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News in Brief

February 2008

News in Brief

Healing for body and soul

Britons currently spend £130 million a year on complementary medicine and alternative health treatments such as aromatherapy, reflexology, massage, nutrition advice, shiatzu, reiki, naturopathy, yoga, homoeopathy, cranial osteopathy, posture advice and muscle toning techniques. This figure is expected to rise to £200 million in the next few years.

Whithorn looks to tourism

Councillors from Dumfries and Galloway in the Scottish Borders are considering proposals to make Whithorn, one of the earliest known locations of Christianity in Scotland, a centre of modern pilgrimage. St Ninian founded a church in Whithorn in AD 397 and last year the bones of six bishops buried at Whithorn Priory more than 600 years ago were identified using new archaeological dating methods.

Contraception credit card

Schoolgirls in Dorset can now get the morning-after pill from their local chemist without needing to say a word. Instead they simply hand over a special ‘contraception credit card’ with their details filled in on the back. The card is supposed to help girls overcome the daunting prospect of asking for emergency contraception, but inevitably it will help foster reckless attitudes to inappropriate sexual activity.

Guns in the nursery

Boys in nursery schools should not be discouraged from playing with toy guns and other weapons, the Government says. In guidance for nurseries in England, the Department for Children, Schools and Families says staff should resist a ‘natural instinct’ to stop such play. It says role-playing helps create the right conditions for boys’ learning and could help them become more engaged in education in the future.

Suicide rate high amongst prisoners

The number of prisoners who killed themselves rose by more than a third last year. There were 92 self-inflicted deaths recorded at prisons in England and Wales in 2007, up from 67 the year before and the highest since 2004, when there were 95. Prison reform groups say the rising levels of self-harm are directly related to overcrowding, with the jail population hitting a new high, above 81,000 last year.

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