News round-up

by Nicola Brown

1. Newspaper and magazine publishers are seeking an injunction to prevent royal charter on press regulation as proposed by the government. In a last ditch attempt at the High Court on Wednesday, industry representatives will go before the Privy council to oppose the plan. The three main political parties, along with Hacked Off campaigners, back the proposal. Publishers believe the proposed charter by political parties would mean the end of a free press in the UK.

2. The government has put forward plans to cap pension fees, which they believe could save people tens of thousands of pounds. The proposal aims to limit pension management fees to between 0.75% and 1%. The government intends to stop excessive charges, and become firmer handed with pension fees. The cap comes alongside large-scale reforms being set up to automatically place workers in pension schemes.

3. Competing supermarket chains Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s may face a court battle. Sainsbury’s has appealed for a review of Tesco’s Price Promise Promotion, disagreeing with the way it compares products of different quality and origin. The argument made by Sainsbury’s has already been rejected twice. A review will likely be heard in summer 2014.

4. Leading German intelligence officials are in talks at The White House over the alleged hacking of Chancellor Merkel’s mobile phone. The US is facing increasing anger amid reports that the NSA has been spying on its allies. The NSA has spoken out saying that accusation are grossly exaggerated.

5. The Supreme Court has ruled against the appeal made by the IDS in what has been coined the ‘Poundland case’. The Court ruled that the regulations did not fall under the accused ‘forced and compulsory’ labour. Cait Reilly who brought the case forward argued it was a breach of her human rights, however others have commended it as a gateway for those wanting to get into employment.

6.  The Great British Bake Off has helped see a surge in popularity for The Women’s Institute, who had to reject 130 prospective members. Baking shows like Bake Off which, with the help of social media, have seen a resurgence in fans have helped to revamp crafts once considered old-fashioned. The WI saw queues of 350 women hoping to join a new branch in Bristol.

7. Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill’s previously applauded decision to lower Scottish drink driving limits may not be put into action until 2015. McAskill’s initial announcements in March suggested that the legal limit would be reduced from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood by 2014. The delay is due to the unavailability of vital Home Office experts, who are required to recalibrate alcohol testing equipment. The proposed change is reported to be popular among Scottish residents, as around 17 lives a year are expected to be saved under the new law.

8. The White House has stated that it will monitor its NSA surveillance, with recent leaks forcing a review of their intelligence methods. Following the revelations made by whislteblower Edward Snowden, administration has suggested changes have already been put in place. Among them are a ban on spying of foreign allies and the United Nations.