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Difret review – the true story of a rape victim who fought back - Thu, 05 Mar 2015
This Ethiopian docudrama recreates the game-changing legal case involving a 14-year-old who shot her kidnapper

Ethiopian director Zeresenay Mehari’sdocudrama recounts a game-changing legal case from the mid-90s that involved a 14-year-old girl named Hirut (played by Tizita Hagere) who tried to plead self-defence after fatally shooting the man who abducted and raped her. Local star Meron Getnet, who’s terrific, co-stars as Hirut’s pro-bono lawyer Meaza Ashenafi, a feisty modern woman who won’t give up thefight against patriarchal tradition. It’s tempting to give this more of a pass because the subject is so noble and so few African-made films make it over here, but it has to be admitted that the some of the acting is a bit ropey and the scriptis a little too on-the-nose at times. There really is a scene where our heroine Meaza goes to a bar to get drunk at her darkest hour just before good news comes through. On the other hand, it’s hard not to stifle a tear at the emotional climax, and cinematographer Monika Lenczewska does a particularly handsome job evoking the milieu.

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Readers recommend: songs about control | Peter Kimpton - Thu, 05 Mar 2015

Whether losing, gaining, maintaining or fighting it, let the music take over and name songs about all emotional, physical or practical ways we take on turmoil

Chaos. Where isn’t it? The world is a mess of entropy, energy, waste, injustice, and emotion. Chaos thrives in equally war, in corruption, in our hearts, in a pencil case, in ideas mangled or cables tangled. “I accept chaos, I’m not sure whether it accepts me,” said Bob Dylan, with a shrug. “Darling – in chaos there is fertility,” retorted writer Anas Nin, flirtily. But is there also opportunity in chaos? Game of Thrones author George RR Martin, with the imminent return of his adapted books to screens this spring, cuts to the heart of it: “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again … the climb is all there is. But they’ll never know this. Not until it’s too late.”

So how to deal with chaos? Climb that ladder and try and take control. One way is to try and frame the mayhem in a format that helps us understand the world, which is precisely where writers, particularly songwriters, have sought to express and control what their perceptions throw at them. Joy Division’s Ian Curtis fought and lost a war with a frightening chaos he perceived, struggling with bipolar disorder and epilepsy, but his all-too-brief career won a few battles, leaving behind some timeless songs and poems, including one inspired by a disabled women, with whom he had worked in his civil service job, and who died after an epileptic fit.

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Dreamcatcher review – deeply moving prostitution documentary - Thu, 05 Mar 2015
Kim Longinotto’s film about the work of Chicago ex-prostitute Brenda Myers-Powell is calm, non-judgmental and engaging

In British film-maker Kim Longinotto’s tough but remarkable new documentary, she focuses on the work of Brenda Myers-Powell, an early contender for saint of the year – an ex-prostitute who has overcome a life of abuse to devote her time, unpaid, to helping other women in similar situations around Chicago. Like the film, she’s calm, non-judgmental and engaging and despite her undeniable star quality (an award-worthy biopic feels like the next logical step), Longinotto doesn’t impose a conventional narrative on her story, or those of the women she helps, and gives them the chance to share their harrowing stories without any forced emotional beats. It’s grim, unfussy and deeply moving.

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Focus on celebrity child abusers 'distracts from threat posed by carers' - Thu, 05 Mar 2015

NSPCC chief Peter Wanless welcomes decision to upgrade child sex abuse to ‘national threat’ status but calls for greater awareness of perpetrators

The focus on celebrity child abusers is threatening to distract attention from the more common threat posed to children by their own relatives and carers, according to the chief of the NSPCC.

In the past two years, following revelations about Jimmy Savile, numerous cases of celebrities sexually abusing young people have hit the headlines.

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Ebola expert volunteers to trial potential life-saving drug - Thu, 05 Mar 2015

Prof Miles Carroll, who is working on the frontline in Guinea, will test the effectiveness of the VSV-EBOV vaccine in fighting the disease

An Ebola expert has volunteered to be vaccinated against the disease to help bring an experimental new drug to the frontline in Africa.

Prof Miles Carroll, head of research microbiology services at Public Health England, is working in Guinea where the life-saving capabilities of the VSV-EBOV vaccine are about to be tested.

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The Guardian view on India’s Daughter: a necessary spotlight | Editorial - Thu, 05 Mar 2015
By blocking this BBC film about the assault and murder of Jyoti Singh, Delhi appears unwilling to grasp the connection between rape and wider misogyny

The crime was exceptionally shocking, but it grew out of a misogyny that is all too common. As much as the harrowing details of the gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, it was the sense that this horror was animated by attitudes that condemn many Indian women to lesser indignities and injuries every day that brought vast crowds on to thestreets. The film, India’s Daughter, trainsan unflinching eye on the evil deeds ofone day in December 2012, but its real service is in exposing wider prejudices. By going to the courts to stop it being shown, the Indian authorities reveal themselves to be unable – or unwilling – to grasp the connection between the two.

The immediate controversy surrounded the death-row interview that director Leslee Udwin conducted with Mukesh Singh, the rapist who drove the bus on which Ms Singh was assaulted. It is, of course, chilling to hear him argue that “you can’t clap with one hand”, that a girl who steps out after dark is “more responsible” for rape than a man. But more frightening than the vicious self-justification of this lowlife are the arguments with which the defence lawyers attempt to woo wider society. A 23-year-old medical student’s life had been brutally cut short after a trip to the cinema, and yet ML Sharma felt it appropriate to liken women to flowers, beauties which ought to be worshipped in temples, but which would, inevitably, degrade if they sank into the gutter. “In our culture,” he added, “there is no place for women.” Another lawyer, AP Singh, observed that, if his own daughter dabbled in pre-marital relations, he “would put petrol on her and set her alight”.

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The global food security situation is critical. But there is still hope | Letters - Thu, 05 Mar 2015

Your editorial (Hunger is coming. The temperature rises and rivers dry up. How can we feed the world?, 2 March) asks a crucial question. Policymakers tell us 70% more food must be produced by 2050 to feed the growing world population. Not so. We produce enough food to feed twice the current world population. But globally we waste 60% of it: through post-harvest losses, through its being thrown out by consumers and by the use of cereals to feed animals. For every 100 calories fed to animals in the form of human-edible crops, we receive 10 calories or less in the form of meat.

Just halving these various food wastes means we would need to produce less. It would allow us to farm less intensively with reduced monocultures and agro-chemicals. Degraded soils could be rebuilt, water used more sparingly and biodiversity restored. Developed world consumers would need to consume less meat and milk, which would come from animals mainly fed on pastures, crop residues and unavoidable food waste. Lower consumption of animal products would lead to a reduction in both diet-related disease and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Just halving EU meat and dairy consumption would lead to a 25-40% reduction in GHG emissions. A Chatham House paper shows that without such a shift in diets it will be impossible to keep temperature increases to below 2C.

In Africa, small-scale farmers produce over 70% of the food consumed, on less than 15% of the agricultural land

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More than half of UK first-time buyers had help with deposits in 2014 - Thu, 05 Mar 2015

Figures also show 48% of new homeowners stumped up down payment unaided – the highest number since credit crunch

More than half the 300,000 first-time buyers who bought a home in 2014 are likely to have got help from “the bank of mum and dad”, despite government schemes that reduced the amount needed for a deposit.

Analysis by the Council of Mortgage lenders shows 48% of purchases by new buyers were “unassisted”, with the rest likely to have had funds provided by parents and grandparents.

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Monitor could be asked to examine £350m contract - Thu, 5 Mar 2015
A decision by NHS England to hand more than half of the country’s PET-CT imaging services to one company could be the subject of a formal complaint to market regulator Monitor, HSJ has learned.

Trusts told to halve the number of ‘green to go’ patients - Thu, 5 Mar 2015
A number of trusts were told to reduce the number of medically fit patients who were delayed in being discharged from hospital by 50 per cent in a month, HSJ has learned.

Market role 'hugely limited' in NHS, says CQC chair - Thu, 5 Mar 2015
The role of the market is ‘hugely limited’ in health and social care partly because its users often ‘have no power’, the Care Quality Commission chair has said.

New chief executive for beleaguered acute trust - Thu, 5 Mar 2015
WORKFORCE: Medway Foundation Trust has appointed a new chief executive.

Monitor investigates major London trust - Thu, 5 Mar 2015
PERFORMANCE: Monitor has launched an investigation into King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust because of ‘long standing problems’ at Princess Royal University Hospital.

HSJ Live 05.03.2015: One third of CCGs approved to jointly commission primary care - Thu, 5 Mar 2015
Over a third of CCGs approved to jointly commission GP services with NHS England, plus the rest of today’s news and comment.

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Social work employers that partner fast-track scheme will get £7,000 per student - Wed, 04 Mar 2015

Think Ahead mental health social work scheme invites bids from councils to become 'host organisations' for participants

Coroner criticises police and social care for out of hours failings - Mon, 02 Mar 2015

The coroner in the inquest into the death of baby Zoe Black said an urgent social services visit should have been made

Government rejected proposals for four-hour waits for mental health emergencies - Thu, 26 Feb 2015

Documents released to Community Care show the mental health access standards options that were dropped after consideration last summer

‘It’s hard not to feel sometimes that this government has a policy of literally driving people mad’ - Thu, 19 Feb 2015

Historian and author Barbara Taylor describes her journey through the mental health system, and why it wouldn't be the same today

Social worker killed herself after fearing she would be discharged from a mental health bed - Wed, 18 Feb 2015

A failure to manage Charlotte Faux's perception of her discharge contributed to her death, the coroner said

How a Vikings-inspired project is boosting outcomes for people with mental ill health - Tue, 17 Feb 2015

Converge, an arts programme for people who use mental health services in York, has teamed up with the Jorvik Viking Centre for its latest project

Open dialogue: A care model that could put mental health social work back on the map? - Thu, 12 Feb 2015

This social approach to supporting people experiencing mental health crisis is gaining momentum in the sector but could it be the lever for change social work is looking for? Rachel Carter reports.

Putting practice – not paperwork – at the heart of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards - Wed, 11 Feb 2015

The recent review of Dols forms has helped put the person being safeguarded at the centre of the process, says project lead Lorraine Currie

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Umbrella bodies urge George Osborne to make tax changes and save the sector 'hundreds of millions' - Thu, 05 Mar 2015
The NCVO, the Institute of Fundraising and four others have written to the Chancellor asking for more efforts to raise public understanding of Gift Aid and discussions on a sector-wide rebate to reduce irrecoverable VAT

Sector bodies disagree over proposal to ease restrictions on society lotteries - Thu, 05 Mar 2015
In response to a government consultation, the Institute of Fundraising backs the plan but the NCVO says changes might affect the public's view of charities associated with society lotteries

Charity Commission had statutory inquiries open into 23 faith-based charities last year - Thu, 05 Mar 2015
Chief executive Paula Sussex reveals the figures for 2013/14 in a response to a written parliamentary question about the proportion of inquiries that are into charities with religious objects

Unpaid internships should not be used to displace paid staff, NCVO guide warns - Thu, 05 Mar 2015
The umbrella body's report says some charities have come to rely on interns' enthusiasm but have not done enough to support them

Banks concerned about anti-terror legislation need more government guidance, report says - Thu, 05 Mar 2015
The think tank the Overseas Development Institute says banks need more help if they are to provide services to charities that work in conflict zones

Liverpool City Council halves its grants to community organisations - Thu, 05 Mar 2015
Councillors have voted to cut expenditure by its Community Resource Unit from £2m to £1m over the next financial year

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator invites feedback on draft guidance for the charity test - Thu, 05 Mar 2015
The Scottish regulator is proposoing updates to the guidance for the first time since 2008

Macmillan Cancer Support appoints Lynda Thomas as chief executive - Wed, 04 Mar 2015
Thomas has been interim head of the charity since the departure of Ciarán Devane in November

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Other News

MPs raise Stop Practice Closures campaign with minister - Thu, 5 Mar 2015

Pulse writes to hundreds of MPs in affected areas

Independent oversight body for care.data to be scrapped - Wed, 4 Mar 2015

GP campaigners label the decision as ‘ludicrous’

Seven in ten GPs ignore NICE guidance at least once a month - Wed, 4 Mar 2015

One in ten GPs depart from NICE recommendations daily

500% increase in GP practices asking managers for support to close surgeries - Wed, 4 Mar 2015

Massive rise in practices approaching NHS managers about advice on closing or merging over the past year

QOF has failed to have impact on UK population’s health, study concludes - Tue, 3 Mar 2015

Incentives have not led to reductions in premature deaths in the UK population, conclude academics

Increase in number of GP consultations has been 'modest', think-tank claims - Tue, 3 Mar 2015

Nuffield Trust says increase in consultations have been matched by increase in GP numbers.

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