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Off the sofa! UK gets tough on welfare


cameron Cuts continue as U.K. targets welfare

A day after central London was shaken by violent protests against government-decreed increases in college tuition, Prime Minister David Cameron's government unveiled details of the biggest shakeup in Britain's sprawling welfare system since World War II. Under the plan, many of the 5 million who claim jobless benefits will be ordered to regularly do four weeks of unpaid community work to remain eligible for their $105 weekly welfare payment. Unemployment claimants also routinely receive other welfare payments to help with housing costs and raising children. For those who fail to show up for job interviews or decline to take part in community projects, benefits will stop for three months on a first offense, six for the second time and for three years after a third.


$1.73M for man denied care in jail

A jury has awarded $1.73 million to the family of an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who died of penile cancer that went undiagnosed for more than a year while he was in state and federal custody. The Los Angeles Superior Court jury said state prisons were to blame, in part, for the 2007 death of Francisco Castaneda. After he was convicted of methamphetamine possession in 2005, Castaneda spent more than a year in state and federal facilities, where he was repeatedly denied adequate care for painful lesions on his penis, his lawyer said.


Clearer nutrient labels coming soon

Making healthy choices at the supermarket may get a little easier next year when foodmakers and retailers start putting easier-to-read nutrition labels on the front of packages, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during an obesity summit. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute said a $50 million education campaign would begin in 2011 to raise consumer awareness about the new labels, which will include information on calories and nutrients.


Pro-junta party wins majority

The pro-junta political party secured a majority of seats in both houses of Parliament, the latest official results from the country's first election in 20 years showed. The partial batch of results confirm the victory of the Union Solidarity and Development Party in Sunday's vote. The results were announced the same day democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, 65, lost an appeal for early release from house arrest. The sentence is due to expire Saturday.


'Garfield' creator apologizes for strip

Jim Davis apologized for a Garfield comic that some veterans may have found offensive. It ran Thursday in newspapers across the country, including the St. Petersburg Times. It shows a spider daring the pudgy orange cat to squash it. The spider tells Garfield that if he is killed, "they will hold an annual day of remembrance in my honor." The final panel shows a spider-teacher asking its class if they know why spiders celebrate "National Stupid Day." In a statement on his website, the cartoonist, who lives in Muncie, said he didn't know the strip would appear on Veterans Day and "it absolutely, positively has nothing to do with this important day of remembrance." He said his brother and son served in the military.

Times wires

Off the sofa! UK gets tough on welfare 11/11/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 11, 2010 11:09pm]
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