Archive for September 19th, 2010

Police chief in UK urges new strategy on cannabis

| 19/09/2010 | 30 Comments

(Observer): One of Britain’s most senior police officers has proposed decriminalising the personal use of drugs such as cannabis to allow more resources to be dedicated to tackling high-level dealers. Tim Hollis, chief constable of Humberside police, said the criminal justice system could offer only a "limited" solution to the UK’s drug problem, a tacit admission that prohibition has failed. Hollis’s dramatic intervention comes as the government is reviewing its 10-year drug strategy amid growing warnings from experts that prohibition does not deter drug use and that decriminalisation would liberate precious police resources and cut crime.

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Phys Ed: Can Exercise Make Kids Smarter?

| 19/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(New York Times): In an experiment published last month, researchers recruited schoolchildren, ages 9 and 10, who lived near the Champaign-Urbana campus of the University of Illinois and asked them to run on a treadmill. The researchers were hoping to learn more about how fitness affects the immature human brain. Animal studies had already established that, when given access to running wheels, baby rodents bulked up their brains, enlarging certain areas and subsequently outperforming sedentary pups on rodent intelligence tests. But studies of the effect of exercise on the actual shape and function of children’s brains had not yet been tried.

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Britain launches tax evasion clamp down

| 19/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(BBC): The UK government is pledging to raise billions of pounds by clamping down on "morally indefensible" tax evasion, a senior Lib Dem minister has said. Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander announced plans to attack offshore havens and other tax "dodges". He told the party’s conference the measures could raise £7bn a year by 2015, helping to cut the deficit. The Lib Dems have come under pressure from supporters to show that the wealthy will shoulder a fair share of the burden as the coalition government seeks to plug the hole in its finances. Unveiling plans agreed with the Chancellor George Osborne, Alexander said the authorities would get £900m extra in financial support for the "ruthless" pursuit of tax evaders and those who use legal loopholes to minimize their tax bills.

 
Ministers want to see a fivefold increase in prosecution for tax evasion and Revenue & Customs will be given in extra resources to create a dedicated team of investigators to bear down on offshore tax havens and online tax evasion.
 
"There are some people who seem to believe that not paying their fair share of tax is a lifestyle choice that is socially acceptable," he said. "Tax avoidance and evasion are unacceptable in the best of times but in today’s circumstances it is morally indefensible. We will be ruthless with those often wealthy people and businesses who think they can treat paying tax as an optional extra."
Tax evasion and avoidance cost the Treasury an estimated £14bn a year and successive governments have vowed to take action against it.
 
 

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