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Govt to get tough on companies using unpaid interns

THE DEBATE over the exploitation of interns has resurfaced after Revenue and Customs’ pledged to crackdown on companies using free labour.

The move is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' initiative to ensure interns understand their rights to be paid for the work they do, and where to turn for help and support.

HMRC, which enforces the minimum wage, has promised to contact 200 employers who have recently advertised for interns as well as unpaid work to ensure they paying the correct wage.

Music videos exploiting black women's bodies

MUSIC VIDEOS are continuing to over-sexualise and demean young black women, female empowerment campaigners have said as they launch a campaign for better protection.

End Violence Against Women (EVAW) Coalition, Imkaan and OBJECT are now working together to call for age restrictions on music videos whether they are sold in shops or viewed online.

It follows growing concern that young female artists like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus are baring more and more flesh to maintain their popularity.

Illegal immigrant children 'denied' basic human rights

A DAMNING new report claims children of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are being denied access to their basic rights and assistance to attain legal status in the UK.

The study, Growing Up in a Hostile Environment: The Rights of Undocumented Migrant Children in the UK, was published by the Coram Children's Legal Centre and is being backed by former children’s minister Sarah Teather.

According to the report, the proposed immigration bill will introduce further restrictions on children whose lives are already face limitations because of their parent’s immigration status.

Ofcom to monitor Capital XTRA’s musical offering

BROADCASTING WATCHDOG Ofcom has revealed plans to listen to audio recordings from Capital XTRA’s new shows before taking a final decision over whether to launch a full-scale investigation.

The body was forced to act after receiving numerous complaints that the station formerly known as Choice FM was not sticking to its format agreement, described as “music and news…for listeners of African and Afro-Caribbean origin in the north London area, but with crossover appeal to other listeners who appreciate urban contemporary black music.”

IPCC launches criminal inquiry after death in custody

THE INDEPENDENT Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched a criminal investigation following a 39-year-old man from Luton dying in police custody this week.

Police were called to the Marsh Farm area of Luton at around 2pm on Monday, November 4, after members of the public reported concerns about the behaviour of Leon Briggs, 39.

He was detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act and taken to a Luton police station, where he became ill.

Briggs was then transferred to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

Home Office critics line up following visa deposit U-turn

HOME SECRETARY Theresa May's U-turn decision to ditch the £3,000 visa deposit scheme continues to draw reaction following the Liberal Democrat threat to block the controversial proposal that effectively left it dead in the water.

The proposals, announced by May in June, would have targeted nationals of Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, making them pay a £3,000 deposit for a six-month visa as part of the Home Office’s strategy to deter overstayers.

Mo Farah endorses female British-Somali MP hopeful

A WOMAN hoping to become Britain’s first female MP of Somali heritage has received the backing of Team GB’s golden Olympic hero Mo Farah.

Amina Ali, founder of the Labour Friends of Somali who is battling with Helen Dennis and Uma Kumaan to become Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) in Harrow East, received a "well done and carry on" from the Olympic champion.

Waste not want not: Households throw away six meals a day

BRITISH FAMILIES throw away on average the equivalent of six meals per week in food waste despite price rises, according to a new study.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), which is a publicly-funded recycling group, said this waste equates to £60 a month for a household.

Almost half the "avoidable" food waste goes straight from the fridge or cupboard, the equivalent of 24 million slices of bread are thrown away daily, while 86 million whole chickens are said to be discarded each year in the UK.

Boris Johnson blasted for £4,000 trip expenses claim

LONDON MAYOR Boris Johnson has been called to account after he and his top aides were accused of claiming back an “outrageous” amount of expenses following a trade trip to the Middle East.

London Assembly leader Len Duvall complained about Johnson trying to reclaim almost £4,000 having claimed £1,945 for a flight from London to Kuwait via Dubai and £1,877 for a plane ticket from Doha to London.

In reaction to the criticism, the mayor’s office said the “claims were within the rules”.

Escaped London terror suspect cut off tracking tag

MORE INFORMATION has emerged about how a terrorism suspect monitored under a Home Office order escaped government minders at a west London mosque by changing into a burka.

Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, 27, a Somali-born British national, is understood to have cut away his electronic tracking tag with a sharp object before disappearing.

It has also emerged that he was seeking damages against the government, claiming he had been tortured while detained abroad.