The number of children put forward for adoption by local councils in England has fallen by almost half in under a year.

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In the three months to June 2014, there were 960 initial decisions to place a child for adoption, compared with 1,830 in the three months to September 2013.

The figures were released by the Adoption Leadership Board (ALB).

The ALB says the drop in adoptions may have been influenced by recent court judgements in care and adoption cases.

The board, which was established by the government as part of a shake-up of the adoption system, said applications for court orders allowing a child ...

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Child poverty set to rise, says social mobility commission

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The UK risks becoming a “permanently divided” society unless “radical new approaches” are taken by the next government, a report suggests.

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission also claims the target to reduce child poverty by half by 2020 will not be met.

Chairman Alan Milburn said the three largest Westminster parties were being “less than frank” on the issue.

He said housing costs and youth unemployment needed to be tackled.

Mr Milburn, a former Labour minister, said ...

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Corruption getting worse, says poll

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One person in four has paid a bribe to a public body in the last year, according to a survey carried out in 95 countries by Transparency International.

The poor record of some African nations on bribery stands out. Sierra Leone has the highest number of respondents admitting to having paid a bribe – 84% – and seven out of nine of the countries with the highest reported bribery rate are in sub-Saharan Africa. See the list below. The ...

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Church of England bishops demand action over hunger

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Forty-three Christian leaders, including 27 Anglican bishops, have signed a letter urging David Cameron to ensure people get enough to eat.

They argue that “cutbacks and failures” in the benefits system are forcing thousands of people to use food banks.

The End Hunger Fast campaign called the situation “truly shocking”. It wants a national day of fasting on 4 April.

But the government said it wanted to help people “stand on their own two feet” by cutting welfare dependency.

The letter comes after ...

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Fairtrade sales in UK rise 14% to £1.78bn

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Sales of fairtrade products in the UK rose by 14% last year to £1.78bn, new figures have shown.

The Fairtrade Foundation published the figure ahead of a fortnight of events to promote the products and the benefits of buying them.

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, there will be a campaign to highlight the low cost of bananas in UK supermarkets.

The foundation said a banana price war could force farmers in developing countries out of business.

Michael Gidney, chief executive of the Fairtrade ...

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Archbishop damns energy price hikes in the UK

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The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised energy companies for imposing huge price rises that will hammer struggling families.

Justin Welby said power giants had a ‘massive’ moral duty beyond squeezing customers for maximum profit, and challenged the firms to justify their huge increases in bills.

The Archbishop, himself a former oil executive, said he understood the anger over apparently ‘inexplicable’ rises and called on the companies ‘to behave with generosity and not merely to maximise opportunity’.

He hit out after British Gas announced ...

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Poverty ‘no longer problem of the workless and work-shy’

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Working parents in Britain “simply do not earn enough to escape poverty”, the government’s social mobility tsar Alan Milburn has warned.

Two-thirds of poor children are now from families where an adult works, his report found.

Many low and middle-income children face being “worse off” than their parents because of falling earnings and rising prices, Mr Milburn added.

Wealthier pensioners’ benefits should be cut and minimum pay raised, he said.

Mr Milburn suggested some benefits currently protected from cuts – such as ...

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Increase in number of working families using foodbanks

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Increasing numbers of people are now claiming for help from foodbanks as more families than ever find themselves suffering from poverty.

In one trust alone, more than 350,000 people were given a three-day food package – three times as many as the same time last year.

The Trussell Trust has written to the Prime Minister calling on him to look into the ‘scandalous’ problem of food poverty, warning some foodbank recipients are so poor they have returned produce that needs cooking ...

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Beckham to play for FREE at PSG – £170,000-a-week salary to children’s charity

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David Beckham has stunned world football by donating his entire £3.4million salary at Paris St Germain

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We throw away HALF of our food

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  • Seven million tons of food worth £10billion  is thrown away every year.
  • Of the wasted food £1billion is still within  sell-by date and good to eat.
  • Three quarters of vegetables grown in  Britain never get eaten.
  • Report by Institution of Mechanical  Engineers blames supermarkets.
  • Says average household wastes £24,000 worth  of food in lifetime.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2259883/We-throw-away-HALF-food-Supermarket-deals-confusing-sell-dates-mean-families-waste-480-year-groceries-eat.html#ixzz2HZdTawMl

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Syria crisis: Food aid ‘cannot reach a million people’

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One million Syrians are going hungry and helpless due to the 22-month civil conflict in the country, the UN says. The World Food Program (WFP) says it is helping 1.5 million Syrians, but continued fighting and an inability to use the port of Tartus to deliver food mean many people are not receiving aid. The UN estimates that more than 60,000 people have been killed in the uprising, which began in March 2011.

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UK food banks used by record number, says Trussell Trust

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A record number of people received emergency food from UK food

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Red Cross urges Spanish to donate money for food parcels to give to their own countrymen, as 2.3 million are deemed ‘extremely vulnerable’

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Spaniards are being called on to supply food  parcels to their poverty-stricken counterparts as the nation’s economic crisis  continues to bite. Spain’s Red Cross today launches a drastic  appeal for €30 million – a move which in recent years has been reserved for  helping famine-hit African nations and earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2215479/Red-Cross-urges-Spanish-donate-money-food-parcels-to-countrymen-2-3-million-deemed-extremely-vulnerable.html#ixzz28ttvb5mO

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The growing demand for food banks in breadline Britain

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More food banks are opening every week in the UK, with charities providing an emergency safety net for growing number of Britons, many of whom have fallen foul of the benefits system. Out of 306,000 people, according to the city council, 59,000 are living on the breadline. And with the UK economy in double-dip recession, the word breadline is starting to mean something literal.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19468697

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Elderly poverty: ‘Living like something from Dark Ages’

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12073801

It was only when police took Patrick home after he had been mugged,

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