General News

CEOPInternational Missing Children’s Day (25 May 2012) commemorated the missing children who have found their way home, remembers those who have been victims of crime and the continued efforts to find those who are still missing.
 
Key activities taking place on the day included:
* The launch of a new help line (116 000) to support missing children and their families
* The launch of a new website to provide the latest appeals on missing children, information for children who are missing or who are thinking of running away; and information on what their families & carers can do if a child in their care goes missing
Press release & links
 
STFC: The members of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) organisation recently agreed on a dual site solution for the Square Kilometre Array telescope, a crucial step towards building the world’s largest & most sensitive radio telescope. The ASKAP & MeerKAT precursor dishes will be incorporated into Phase I of the SKA, which will deliver more science and will maximise on investments already made by both Australia & South Africa.
Press release & links
 
TUC: More than 20,000 jobs on the UK's railways could be lost as a result of the government's reforms to the rail industry, unions claimed last week as they launched their Action for Rail campaign. As part of its plans for the future of the rail industry, the government is asking train operating companies (TOCs) and Network Rail to outline how they will make cost reductions in line with the recommendations of the Rail Value for Money review led by Sir Roy McNulty.
 
More than a quarter of these savings - £260m a year - will come through staffing cuts and. according to the review, this could lead to around 20,800 job losses, including rail guards, staff in ticket offices and on station platforms, catering staff and workers in maintenance & signalling.
Press release & links
 
ACEArts Council England recently announced funding for 2 major new pieces of work with children & young people:
* the delivery of a new National Youth Dance Company
* 4 new In Harmony projects based on the Venezuelan El Sistema model.
Press release & links
 
HMT: The Government has launched a new tax calculator enabling people to work out how much tax they pay and how the Government spends it.  The tax calculator can be downloaded as a free mobile phone app and is also available on the HM Revenue and Customs website.
Press release & links
 
BP: The complete collection of Queen Victoria’s Journals is now available online.  Launched on the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birthday by HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace, the new website is part of a digitisation programme to make historic documents from the Royal Archives widely available for the first time.
Press release & links
 
ACEArts Council England has opened applications to its Designation development fund, which will support non-national museums.  Between 2012 & 2015 a total of £2.1m will be awarded to collections-based projects through the fund.
 
Designation identifies collections of national and international importance held in England's non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance. There are currently 140 Designated collections across England.
Press release & links
 
NE: Flowering fields in Kent last week welcomed home Bombus subterraneus – otherwise known as the short-haired bumblebee - nearly a quarter of a century after the bee was last seen in Britain. After 3 years of preparing for this reintroduction, backed by Natural England, the RSPB, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Hymettus, queen bees were released at the RSPB’s Dungeness reserve
Press release & links
 
DH: At least 150 lives could be saved under changes to the way 999 calls are received which will prioritise call outs to the most critically ill patients.  The changes will mean that ambulances are saved from making over half a million wasted journeys a year. 
 
From June 2012, ambulance staff will be given up to 60 seconds longer to get more information from Red 2 calls.  This will not necessarily translate into a 60 second delay, in many cases it will mean that a more appropriate response vehicle gets to the patient more quickly.  Under the new system the Government will expect Ambulance Trusts to get to more critically ill patients within the 8 minute national target.
Press release & links
 
DHHospices are to benefit from up to £60m of funding to help improve the quality of care for people nearing the end of their lives. The funding – which is open to all adult & children’s hospices in England – will help improve care for patients & families by enhancing the hospice environment, as well as supporting the care hospices provide to people in their own homes.
Press release & links
 
DfE15 brand new University Technical Colleges (UTCs) have been approved to open in 2013 & 2014.  They will have involvement from around 200 high-profile employers – including household names like Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. They will also have significant input from world-class universities, such as Cambridge and Warwick.
Press release & links
 
ACEArts Council England has launched Creative Industry Finance - a new scheme for cultural & creative enterprises, offering small loans and practical business advice and support. 

Working in partnership with the East London Small Business Centre, they are offering creative entrepreneurs the opportunity to apply for loans of £5,000 - £25,000 and receive practical business development support. The initial one-year pilot of the scheme is taking place in London with an investment of £200,000. A second pilot area will be announced soon.
Press release & links
 
DCMSTV viewers in Northern Ireland will be able to watch TG4 and RTÃ 1 & 2 on Freeview following digital TV switchover, the UK Government confirmed last week.   RTÃ, the Republic of Ireland’s national broadcaster, and Irish language broadcaster TG4 have joined forces to form a not-for-profit venture which will be responsible for the installation of the new infrastructure. Freeview delivery of these channels will be supplemented by overspill coverage from Saorview, the equivalent of Freeview in the Republic of Ireland.
Press release & links
 
STFCScience and Technology Facilities Council chief executive Professor John Womersley has announced the UK is confident of continuing astronomical research using telescopes on the Canary Islands, and that operations on two Hawaiian telescopes would be extended to complete planned science. However, the Hawaiian telescopes would be either transferred to alternate operators or decommissioned once the existing science missions were completed.
Press release & links
 
DECC: The UK and Iceland have signed an agreement that could pave the way for geothermal power from Iceland’s volcanoes to supply electricity to the UK.  This came as UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry visited the Hellisheidi geothermal field, located on an active volcanic ridge in the south west of the country.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: Hundreds of young people will be encouraged to ‘give golf a go’ at a huge day of activities that will form the centrepiece of a Festival of ClubGolf in the run up to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. The activity day, held at the Castle Stuart course on 11 July 2012 in the week of the tournament, will see youngsters take part in a putting & chipping challenge, crazy golf competition and a specialist coaching zone, in the biggest week-long event yet in ClubGolf’s successful history.
Press release & links
 
STFC: According to the Science and Technology Facilities Council, for the last time until the year 2117, people around the world will have a chance to witness the transit of Venus as the planet passes directly between Earth and the Sun on Tuesday 5 June &Wednesday 6 June. .
Press release & links
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