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Sleeplessness soaring: 1 in 3 Brits hit by insomnia

Sleeplessness soaring: 1 in 3 Brits hit by insomnia

The cost to the National Health Service of making sure the nation gets a good night’s kip has soared to £50 million a year in sleeping remedies.

Austerity cuts during the double-dip recession has turned us into a nation of insomniacs, according to research published today.

The Co-operative Pharmacy has investigated the dispensing of sleeping pills by the health service and found costs have risen 17 per cent in four years between 2007/08 and 2010/11, up from £42m to £49.2m.

Last year pharmacies dispensed more than 15.2 million items nationally to aid sleep according to the figures obtained under Freedom of Information legislation from the NHS Business Services Authority by The Co-operative Pharmacy.

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Mike Swaine | The Mirror | 11th May 2012

Surrey Police spent 2.9m on external consultants in two years

Surrey Police spent nearly £3m in two years on external consultants despite needing to make savings of £30m by 2015, a BBC investigation has found.

A Freedom of Information request by Sunday Politics South East showed the force spent £1.46m in 2010-11 and nearly £1.5m the year before.

The figures are higher than those of other police forces in the South East.

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BBC | 13th May 2012

Arson attack numbers ‘down in Somerset’ since 2009

The number of arson attacks has fallen over the last three years in Somerset, a BBC investigation has revealed.

The figures, from a Freedom of Information request to Avon and Somerset Police, show a drop in deliberately-set fires, year-on-year.

There were 298 cases in 2009, 243 cases in 2010 and 222 in 2011. A total of 42 people were charged with arson.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue investigated 1,137 further deliberate fires that were not reported to police.

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BBC | 11th May 2012

Honest John’ publishes details of huge UK MoT database

Motoring website Honest John goes live today with a huge data journalism project based on analysis of 24.5m MoT tests conducted up to 30 September 2011.

The Mot Files has turned this information into a database which allows readers to compare pass and fail rates of cars by their make, manufacturer, location and year of registration.

The MoT information was released by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) after a Freedom of Information battle fought by the BBC.

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Press Gazette | 11th May 2012

Appeals court won’t order public release of Google-NSA communications following cyberattack

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has turned down a Freedom of Information Act request to disclose National Security Agency records about the 2010 cyberattack on Google users in China.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, which focuses on privacy and civil liberties, sought communications between Google and the NSA, which conducts worldwide electronic surveillance and protects the U.S. government from such spying. But the NSA refused to confirm or deny whether it had any relationship with Google. The NSA argued that doing so could make U.S. government information systems vulnerable to attack.

A federal district court judge sided with the NSA last year, and on Friday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the ruling.

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Associated Press | The Washington Post | 11th May 2012

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