UK
17/11/2013 06:11 GMT

Sunday Morning Headlines: David Cameron, The Age Of Consent And JFK Commemorations

PA
Sunrise in central London

CALL FOR DEBATE ON LOWERING SEX AGE

The Government should consider lowering the age of consent for sex to 15, a leading public health expert has said.

Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, has called for a national debate, saying that society sends "confused" signals about when sex is permitted.

His intervention comes against a backdrop of official figures which suggest that up to a third of teenagers have sex before the present age of consent of 16.

CAMERON ORDERS UNIONS TACTICS PROBE

David Cameron has ordered an inquiry into the tactics of the trade unions in the wake of the bitter industrial dispute which almost led to the closure of the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland.

Downing Street said the wide-ranging review, headed by Bruce Carr QC, will investigate allegations of the use of so-called "leverage" tactics by the unions as well as the impact of such disputes on the critical national infrastructure.

However, in a sign of renewed coalition tensions, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable made clear he had only agreed to the inquiry on the basis that it would also examine the practices of employers, such as the "blacklisting" of workers.

HMS DARING ARRIVING IN PHILIPPINES

British warship HMS Daring is due to arrive in the Philippines today as part of the UK's emergency response to the typhoon which has devastated parts of the country and left thousands dead.

Save the Children said a barge carrying more than 25 tonnes of aid items and essential household kits is also expected to reach the Asian nation in the afternoon.

Tomorrow a British Airways jet will depart the UK after offering aid agencies including Oxfam, Save the Children and Unicef the aircraft to fly emergency aid and supplies to the disaster zone.

CHARLES BIDS TO CURB GANG VIOLENCE

The Prince of Wales is to launch a campaign to boost the numbers of young people helping others in a bid to curb gang violence.

Charles believes that street murders can occur because young people lack structured activities.

In an article in the Mail on Sunday, he says he often reflects on the courage shown by Barry and Margaret Mizen, whose teenage son Jimmy was murdered in 2008.

CLEGG CALLS FOR £1BN TAX GIVEAWAY

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is pressing his Tory coalition partners to take advantage of the improving economy for a £1 billion tax giveaway before the next general election.

The Liberal Democrat leader wants Chancellor George Osborne to raise the threshold at which people start paying income tax to at least £10,500 by the time of the election in May 2015, aides have said.

The cut would be worth £100 a year to 24 million ordinary rate taxpayers while taking around half a million people out of income tax altogether.

FOREIGN VC COMBATANTS HONOURED

Foreign combatants who won the Victoria Cross fighting for Britain during the First World War will have their bravery honoured to mark the centenary of the conflict.

More than 170 are to be remembered across the globe in an extension of a scheme to lay commemorative paving stones in the home towns of UK-based fighters.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister David Cameron as he flew home from a Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka.

SEVEN QUIZZED OVER BODY IN WELL

Seven men will continue to be questioned today over the discovery of a body in a well in Surrey.

The body was recovered by specialist police officers yesterday and had been there a number of weeks, Scotland Yard said.

Two workmen made the discovery as they were doing clearing work in the front garden of the large property in Audley Drive, Warlingham, which stands in an acre of grounds in an affluent area.

UK TO COMMEMORATE MURDERED KENNEDY

As the world marks the 50th anniversary of the death of JFK, Britain's commemorations will centre on a simple wreath-laying ceremony at the UK memorial dedicated to the president.

John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, in an event that sent shock waves across the world.

And on Friday - exactly 50 years since that day - a wreath will be laid at the Kennedy Memorial at Runnymede in Surrey.

LAW CALL ON CHILD EMOTIONAL CRUELTY

Nearly seven in 10 police officers think that child neglect law needs to change so people who are emotionally cruel to children can be prosecuted.

A small poll of 201 officers in England and Wales found that 69% believe emotional neglect of a child should be a criminal offence, charity Action for Children said.

The charity is campaigning for "outdated" child neglect law to be changed. (POLITICS Neglect)