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News roundup 12.10.07

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The papers focus on the government's response to yesterday's report on superbugs in NHS hospitals in Kent, the findings of a report into primary schooling and mutinous mutterings about the Lib Dem leader.


On the news that health secretary Alan Johnson has intervened to withhold a£400,000 redundancy payment to Rose Gibb, the former chief executive of the health trust where it was reported yesterday that 90 people had died from the NHS superbug, C Difficile, The Times headlines "Hospital ordered to halt pay-off to chief after superbug scandal", the Daily Mail declares "Dirty money", The Daily Telegraph states "Pay-off to superbug hospital chief is blocked" and The Independent tells its readers "Johnson blocks payout for former chief of scandal-hit hospital trust".


Discussing a study based on 700 in-depth interviews with children in primary schools, The Guardian, "Study reveals stressed out 7-11 year-olds", and The Independent, "The primary cause for concern", focus on the widespread stress and anxiety revealed among primary school children.

Meanwhile, The Times, "Children who can't write their own name", explores the results of the annual assessment into children in their first year of school, stating that 40% of five year-olds cannot write their own name.

The Times asserts that if schools minister Ed Balls wants to get anything done he has to take the risk of unpopularity with sectional interests and drive through real change, not engage in endless consultation.


The Daily Mail asserts new evidence shows that "punishment by postcode" is being inflicted on the suburbs of southern England, the areas it claims pay most in tax, yet get the least in return.

The Daily Express asserts that all across Westminster and Whitehall yesterday emerged stories of the government's financial waste.

The Independent picks up on yesterday's splash in The Guardian with "The spending watchdog and his lavish ways - paid for by the taxpayer" discusses the expenses drawn by Sir John Bourn, the head of the National Audit Office.

New figures for settlement of migrant workers

Tens of thousands of eastern Europeans have settled in areas with little or no history of foreign newcomers, reports The Times. In the past immigrants have tended to settle in London and the south east, the conurbations and a small number of other large towns and cities. But migrants from the eight former Soviet block countries (A8), including Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, have tended to settle widely across the UK. ONS data show local authorities in London, the east and west Midlands, the east of England and Northern Ireland tend to have the highest ratios of migrant workers from the A8 countries. Those in Wales, the Thames Estuary, and the major conurbation in South Yorkshire, the north west and the north east had the least.

Mutinous mutterings about Ming

The Daily Telegraph offers "Knives are out for Sir Ming as Lib Dems look for poll boost".

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