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Racist incidents in schools report

Racist Incidents in Schools Report

Tens of thousands of racist incidents were recorded in schools over five years, it has been disclosed.

Figures from 90 areas across the UK show the extent of racist bullying, including verbal and physical attacks.

In total, 87,915 cases were recorded by local authorities, following reports from schools, between 2007 and 2011, according to statistics obtained by the BBC Asian Network through freedom of information requests.

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Press Association | 23rd May 2012

Obama Officials Gave Hollywood Filmmaker Access To Team That Killed Bin Laden, Records Show

Obama administration officials made “a planner, operator and commander of SEAL Team Six” who killed Osama bin Laden available to a Hollywood director and screenwriter working on a movie about the successful raid, according to Pentagon and CIA records obtained by the conservative group Judicial Watch.

The group released hundreds of pages of documents on Tuesday, secured under a Freedom of Information Act request, that it says show transcripts of meetings and communication between government agencies, Kathryn Bigelow, the Academy Award-winning director of “The Hurt Locker,” and screenwriter Mark Boal.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement Wednesday that the emails tell a “damning story of extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration” with top officials at the CIA, Department of Defense and the White House, as well as with a top Democratic lobbying firm, the Glover Park Group.

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Andrea Stone | The Huffington Post | 23rd May 2012

Freedom of Information and unusable data

Disclosure of data is all very well, but only if it is intelligible and reliable.

It seemed a simple enough request: grassroots campaigners asking a major national charity for information on any cuts to services in their area. The charity in question – Rethink Mental Illness, which runs around 400 services and support groups across the country – thought it sounded pretty straightforward, too, and its policy team swung into action to compile a nationwide picture. They contacted every local authority in England, making a Freedom of Information request for details of any changes to mental health spending in 2011/12, compared to 2010/11 .

Then things started to get a little complicated. Anyone who’s ever submitted a blanket FOI request to a group of respondents, whether local authorities, NHS trusts or police forces, probably won’t be surprised to hear that more than half of the councils – 53 per cent – didn’t provide the information requested. Some were able to refer the enquirers to online “budget books” containing the figures, others said that DCLG’s annual publication of the data it receives from all councils on their spending allocation would provide the answer. (Public bodies can legitimately refuse FOI requests if the information requested is scheduled for future publication. In this case, the DCLG release was three months away.)

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Victoria James | The New Statesman | 23rd May 2012

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