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Vulnerable to be most hurt in support cuts, 30% of US veterans treated for Post-traumatic stress disorder and ICO rejects appeal to publish Kelly photos

Vulnerable to be hurt most by ‘inhumane’ support cuts

Councils have been accused of leaving elderly and disabled people to fend for themselves, as research by The Independent reveals that the vast majority have abandoned support for all but the most severely disabled.

Austerity cuts will see people losing vital support which gives them help with shopping, bathing or cooking. Charities condemned the cuts as “inhumane”, arguing that they would leave society’s most vulnerable “utterly iso- lated”. Disabled people are assigned into one of four categories according to their needs: critical, substantial, moderate and low. But it is up to councils to decide which groups receive support.

The Independent’s survey of local authorities in England based on Freedom of Information (FoI) requests found that only 14 per cent currently provide help for those with moderate needs. This is set to fall to 11 per cent next year as councils – including Darlington, Rochdale and York – are forced to make further cuts to social care budgets. Read more.

Sarah Cassidy | The Independent | 22nd October 2012

Nearly 30% of Veterans Treated by V.A. Have PTSD

The Department of Veterans Affairs has quietly released a new report on post-traumatic stress disorder, showing that since 9/11, nearly 30 percent of the 834,463Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans treated at V.A. hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with PTSD.

Veterans advocates say the new V.A. report is the most damning evidence yet of the profound impact multiple deployments have had on American service men and women since 9/11. Troops who’ve been deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan are more than three times as likely as soldiers with no previous deployments to screen positive for PTSD and major depression, according to a 2010 study published by the American Journal for Public Health.

The document, which veterans groups have unsuccessfully filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain, shows that there are now a total of 1,634,569 veterans from post-9/11 wars, and that 745,481 of these veterans have filed disability claims, which is an astonishing 46 percent. Read more.

Jamie Reno | The Daily Beast | 21st October 2012

Watchdog clears police over Kelly pictures

THE UK’s information watchdog has upheld Thames Valley Police’s decision not to release uncensored photographs relating to the death of weapons inspector Dr David Kelly.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said the release would cause “significant distress” to the family of the scientist, whose body was found in woods at Harrowdown Hill, near his Southmoor home in 2003.

A member of the public requested all “uncensored, un-redacted and complete” photographs relating to his death under the Freedom of Information Act. Read more.

The Oxford Times | 20th Ocotber 2012

Malta: Veil falls on guidelines for police strip searches

Police publish internal document after The Sunday Times makes a request under the Freedom of Information Act to gain access

Police have disclosed sensitive guidelines regulating strip searches after The Sunday Times made a request under the Freedom of Information Act, which came into force last month.

It was the first request made to the police by any media organisation since the new law [in Malta] became fully functional.

The subject was at the centre of controversy last year when two Sliema councillors were strip-searched at police headquarters just before being questioned over the alleged theft of a laptop hard disk. Read more

Kurt Sansone | The Times of Malta | October 21st 2012

Plans spark fresh castle concerns

Plans showing the full extent of land being offered to develop a ‘boutique hotel’ on the grounds of Haverfordwest Castle have been released for the first time, thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.

And the plans show that developer Keith Griffiths will effectively control the entire area that is Haverfordwest Castle, it’s being said.

That has sparked fresh concerns about future public access to the castle. Read more.

Western Telegraph | 20th October 2012

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