travel to a clinic or hospital. It would also be easier to access palliative care and care for the elderly at home. Officials believe the shift in approach could save the Government £2.7 billion a year by improving the management of patients with long-term conditions, reducing hospital admissions and emergency incidents. In his latest Downing Street podcast, Mr Brown highlighted the Government's pledge to guarantee free care for almost 280,000 older and disabled people with critical needs. "It's not fair that so many people already struggling with the loss of independence - who have worked hard all their lives and saved for their retirement - are faced with the prospect of running down their savings or selling their homes to fund their care," he said. "Or that those seeing their parents and grandparents suffering from conditions like Alzheimer's and dementia not only have to watch as their dignity fades, but have the heartbreak made worse by the costs of getting support. "So I am proud that we are about to bring forward a new system of social care that will directly benefit many families of middle Britain."  Free personal care is set to be a key plank of Labour's general election manifesto. Mr Brown outlined his plans at party conference last autumn, and a Bill was included in the Queen's Speech.

Date: 08.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Iran to enrich uranium to 20% as nuclear fears grow

Iran has announced immediate plans to step up its nuclear programme, which Western nations fear could be used to make a bomb.Its nuclear chief said Iran would start enriching uranium to 20% from Tuesday, and that 10 new uranium enrichment plants would be built in the next year. Ali Akbar Salehi said the enrichment would take place at Natanz, Iran's main uranium enrichment plant. The move heightens fears Iran is moving closer to weapons-grade uranium. The West has criticised Iran for stalling on a deal over its enrichment programme. The latest development comes days before Iran celebrates the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution, which is expected to see pro- and anti-government demonstrations. Witnesses say the situation in the Iranian capital Tehran is increasingly tense, with a series of checkpoints already set up across the city.

Major step

Speaking on Sunday evening, Mr Salehi said he would inform the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), of the enrichment plan in a formal letter on Monday. However, he added that production would be halted if Iran received fuel enriched to 20% from abroad. The country earlier appeared ready to exchange its low-enriched uranium for higher-grade foreign fuel but wanted changes to a UN-drafted plan. "Iran would halt its enrichment process for the Tehran research reactor any time it receives the necessary fuel for it," Mr Salehi said. Iran currently enriches uranium to a level of 3.5% but requires 20% enriched uranium for its Tehran research reactor, which is meant to produce medical isotopes. A bomb would require uranium enriched to at least 90%. To achieve 20% enrichment would be such a major step for Iran, David Albright of Washington's Institute for Science and International Security told the Associated Press news agency, it "would be going most of the rest of the way to weapon-grade uranium".

Diplomats alarmed

News of the enrichment move, which was ordered by President Ahmadinejad on Sunday, alarmed Western diplomats. Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith called the announcement a "serious provocation" that "risks testing the patience of the international community". A UK Foreign Office spokeswoman said the report was "clearly a matter of serious concern", while US Defence Secretary Robert Gates called for further "international pressure" on Iran. "The international community has offered the Iranian government multiple opportunities to provide reassurance of its intentions," he said on a visit to Rome. "The results have been very disappointing." He added that he believed there was "still time for sanctions and pressure to work" if the international community united on the issue.

Date: 09.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Iran 'ups nuclear fuel enriching'

Iran has started the process of enriching uranium to 20% in defiance of the West, Iranian state media says. The process was begun at the Natanz plant in the presence of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, al-Alam state television reported. The move came as Western powers stepped up pressure on Iran. The US said it wanted UN sanctions within "weeks".China, a UN Security Council member, called for further talks over Iran's nuclear programme. The US and its Western allies say Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon - a charge Iran denies. Iran's top nuclear official, Ali Akbar Salehi, was quoted by state news agency Irna as saying Iran "had started the 20% enrichment in a separate cascade in Natanz" for use in a Tehran research reactor. He said the cascade contained 164 centrifuges and had a production capacity of 3-5kg (6-11lb) a month - more than the 1.5kg (3.3lb) needed for the research reactor. The report says Tuesday's announcement is designed to stress Iran's view that it is only acting within its rights. Iran currently enriches uranium to a level of 3.5% but requires 20% enriched uranium for its research reactor, which is meant to produce medical isotopes. A bomb would require uranium enriched to at least 90%. Enriching to 20% would take about one year, using the 2,000 centrifuges at the underground Natanz facility, experts say. But moving from 20% to 90% would take only six months and only require between 500 and 1,000 centrifuges. Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and designed to provide civilian power. It had already announced on Sunday that it aimed to start producing uranium enriched to 20% for its Tehran reactor. Mr Salehi also said the government would build 10 new enrichment plants next year, despite the fact that it still had problems with its first one. The US and France reacted by saying that the time had come "for the adoption of strong sanctions", while the British government described Iran's new position as deeply worrying. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said on Tuesday that US Defense Secretary Robert Gates wanted to see UN sanctions against Iran in "weeks, not months", and that Mr Gates "clearly thinks time is of the essence".


The UN Security Council has already imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran in an effort to make it cease all uranium enrichment activities and heavy-water projects, which could produce plutonium suitable for use in weapons. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu refused to comment directly on sanctions at a press conference on Tuesday, the Associated Press news agency reported. "I hope the relevant parties will step up efforts and push for progress in the dialogue and negotiations," he was quoted as saying. As a Security Council member, China's support would be needed for any new round of sanctions against Iran. In October, a deal brokered by the IAEA was thought to have been struck for Iran to send its uranium to Russia and France for enrichment. But last month, diplomats said Iran had told the IAEA that it did not accept the terms of the deal - though there have since been other, conflicting messages. Mr Salehi has said that enriched uranium production would be halted if Iran received fuel enriched to 20% from abroad.

Date: 10.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Q+A - Where does China stand on Iran sanctions? 

Western powers are seeking new U.N. sanctions against Iran over its expanding nuclear program, putting pressure on China which has long resisted tougher steps against the big oil supplier. WHAT IS CHINA'S GENERAL POSITION ON SANCTIONS?

China has long said sanctions are not an effective tool for resolving diplomatic disputes and has often repeated that line in answer to reporters' questions about Iran. That position reflects Beijing's anger with Western sanctions China itself has faced, especially after the 1989 armed crackdown on pro-democracy protests around Tiananmen Square. It also reflects China's long-standing stance that it observes "non-interference" in other countries' domestic affairs -- a position that has often amounted to wanting to insulate its economic flows from diplomatic disputes. But Beijing has backed previous rounds of U.N.-approved sanctions against North Korea and Iran over their nuclear activities. And recently China said it would slap unilateral sanctions on U.S. firms selling weapons to Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own. Since the 1990s, China has cast itself as a responsible supporter of nuclear non-proliferation safeguards. That desire to be a respected global player and not be isolated from dominant international opinion could weigh in favour of China allowing fresh sanctions against Iran, especially with Russia indicating it may back sanctions.


China is one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council who have the power to veto any proposed resolution. While Beijing often abstains from Security Council votes on decisions it dislikes, it is much less willing to use its veto and risk diplomatic isolation, especially if fellow Security Council member Russia backs a resolution. China is more likely to wield the veto threat to seek to thwart any measures that could threaten its energy and economic ties with Iran, as it has done before. In July 2006, China backed U.N. Security Council Resolution 1696 that threatened sanctions on Iran, and in December of the same year it supported Resolution 1737, which put sanctions on Iranian nuclear imports and exports. In March 2007, China backed Resolution 1747, which broadened sanctions to cover a ban on Iranian arms exports. Each time, however, Beijing worked to rein in Western demands for tougher restrictions. When asked about possible new sanctions against Iran, Chinese Foreign Ministry officials have often stressed that they favour negotiations, saying sanctions are not the best tool. When Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu was asked that question Tuesday, however, he avoided directly addressing sanctions, or even using that word. Speaking in Munich Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi urged more diplomatic efforts. He too did not directly say whether China backed or opposed fresh sanctions.


Beijing sees Iran as an important oil supplier and trade partner, and as a major strategic actor in the Middle East, where China is buying growing volumes of oil. There is scant chance of China risking those ties by backing expansive economic sanctions against Tehran. China is the world's No. 2 crude oil consumer, and Iran has the world's second-largest crude oil reserves but desperately needs investment to develop them. In 2009, Iran was China's third biggest source of imported crude oil, behind Angola and top supplier Saudi Arabia. Iran supplied China with 23.1 million metric tonnes of crude, or 11.4 percent of China's total crude imports. Chinese state companies are also selling gasoline to Iran, which despite its crude reserves lacks refining capacity to meet domestic demand. China's state-owned energy group, CNPC, has reached a deal to develop part of Iran's South Pars gas project and beef up its oil and gas stake in IRAN, an industry official told Reuters Tuesday.

Date: 11.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Man 'Lives for 27 Days' In Haiti Rubble

Doctors say a man may have survived under the rubble of a flea market for 27 days following the earthquake in Haiti four weeks ago. The man told doctors he had just finished selling rice for the day when the quake struck on January 12. He said he didn't suffer any major injuries and was trapped on his side in an area where food and drink vendors were selling their goods. "Based on his story, we believe him," said Dr Dushyantha Jayaweera, a physician at the University of Miami Medishare field hospital, where hundreds of patients have been treated since the quake. Doctors said two men first took the vendor, identified as Evans Monsigrace, to a Salvation Army medical center in Port-au-Prince, and he was then taken to the University of Miami center because of his critical condition. The men who took him for treatment said he had been trapped under the debris since the disaster. The patient was suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition, but health care workers expressed scepticism about his story when some test results came back relatively normal, Dr Jayaweera said. Then the man regained consciousness and was lucid enough to recount a tale that seems plausible, the doctor said. The last confirmed survivor found in Haiti was a 16-year-old girl removed from rubble by a French rescue team 15 days after the quake. Doctors said at the time that disaster survivors may be able to sustain themselves with a water supply and without medical attention for up to two weeks. The Haitian government says the earthquake killed 230,000 people.

Curry killer faces life for murder

A jealous woman who laced her lover's curry with poison is facing life in jail after being found guilty of his murder. Police said Lakhvir Singh was driven to murder to stop her secret lover of 16 years, Lakhvinder "Lucky" Cheema, marrying his young fiancée. The mother of three sneaked into Mr Cheema and his bride-to-be Gurjeet Choongh's home and spiked a curry in the fridge with deadly Indian aconite - known as the Queen of Poisons. The couple ate the meal as they discussed their wedding - which was due to take place just weeks later on Valentine's Day last year. Within hours of eating the curry on January 27, Mr Cheema, 39, was dead after having second helpings and Miss Choongh, 21, was fighting for her life in hospital. After an Old Bailey jury found 45-year-old Singh guilty of murder, Miss Choongh emerged smiling from the court. She said through an interpreter: "I would like to thank the police for their help and support throughout the investigation, and the witnesses for giving evidence." Detective Inspector Tony Bishop said: "This was a murder by a woman who could not accept that her lover had found happiness with someone else and planned to get married. The poison that Singh used caused appalling symptoms meaning that the last hours of Lucky's life were extremely traumatic and must have been terrifying." Singh, of Southall, west London, showed no emotion as she was found guilty of murder and remanded in custody until Thursday. She was also found guilty of causing Miss Choongh grievous bodily harm with intent but was cleared of attempting to murder her. The jury is still considering a charge alleging she administered poison to Mr Cheema in December 2008 at his home in Princes Road, Feltham, west London.

Date: 12.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Red Grape and dark chocolate cancer killers: researchers

Cabernet and chocolate are potent medicine for killing cancer, according to research presented here Wednesday. Red grapes and dark chocolate join blueberries, garlic, soy, and teas as ingredients that starve cancer while feeding bodies, "We are rating foods based on their cancer-fighting qualities," Li said. "What we eat is really our chemotherapy three times a day." The Massachusetts-based foundation is identifying foods containing chemicals that evidently choke-off blood supplies to tumors starving them to death. Li cited a Harvard Medical School study showing that men who ate cooked tomatoes several times weekly were 30 to 50 percent less likely to have prostate cancer. "There is a medical revolution happening all around us," Li said. "If we're right, it could impact on consumer education, food service, public health, and even insurance agencies." About a dozen drugs are already in use to deprive tumors of blood supplies in a treatment tactic called "anti-angiogenesis. The foundation pitted some foods against approved drugs and found that soy, parsley, red grapes, berries and other comestibles were either as effective or more potent in battling cancer cells. Eaten together, the foods were even more effective in fighting cancer. "We discovered that Mother Nature laced a large number of foods and herbs with anti-angiogenesis features," Li said. "For many people around the world, dietary cancer treatment may be the only solution because not everyone can afford cancer drugs." The foundation also discovered that anti-angiogenesis properties of foods melt away fat, which relies heavily on blood flow to sustain itself. Tests showed that mice genetically prone to be chubby could be trimmed to average mouse size using the approach. "It got weight down to a set point for normal mice," Li said. "In other words, we can't create supermodel mice."


Date: 13.02.2010. Time: 22.00

 Allergies: how your GP can help

There’s been a marked increase in allergic diseases over the past few decades - about a third of the UK population is now affected at some point in their lives - but the NHS has struggled to keep up. There is little medical training in the UK covering allergies, allergy tests are hard to come by and we’re desperately short of specialist allergy services. So how can you get the best from what the NHS can offer? People tend to use the word allergy to describe any unpleasant reaction, whether it's to food, medication, insect stings and so on. But the word allergy means something more specific - it describes the body's reaction when your immune system comes into contact with a trigger substance (an allergen) that it recognises and then produces a particular type of antibody called immunoglobulin. This kicks off a rapid release of other chemicals - including histamine - that produce the unpleasant symptoms associated with allergy. Extreme reactions (anaphylaxis) can cause life-threatening collapse. Some of the common conditions where allergy can play a part include asthma, hay fever, conjunctivitis, eczema (particularly young children) and food allergy.

Food allergy or intolerance?

I meet lots of patients who think they've got a food allergy. Some do, but most will have a food intolerance, which is not the same at all. Allergy specialist Jonathan Brostoff, professor of allergy and environmental health at King’s College London, told me: "They're completely different. Food allergy is an acute (rapid) reaction involving IgE, mast cells (like microscopic hand grenades containing histamine) and an allergen. Food intolerance is delayed by up to three days, mostly the next day, and the mechanism is unknown. It's probably mediated by lymphocytes (white cells). If someone has an acute food allergy, they'll know the cause and be able to avoid it. That's the crucial difference."

Allergy homework

Typical symptoms might suggest you have an allergy, but they can all be caused by non-allergic conditions, too. It's vital to get the correct diagnosis so you know what you're dealing with, what to avoid and what treatments might help. I'd recommend making an appointment to see your GP, but in the meantime be clear about what your main symptoms are and how they're affecting your life.
• Do they stop you doing things?
• When and where do you tend to develop these symptoms? For hay fever or asthma for example, are they worse at a particular time of year or day? Do you tend to only get the symptoms when you're at work, outside, or at home? A formal symptom diary can help.
• Think about whether any of your relatives have allergies - of any sort. Many allergies run in families, particularly asthma, hay fever and eczema (the so-called 'atopic' conditions).
• Finally, make a note of what self-help remedies you've tried and whether or not they help.
Some people exclude a particular food or food type from their diet for a set time to see whether their symptoms improve. It makes perfect sense to avoid obvious triggers if they seem to cause allergic symptoms, but if you're just fishing for potential foods to which you're intolerant, it's best to get professional advice (for example, from a dietitian) before putting yourself at risk of dietary deficiency through an exclusion diet. Seeing your GP Between you and your doctor, you should be able to decide if it's an allergic condition. The great thing about going to your GP is that he or she will also be thinking about the whole range of other non-allergic conditions that could be causing similar symptoms, and may want to examine you or arrange further tests with this in mind.

Allergy tests

You may need allergy testing to find out which specific triggers are behind your symptoms. This is particularly important if you've had more severe reactions, or if there's any confusion about whether it's a true allergy or something else. The main allergy tests are:
• Skin prick tests (for IgE sensitivity to common triggers). Simple, quick test, done in GP surgery or hospital clinic by specially trained doctors or nurses. Can give useful information about all types of allergy, including things you inhale or eat.
• Blood tests (tests for IgE antibodies to specific triggers). Measure how strong an allergic response is - the higher the level of IgE antibody to the trigger, the more likely you are to be allergic. Useful when someone's had a severe reaction and to screen for a range of potential food allergens, and in people with severe eczema when skin testing is impractical. A positive result doesn't always mean you're allergic. Blood sample can be taken in GP surgery, sent to your local hospital laboratory, and results should be available in one to two weeks.
• Skin patch tests (for suspected contact allergies on the skin). Applied to the skin for 48 hours. Results need special analysis so tests usually carried out in hospital dermatology departments. May be useful in people with hand eczema where contact allergy to foods might be a cause.
Are blood tests useful for diagnosing food allergy or intolerance?
Professor Brostoff says tests for acute food allergy are reliable and widespread, but there's no reliable and universally accepted test for food intolerance because the mechanism of the reaction is not known. "The immunoglobulin G (IgG) test shows the person has met and recognised the allergen but doesn't necessarily mean the patient is allergic to that allergen," he says. He thinks a standard elimination diet can be more useful in some conditions - irritable bowel syndrome, for example.

What's the treatment?

For simple cases, with a proper exploration of your symptoms and any necessary further tests, your GP should be able to advise you on the most effective measures to deal with your allergy. These will mainly involve avoiding the problem allergen(s), but is also likely to include medications such as antihistamines or steroids to dampen down your immune system's over-reaction. For more complex or severe cases, you have to hope you can be referred to one of the six major UK allergy centres. As Professor Brostoff says: "We have the smallest number of allergists per head of population of any country in Europe and there are fewer than ten doctors in the country currently being trained to become specialist allergists."
Dr Graham Easton works in a London GP practice with around 10,000 patients. It has three GP partners, three salaried doctors and fully computerised medical records. His medical training was at The Royal London Hospital. He's also an experienced medical journalist who has worked for BBC Radio Science and the British Medical Journal. All content within BBC Health is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. The BBC is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the BBC Health website. The BBC is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites. See our Links Policy for more information. Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your health.

Date: 14.02.2010. Time: 22.00





Valentine's Day

Whether you love it or loathe it, Valentine's Day is the one time of year when most girls secretly find themselves hoping for a bunch of flowers - or at least a card of some description. But there are certain gifts that even the most romantic among us would turn our nose up at.

Saint Valentine's Day (commonly shortened to Valentine's Day is an annual holiday held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The holiday first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

Date: 15.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Most expensive cars in the world.

Top ten most expensive cars in production

In anticipation of the prestigious Geneva Motor Show next month (4 March 2010), we’ve prepared a list of the world’s most incredible, most costly production cars.

1 - Zenvo ST1: £2m
2 - Koenigsegg Trevita: £1.5m
3 - Bugatti Veyron: £1.3m
4 - Aston Martin One-77: £1.2m
5 - Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster: £1.2m
6 - Ferrari 599XX: £1.2m
7 - Lamborghini Reventón Roadster: £1m
8 - Maybach Landaulet: £800,000
9 - SSC Ultimate Aero: £400,000
10 - Tramontana R-Edition: £360,000

Date: 16.02.2010. Time: 22.00



Sir Anthony Hopkins has explained his skinny new look - he's shed 80 pounds over 10 months after getting serious with his diet.

The Silence of The Lambs star left fans stunned last year by sporting a slim new frame, which led gossips to suggest the actor was ill. But he maintains he just needed to lose weight after years of eating badly. He tells Men's Journal magazine, "I got tired of being heavy, so I went on a really good regime of eating healthy and exercising for an hour a day. "I'm not a nutty, macrobiotic kind of guy, but I enjoy being alive."


Date: 17.02.2010. Time: 22.00



What are they?

Condoms are barrier methods that prevent sperm meeting an egg. There are male and female condoms. Condoms are made of latex (rubber) or polyurethane (plastic).

How reliable are they?

Effectiveness depends on how carefully they're used. Male condoms are 98 per cent effective when used according to instructions. This means that using this method, two women in 100 will get pregnant in a year. Female condoms are 95 per cent effective. This means five women in 100 will get pregnant in a year.

How are male condoms used?

Male condoms fit over a man's erect penis. They should be used before any close genital contact. Once the man has 'come' but before the penis goes soft, he must withdraw holding the condom firmly in place to avoid spilling any sperm. The condom is then removed and should be disposed of carefully.

How are female condoms used?

Female condoms are put into the vagina and line it loosely when in place. The closed end of the condom is inserted high into the vagina. The open, outer ring lies just outside the vagina. After sex the condom is removed by twisting the outer ring to keep the sperm inside and pulling it out. It should be disposed of carefully.


  • Very effective

  • Easily available (male condoms)

  • Only need to use them when you have sex

  • Help to protect against some sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV

  • Male condoms come in many different varieties, shapes and sizes

  • Female condoms can be put in at any time before sex


  • Can interrupt sex

  • Male condoms can slip off or split if used incorrectly

  • When using the female condom care is needed to ensure the penis goes inside the condom and not down the side of the condom and the vagina

  • Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in latex condoms, although this is not common

  • Oil-based lubricants, such as body oils or lotions, should not be used with latex condoms


Condom allergy

Although in the past condom allergy was thought to be a poor excuse used by men when they didn't want to use a condom, it has become clear recently that the problem is real.

In many cases the problem seems to be an allergy to rubber. Hypoallergenic condoms are now available made from polyurethane instead of latex. Another possibility is a sensitivity to the spermicidal that lubricates the condom. If you experience any rash or irritation after intercourse, try using a condom without nonoxynol-9 or 11 spermicidal to see if that helps.

For many people, a lack of lubrication is the underlying cause of the irritation. The friction caused by dry skin surfaces makes sex uncomfortable. The solution is to use extra lubricant during foreplay and intercourse. This should be water-based. Oil-based lubricants react with the condom, breaking down and weakening the latex.

To avoid dryness and the friction it brings, 'jel-charge' the condom. Expel the air from the tip of the condom, put lubricant inside the top and massage it over the penis as you role the condom on. This not only solves the problem of dryness but also heightens the sensation experienced during intercourse.

Where can I get condoms?

  • They're free on the NHS

  • Male condoms are free and easily available from contraception clinics, sexual health clinics, genitourinary medicine clinics and some general practices. They can be bought from pharmacies, supermarkets, vending machines and via mail order

  • Female condoms are free from some contraception and sexual health clinics. They can be bought from some pharmacies and via mail order

Date: 18.02.2010. Time: 22.00



To avoid jet lag disturbing the first few days of your holiday as your body acclimatises to a new time zone, you may need need to think ahead and synchronize your body clock before you travel. If you're traveling east, try going to bed earlier for a couple of nights. If you're traveling west, go to bed later.

The following suggestions can also help to reduce the effects of jet lag.

  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after the flight to avoid dehydration.

  • Don't drink lots of alcohol or take unnecessary medication while in flight.

  • Sleep well before the flight and during long journeys if you can.

  • If you're traveling west over four or more time zones (to New York, for example) make sure you get bright natural light in the early evening. This will help you to adapt to the new time.

  • If you're going east back to the UK, try to return at around midday to get the brightest light of the day. Wear eye shades on the plane and try to stay in the dark and quiet.

  • Exercise while on the plane. Don't just walk around the cabin - stretch in your chair as well. This will help your blood circulation and reduce swelling of the feet and legs.

Date: 19.02.2010. Time: 22.00


Israel remains silent over use of forged British passports in Dubai assassination

Britain sends investigators to emirate as local police chief points finger at Mossad over killing of Hamas official . Seven of the 11 suspects with European passports wanted by Dubai police for the murder of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Photograph: AP

Britain today declared its "outrage" at the use of forged British passports by a hit squad that killed a Hamas official in Dubai, and dispatched police investigators to the Gulf emirate to collect evidence. The officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) arrived in the United Arab Emirates as the investigation focused increasingly on Israel. The Dubai police chief declared that he was "99%, if not 100% certain" of Mossad's involvement, and called on Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for the Israeli spy chief, Meir Dagan. While SOCA is concentrating specifically on the misuse of British passports, it is understood that MI6 is conducting a broader, parallel probe into Israeli involvement.

Britain, Ireland and France stepped up diplomatic pressure on Israel, demanding explanations on the use of forged European passports by the assassins who targeted Mahmoud al-Mabhouh on 19 January. However, the initial response from the Israeli envoys in London and Dublin was that they had nothing to say about the affair, bringing closer the prospect of a high-level diplomatic row. The Israeli embassy made no comment on its meeting at the French foreign ministry, which "expressed its deep concern about the malicious and fraudulent use of these French administrative documents."

The US also looked likely to be drawn into the affair for the first time, after the Wall Street Journal reported that Mabhouh's assassins had used American-registered credit cards to buy plane tickets. The foreign secretary, David Miliband, said the Israeli ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, had been asked to shed light on how the identities of six British citizens living in Israel had been stolen and used by the assassins. The foreign secretary said any tampering with British passports was "an outrage". Miliband said: "We wanted to give Israel every opportunity to share what it knows about this incident and we hope and expect that they will cooperate fully with the investigation." Prosor, however, said he was "unable to add information" on the matter, and his counterpart in Dublin, Zion Evrony, delivered a similar response to a top Irish diplomat. "I told him I don't know anything about the event – beyond that it is not customary to share the content of diplomatic meetings," Evrony said.

Ireland's foreign minister Michael Martin revealed that a further two Irish passports were used in the assassination, bringing the total number of Irish travel documents involved to five as speculation grew that the size of the hit squad was bigger than the 11 originally reported. British diplomats in Israel have been meeting the six British nationals caught up in the assassination plot when their identities were used by the hit team. Foreign office officials said that none of the six had reported their passports stolen so the documents used by the killers appeared to be sophisticated clones. SOCA said the numbers on the fake passports were the same as the genuine ones. It confirmed the photographs and signatures on the passports used in Dubai do not match those on passports issued by British authorities.

Miliband is to meet in Brussels on Monday with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, who has insisted there is no proof of Israeli involvement, and stressed that his government employed a "policy of ambiguity" on intelligence matters. In Dubai, however, the emirate's police chief, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, called on local television for Interpol to issue "a red notice against the head of Mossad … as a killer in case Mossad is proved to be behind the crime, which is likely now." British officials said last night it was too early to speculate on what measures Britain might take against Israel if the government remained uncooperative.

One possible consequence could be Britain's response to an Israeli request to change its 'universal jurisdiction' law on war crimes, under which a London magistrates court issued an arrest warrant in December for Israel's former foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, for her role in the Gaza offensive a year earlier. Livni cancelled her planned visit to London as a result, leading Miliband to promise the law would be changed. "Israel is a strategic partner and a close friend of the UK. We are determined to protect and develop these ties," Miliband said.

However, there have been growing calls for the relationship to be reassessed if Israel is proved to have been involved in the forging of British passports in the Mabhouh assassination. Sir Richard Dalton, Britain's ambassador to Iran from 2003 to 2006 said: "All this just says how pathetic and ludicrous the claim is that Israel is Britain's strategic partner."

The Conservative leader, David Cameron, said Israel must provide assurances it would ban Mossad from using UK travel papers. He also called on the government to make clear when it knew about the use of falsified British passports. The Dubai authorities said they had asked Britain for assistance at the end of January, but the foreign office insists it was only informed of the British connection hours before it was made public.

Date: 20.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Brown launches election themes at Labour rally


Gordon Brown has urged voters to take a "second look" at Labour as he unveiled his election campaign themes. Labour will campaign under the theme "a future fair for all", he said, at a rally in Coventry.  He said Labour would be the "change makers" and attacked the Tories who he said would put the economy "at risk". The Tories pledged "real change" to "put Britain back on its feet again". The Lib Dems said there had been a "total failure to make Britain fairer".

'Team of one'

Mr Brown opened his speech by stressing he had an "experienced" team behind him - paying tribute to senior cabinet ministers including Harriet Harman and Lord Mandelson - while the Conservatives were down to a "team of one". Setting out his future aims, Mr Brown said: "First, we must secure the recovery, not put it at risk. Second, we must support new industries and future jobs. "Third, while we will reduce the deficit, and reduce it by half, we must protect and not cut frontline services. And fourth, we must stand up for the many, not the few."  Appealing to former Labour voters who might have deserted the party, Mr Brown urged them to take a "long, hard look" at Conservative policies, which he said would put the recovery at risk and hurt ordinary families. Families who wanted to "get on and not simply get by" should "take a second look at us and take a long, hard look at them," he said.  In an apparent reference to doubts within Labour about his own leadership - following an attempted coup by two former cabinet ministers in January - the prime minister admitted: "I know that Labour hasn't done everything right and I know, really I know, I'm not perfect". "But I know where I come from and I know what I stand for and I know who I came into politics to represent." There had been speculation that an election date might be announced at the speech but while Mr Brown told the audience there were 76 campaigning days left - he added he was referring to the local elections. It is widely expected that the general election will also be called for 6 May - and all the main parties have been stepping up their campaigning efforts. The Conservatives have already begun their poster campaign but Mr Brown said Labour's "secret weapon" would be its "beliefs" and the election would be won not on "who has the best PR" but on "values".

'Change' claims

He also attacked Conservative leader David Cameron's call for voters to make 2010 "the year for change" after 13 years of a Labour government. Mr Brown told supporters Labour were the "change makers" and the opposition were still committed to the "old Conservative economics of the past". "How can they be the party of change when they haven't even changed themselves?" he said.

Date: 21.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Prime Minster denies claims he mistreated staff

P. M insisted he had never hit anyone as media allegations that he had intimidated his staff overshadowed his pre-election "Operation Fight back". Brown admitted to a few solid tackles on the rugby pitch in his youth and throwing newspapers on the floor but said any anger was largely directed at himself, as he gears up for the general election expected in May. "If I get angry I get angry with myself," the prime minister told the reporter. "I throw the newspapers on the floor or something like that. "Let me just say, absolutely clearly, so that there is no misunderstanding about that: I have never, never hit anybody in my life. The Observer published extracts from a book by its correspondent Andrew Rawnsley, which contained allegations about Brown's conduct in 10 Downing Street. It alleged there had been a string of incidents, such as shouting and swearing at colleagues and thumping car seats, which left had staff shaken. According to the book Britain's top civil servant, Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell, told Brown to change his behaviour after reports that his fiery outbursts had frightened staff. He reportedly told Brown: "this is no way to get things done". O'Donnell felt the need "to calm down frightened duty clerks, badly-treated phone operators and other bruised staff" and tell them "don't take it personally", The Observer reported. However, a spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: "It is categorically not the case that the cabinet secretary asked for an investigation of the PM's treatment of Number 10 staff." The prime minister's official spokesman said:

"These malicious allegations are totally without foundation and have never been put to Number 10." The Sunday Times meanwhile reported that a recent Brown television appearance, in which he showed his softer side, had helped bridge the gap in the polls. A YouGov survey for the broadsheet put the Conservative lead at its lowest for more than a year -- and small enough to deny the party an overall majority. Labour's rating was up two points on last month to 33 percent, with the Conservatives down one at 39 percent. The Liberal Democrats were down one at 17 percent. Elsewhere, former Conservative prime minister John Major made a rare public attack, accusing Brown's government of having "failed spectacularly". Writing in The Mail on Sunday newspaper, he said Labour inherited "the most stable and competitive economy in Europe" in 1997 but "over 13 wasted years, our finances have been squandered". On Saturday, Brown launched "Operation Fightback", saying while he was "not perfect", voters should think twice before ousting him. Labour announced its campaign slogan would be "A Future Fair For All". Although official election campaigning has not yet started, British politics has taken on an increasingly electioneering tone since the start of the year.

Date: 22.02.2010. Time: 22.00

'Baby P' doctor faces General Medical Council (GMC) hearing

A doctor accused of failing to spot the signs that Baby P was being abused is due before the General Medical Council (GMC) charged with misconduct. Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat saw 17-month-old Peter Connelly at St Ann's Hospital in Haringey days before his death in 2007. She is accused of failing to carry out an "adequate examination", investigate his injuries, or admit him to hospital. The GMC could ban her from UK working.Peter's mother and two men have been jailed for their part in his death. Baby Peter died in August 2007 at his home in Edmonton, north London. A post-mortem examination found he had suffered multiple injuries. He had received 60 visits from authorities.

Broken back

He was already on the local child protection register at the time he was seen by Dr Al-Zayyat, a locum consultant community paediatrician, at St Ann's Hospital, two days earlier. The prosecution in the trial of the two men suggested it was likely he had already suffered significant injuries, including a broken back and ribs, at this point. The trial heard that Dr Al-Zayyat noted bruises on his body, face and back, but told police she did not carry out a full examination because the child was "miserable and cranky". She denied that he could have had a broken back at this point.  The GMC hearing in London, which is scheduled to continue until mid-March, will look at whether Dr Al-Zayyat failed to diagnose abuse. In addition, it will investigate whether she broke the rules by applying for a new job in the Republic of Ireland without informing the GMC, or telling her prospective new employer about the restrictions on her practice already imposed in the wake of the trial.

One of the Greatest Football player of our time is not well Please pray for him

At the moment he is not well resting at home, he is suffering from breathing problem which he is under medication. Tow Iranian Actors are visiting him.

Nasser Hejazi (Persian: born 19 December 1949 in Tehran, Iran) is an Iranian football coach, manager, and former player. He is one of the most famous football players in Iran. In 2000, the Asian Football Confederation ranked him the second best Asian goalkeeper of the 20th century.

Hejazi was the goalkeeper of the Taj F.C. and Iran during the 1970s. Hejazi first broke into the Taj side when he was only 18 years old and won the Asian Club Championship in 1970. After the 1978 FIFA World Cup Hejazi received an offer from Manchester United F.C., he trained and played with them for a month even appearing in a reserve match against Stoke City at which time Dave Sexton was coach. Manchester United F.C. wanted him to stay for another two or three months and then they would officially sign him. Unfortunately there was no-one at the IRFF at the time of the Islamic Revolution to arrange the extension so Manchester United F.C. signed Gary Bailey. He remained as Esteghlal's main goalkeeper until his retirement in the mid-eighties.

Hejazi joined up with the Team Melli, just in time to feature in the squad that won the Asian Cup in 1968 and picked up two more in 1972 and 1976. He represented Iran at the 1972 Munich Olympics and was Iran's starting goalkeeper at the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina. He was captain of the national team during the 1980 Asian Cup and played his last match for Iran in the semi-final match versus Kuwait. After the tournament a member of Iran's Physical Education Department implemented a plan in which athletes older than 27 years of age would no longer be allowed to compete internationally. Hejazi was effectively forced to retire from international football because of this rule despite being only 29 years old at the time of implementation.

Nasser Hejazi coached Bangladesh's top football club Dhaka Mohammedan SC from 1987 to 1991. During his time Bangladeshi football was enlightened with the modern day technique of football and embraced top football coaching. The Bangladeshi football Federation rewarded him by making him national team coach in 1989. During the 1990s, Hejazi was the manager of a number of football clubs including the Mohammedan SC, the Esteghlal (former Taj) and Esteghlal Ahvaz. During his tenure with the Esteghlal, Hejazi took the club to the final match of the Asian Champions League in 1998. They were beaten by the Jubilo Iwata in Tehran. During his years as a coach, Hejazi was the first to discover many talented Iranian football players, including Ali Daei and Rahman Rezaei. In early August 2006 Hejazi announced he signed a one year contract as head coach of Azadegan League outfit Nassaji Mazandaran. He resigned from the post in January 2007.

Date: 23.02.2010. Time: 22.00


Pubic lice are tiny parasitic insects that live in pubic hair, underarm hair, hair on the body and, occasionally, in eyebrows and eyelashes. They are yellowy-grey and about 2mm long. They have a crab-like appearance, so are often known as 'crabs'. The eggs are called 'nits' and appear as brownish dots fixed to coarse body hair. Pubic lice don't live on the hair on your head and are different from head lice.

How do you catch them?

They're easily passed from one person to another through close body contact or sexual contact. Both men and women can catch them and pass them on. Pubic lice can live for up to 24 hours off the body, but because they depend on human blood for survival, they'll rarely leave the body unless there's close body contact with another person. They move by crawling from hair to hair - they cannot jump or fly. Pubic lice can be spread by sharing clothing, bedding or towels.

What are the symptoms?

Some people have no symptoms, or may not notice the lice or eggs, so you may not know whether you or a partner has pubic lice. It can take several weeks after coming into contact with pubic lice before any symptoms appear. You might notice:

  • Itching in the affected areas

  • Black powdery droppings from the lice in underwear

  • Brown eggs on pubic or other body hair

  • Irritation and inflammation in the affected area, sometimes caused by scratching

  • Sky-blue dots (which disappear within a few days) or very tiny specks of blood on the skin. Sometimes you might notice the lice move, but they're tiny and keep still in the light.

What's the treatment?

Get checked if you think you've been in contact with pubic lice. In most cases you can tell if you have them by looking closely. Testing is free on the NHS - you can go to your GP, a genitourinary medicine clinic, sexual health clinic, or ask a pharmacist. Treatment is simple and involves using a special cream, lotion or shampoo, which can be bought from a pharmacy. Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will advise.  Lotions tend to be more effective than shampoos, and sometimes the treatment has to be repeated after three to seven days. All bedding, clothing and towels need to be machine washed on a hot cycle. Tell the doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you might be pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding, as this will affect the type of treatment you're given. Everyone in your household should be treated at the same time, as well as any sexual partners.

What if the pubic lice aren't treated?

They won't go away without treatment.


Pubic lice are tiny parasitic insects that live in pubic hair, underarm hair, hair on the body and, occasionally, in eyebrows and eyelashes. They are yellowy-grey and about 2mm long. They have a crab-like appearance, so are often known as 'crabs'. The eggs are called 'nits' and appear as brownish dots fixed to coarse body hair. Pubic lice don't live on the hair on your head and are different from head lice.

How do you catch them?

They're easily passed from one person to another through close body contact or sexual contact. Both men and women can catch them and pass them on. Pubic lice can live for up to 24 hours off the body, but because they depend on human blood for survival, they'll rarely leave the body unless there's close body contact with another person. They move by crawling from hair to hair - they cannot jump or fly. Pubic lice can be spread by sharing clothing, bedding or towels.

What are the symptoms?

Some people have no symptoms, or may not notice the lice or eggs, so you may not know whether you or a partner has pubic lice. It can take several weeks after coming into contact with pubic lice before any symptoms appear. You might notice:

  • Itching in the affected areas

  • Black powdery droppings from the lice in underwear

  • Brown eggs on pubic or other body hair

  • Irritation and inflammation in the affected area, sometimes caused by scratching

  • Sky-blue dots (which disappear within a few days) or very tiny specks of blood on the skin. Sometimes you might notice the lice move, but they're tiny and keep still in the light.

What's the treatment?

Get checked if you think you've been in contact with pubic lice. In most cases you can tell if you have them by looking closely. Testing is free on the NHS - you can go to your GP, a genitourinary medicine clinic, sexual health clinic, or ask a pharmacist. Treatment is simple and involves using a special cream, lotion or shampoo, which can be bought from a pharmacy. Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will advise.  Lotions tend to be more effective than shampoos, and sometimes the treatment has to be repeated after three to seven days. All bedding, clothing and towels need to be machine washed on a hot cycle. Tell the doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you might be pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding, as this will affect the type of treatment you're given. Everyone in your household should be treated at the same time, as well as any sexual partners.

What if the pubic lice aren't treated?

They won't go away without treatment.

Date: 24.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Gordon Brown to apologize to child migrants sent abroad

Gordon Brown is set to apologize for the UK's role in sending more than 130,000 children to former colonies where many suffered abuse. The Child Migrants Programme, which ran from the 1920s to the 1960s, sent poor children to a "better life" in countries such as Australia and Canada. But many were abused and ended up in institutions or as labourers on farms. The prime minister is due to express regret for the scheme in the Commons, in a move first announced in November. More than 130,000 children, aged between three and 14, were sent to Commonwealth countries. As they were shipped out of Britain, many were wrongly told their parents were dead, while parents were given very little information about where their children were going. The former child migrants have told how on arrival they were separated from their siblings, and put into foster homes, state-run orphanages and religious institutions. Others were educated only for farm work. Many were subjected to brutal physical and sexual abuse by those who were meant to be caring for them. Mr Brown announced he was planning to apologize in November, when Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said sorry for his country's part in the tragedy. No British prime minister has ever delivered an official apology, despite repeated demands from victims' groups. Last week, Britain's High Commissioner to Australia, Baroness Amos, said the apology would be an "important milestone". "Over the past few months I have met many whose lives were blighted, and heard their personal stories," she said."We want not just to bear witness to the past but to look forward to a future where these terrible events will not be repeated."  Harold Haig, secretary of the International Association of Former Child Migrants and their Families, said: "For many former child migrants and their families, the apology will help to heal a painful past."  The wording of the apology by Mr Brown is believed to have been discussed with charities representing former child migrants and their families. Sixty survivors have apparently been flown to London so they can listen to the statement in person. Some 7,000 child migrants from Britain still live in Australia.  The prime minister is also expected to make an announcement about future support for those affected.

Date: 25.02.2010. Time: 22.00

High salt levels in soup warning

Soup sold at popular high street food chains contains more salt than adults should eat in an entire day, according to a new study. Popular household brands are often no healthier, with manufacturers still a long way from meeting salt reduction targets, Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) said. The study found 99% of the soups contained more salt per portion than a packet of crisps, a quarter failed to meet the 2010 Food Standards Agency average voluntary targets and just 6% could be labelled green based on the traffic light labelling system. Cash surveyed 575 ready-to-eat soups from high street chains Eat, Caffe Nero and Pret a Manger as well as branded and own-label varieties from all the major supermarkets. Some Eat soups contained "astoundingly high" amounts of salt, with 10 products having more than the current daily maximum recommendation of 6g. Eat's largest Bold Thai Green Chicken Curry contained 8.070g of salt per 32oz/907g portion, the same amount as nearly three Big Macs with fries. Caffe Nero's standard size organic carrot and coriander soup contained 3.6g of salt, more than three-and-a-half times that of the lowest takeaway soup - a Malaysian chicken soup from Pret A Manger at 1.0g per portion. New Covent Garden Scotch Broth contained the highest amount of salt among the supermarket brands at 2.4g per 300g portion, the equivalent of nearly five packets of crisps. Tideford Organics Moroccan Vegetable contained the lowest amount at 0.44g per 300g portion. Cash spokeswoman Katharine Jenner said: "People tend to think salt is only in crisps, snacks and ready meals. But this survey shows huge amounts of salt can be hidden in seemingly healthy choices such as soup. "While there are still soups being manufactured with really high levels of hidden salt it is hard for us to cut down our salt intake to less than 6g of salt a day from the current average of 8.6g a day. "We urge manufacturers to reduce their salt content immediately." Professor Graham MacGregor, of the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry and chairman of Cash, said: "The majority of the food industry is slowly taking out the salt from food, including these soups. We commend the progress so far, however they haven't gone far enough if we are to save the maximum number of lives. This survey shows that some companies are not co-operating. The public should boycott these products so we don't have to resort to legislation."ham MacGregor, of the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry and chairman of Cash, said: "The majority of the food industry is slowly taking out the salt from food, including these soups. We commend the progress so far, however they haven't gone far enough if we are to save the maximum number of lives. This survey shows that some companies are not co-operating. The public should boycott these products so we don't have to resort to legislation."

Date: 26.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Assisted suicide guidelines set out

New guidelines on assisting suicide will place closer scrutiny on the motivation of the suspect, the chief prosecutor in England and Wales said. Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said each case would be judged on its merits and denied he had legalised assisted suicide or "opened the door to euthanasia". The stricter, final version of the policy will also place less emphasis on the health of the victim - such as whether they are terminally ill. It also makes clear that anyone assisting suicide who benefits from the death is unlikely to be prosecuted as long as compassion was the "driving force" behind their actions. Mr Starmer said: "The policy is now more focused on the motivation of the suspect rather than the characteristics of the victim. “The policy does not change the law on assisted suicide. It does not open the door for euthanasia. It does not override the will of Parliament. What it does do is to provide a clear framework for prosecutors to decide which cases should proceed to court and which should not." The new rules also remove the reference to husbands and wives or close friends being less likely to be prosecuted because of their close relationship to the victim. Responses to the initial guidance, published last year, argued that such relationships could be "antagonistic or manipulative". The eight pages of guidelines were released this morning along with a 45-page summary of responses. Assisted suicide remains a criminal offence in England and Wales, punishable by up to 14 years in prison, but individual decisions on prosecution are made depending on the circumstances in each case.

Date: 27.02.2010. Time: 22.00

Earthquake in Chili took many lives and the government has asked for international help. 

Date: 28.02.2010. Time: 22.00

The weather has been very bad.