HO / CO:  Action required to avoid a future of no hope, idleness and crime? - Secretary Theresa May has published a cross-government strategy to end gang & youth violence.  Young people at risk of being drawn into gangs & violence will be targeted at every stage of their lives – from toddlers to teenagers – in a comprehensive approach aimed at preventing the next generation of gang members.
5 key principles underpin the strategy - provision of support, prevention, pathways out of crime, effective punishment and partnership working.  But there is a strong warning to those who refuse help that they will be met with the full force of strengthened laws to protect local communities from crime & disorder.

In addition, the Cabinet Office has published independent research which examines the motivations of young people involved in the August riots.  The report is the first (and currently only) major study to be based on what young people themselves have to say about the riots.
Press release ~ Ending gang and youth violence: cross-government report ~ NatCen: The August riots in England ~ Related CO PR & links ~ BIG: Lottery's £13.5m offers life changing help for youth ~ ScotGov: Breaking gang culture ~ An Anatomy of Youth ~ The management of gang issues among children & young people in prison custody and the community ~ Directgov: Gangs ~ Gangs: You and Your Child ~ It Doesn’t Have to Happen’ campaign ~ Mothers Against Violence ~ Safeguarding children and young people who may be affected by gang activity ~ Families Utd ~ Understanding the psychology of gang violence: implications for designing effective violence interventions ~ Britain fails to exploit sport’s power to fix ‘broken Britain’ ~ A step towards work or just stuck in a warehouse? ~ Young voices heard on riots, gangs and youth violence ~ HO: Knife, gun and gang-related violence ~ HO: Injunctions to prevent gang-related violence ~ An Overview of Recorded Crimes and Arrests Resulting from Disorder Events in August 2011

DWPWould the deal go through if the same terms were accepted by MPs & Ministers first? - The Government has set out details of its offer to workers on public service pensions.  The offer includes a more generous ‘accrual rate’ – the rate at which annual benefits are earned – increasing from the 1/65ths offered in October to 1/60ths (an 8% increase).  

The Government also announced its objective that anyone within 10 years of their pension age on 1 April 2012 will be protected, meaning they will see no change in when they can retire nor any decrease in the pension they receive at their normal pension age - This will benefit over a million people.

Others very close to being 10 years from retirement age may also see some additional protection, the details of which will be subject to further discussions.  The reforms are due to come into force from 2015 onwards for the rest of the workforce.
ASI:  Even if the FTT is worth introducing, there is no agreement on who should get the revenue; the word’s poor, global warming, the EC, or national governments  - In a report released last week, the Adam Smith Institute warns that an EU-wide Financial Transaction Tax would cripple the British economy.  

Its research reveals that, based on European Commission impact assessments, an FTT would cost the UK economy £25.5bn and hit EU member state economies by £185bn in the long term. This figure is likely to be even higher once Britain’s disproportionate share of financial trading in the EU is factored in.

The impact on derivatives trading will be particularly damaging to the UK.  The City of London currently accounts for 74.4% of interest rate derivatives turnover within the EU (its next biggest rival is France with just 11.7%).   An EC impact assessment projected that the FTT would lead to a decline in derivatives trading activity by up to 90%.  

Therefore a FTT would nearly eliminate derivatives trading in the UK.  This would hit tax revenue and other parts of the City by preventing traders from hedging against real-world risks.  As a result of this, ordinary consumers would find it harder to find fixed rate mortgages.
EU News:  Time for James Bond to be replaced by James Geek? - The first test of trans-Atlantic responses to cyber incidents, including cyber attacks, took place in Brussels recently.  Experts from the US Government joined counterparts from EU Member States to simulate how cyber security authorities on both sides of the Atlantic would cooperate in response to attacks.

Lessons learned from last year's first pan-European exercise, ‘Cyber Europe 2010’ where experts across Europe tested their responses to a simulated attack from hackers on a critical online service have fed into Cyber Atlantic 2011.
EU News:  Even more vital to get this agreed, with the eurozone 'imploding' ~ A study published recently shows that the economic benefits arising from the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations in the World Trade Organisation amount to an increase of world exports of $359 billion on an annual basis from a deal on the liberalisation of industrial goods, agriculture, services and on the removal of red tape.
ScotGovCalling ‘time’ on Scotland’s drinking - It is time for Scotland's Parliament to join forces with those across Scotland who are serious about tackling our battle with alcohol misuse, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has said as the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) Bill was published.  The Bill looks to set a minimum price for a unit of alcohol as a condition of licence.
DfEApplying the ‘KISS principle’ to school admissions - More pupils will be able to attend the best schools in a new-look admissions system that will be fairer & simpler for all parents. Revised school admissions & appeals codes have been published following a consultation on proposals to overhaul the current system.
Press release & links

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