The father Hannah Smith, who killed herself after being abused on a social networking site has called for it to be closed down and the owners of killer dogs could face life in prison under new proposals
Girl, 14, ‘died over cyberbullying’
The father of a teenage girl who killed herself after being abused by brutal bullies on a social networking site has called for it to be closed down.
Dave Smith said his 14-year-old daughter Hannah died in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, on Friday after being “cyber-bullied” on the question-and-answer website ask.fm, which allows users to send messages to one another without their identity being disclosed.
He is urging the authorities to close down the site, and those like it, after stumbling across cruel taunts from so-called “trolls” which he said drove his daughter to take her own life.
Call to stamp out stamp duty
More than a quarter of home-buyers in England and Wales are now paying stamp duty at the higher rates of 3% or more and facing bills of more than £7,500, according to research published today.
The data was released as pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance launched a Stamp Out Stamp Duty campaign calling for a cut in the “punitive” levy, which raised £4 billion for the Treasury in 2012/13 – some £3.6 billion of which was collected at rates of 3% or more.
Sales of residential properties are free of stamp duty up to the value of £125,000 and attract a 1% tax between £125,000 and £250,000. But rising house prices mean that more and more purchasers are paying at the higher rates of 3% applied to homes worth between £250,000 and £500,000, 4% on those valued at up to £1 million, 5% on those of £1-£2 million and 7% beyond that point.
Owners of killer dogs may face life
The owners of killer dogs could face life in prison – a huge leap from the current maximum of two years – under new proposals.
Higher sentences for irresponsible owners who allow their dogs to attack members of the public have been put out to consultation by the Government.
For owners whose dogs kill their victims, life imprisonment is an option, while 10 years is the maximum term suggested for injuring a person or killing an assistance dog, like a guide dog for the blind.
Yemen embassy remains closed
Intercepted messages between the head of al Qaida and his deputy in Yemen about a major terror attack triggered the shutdown of the country’s British embassy, it has been reported.
A number of US embassies across the Middle East and North Africa were closed at the weekend, along with the British embassy in Yemen, after the secret plans discussed by al Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri and Nasser al-Wahishi were picked up two weeks ago by US intelligence officials, sources told the Associated Press.
A US intelligence official and a Middle East diplomat, who did not want to be named, said the threat was at first thought to only target Yemeni interests but was later expanded to include American and other Western sites abroad.
Review aims for ‘zero-harm’ culture
A major review aimed at introducing a “zero-harm culture” in the NHS is set to be published.
Professor Don Berwick, a world expert in patient safety, was tasked by Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this year with conducting a root-and-branch safety review of English hospitals.
He believes the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, where between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would normally have been expected, should act as a catalyst to drive improvements in the health service.
Bid to drive rogues out of business
Consumers are to be given new rights to get their money back from rogue traders who “mislead or bully” people into buying products or services, the Government has announced.
Consumer Minister Jo Swinson said the aim was to drive “rogues” out of business and give extra protection to the public.
New proposals in consumer protection regulations include consumers being given 90 days to cancel a contract and receive a full refund if they have been misled, and the right to claim compensation for any alarm or distress caused by dodgy or unfair practices.
Two boys strangled by escaped snake
Two young boys have died after being strangled by a python that escaped its enclosure at a pet shop.
The boys, aged five and seven, were sleeping in a flat above Reptile Ocean when the incident occurred in Campbellton, New Brunswick, in Canada.
Police arrived at the flat around 6.30am local time and found the two boys dead.
Amazon founder buys Washington Post
Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder who helped bring books into the digital age, is going after another pillar of “old media” – the Washington Post.
Mr Bezos, 49, struck a deal announced yesterday to buy the venerable Washington broadsheet and other newspapers for 250 million US dollars (£163 million).
It was a startling demonstration of how the internet has created winners and losers and transformed the media landscape.