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October 25, 2023

More than a million children in the UK experiencing ‘horrifying levels of destitution’

  • According to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) the number of people experiencing these poverty levels in the UK has increased by 61% between 2019 and 2022, with 3.8 million people experiencing destitution.
  • Children in particular have been affected most, with an increase of 186% since 2017.
  • People are considered destitute if they have not been able to meet their basic needs to stay warm, dry, clean and fed.
  • Paul Kissack, Chief Executive of the JRF accused the government of failing to act: “The government is not helpless to act: it is choosing not to…That is why we are calling for clear proposals from all political parties to address this challenge with the urgency it demands.”
  • A UK Government spokesperson stated its priority was driving down inflation, and the investment of £3.5 billion in jobs and the expansion of free childcare.
  • For more, please visit the Sky News website.

AI firms must be held responsible for harm they cause ‘godfathers’ of technology say

  • The intervention was made as international politicians, tech companies, academics and civil society figures prepare to gather at Bletchley Park next week for a summit on AI safety.
  • Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley reported that AI are not toys, and “increasing their capabilities before we understand how to make them safe is utterly reckless”.
  • The document urged governments to adopt a range of policies, including making tech companies liable for foreseeable and preventable harms from their AI systems.
  • The safety summit will focus on existential threats posed by AI, such as aiding the development of novel bioweapons and evading human control.
  • For more, please visit The Guardian website.

New awareness campaign for non-fatal strangulation in Northern Ireland launched

  • The Department of Justice initiative will appear on television screens, which comes after non-fatal strangulation or asphyxiation was made a specific offence at the end of June 2023 as part of the Justice (Sexual offences & trafficking victims) Act (NI) 2022.
  • Those convicted of the offence could face up to 14 years in prison.
  • The three-week long TV campaign will include information on how to access support or report the crime and will also feature on YouTube and outdoor sites during 2023/24.
  • Permanent Secretary of the department, Richard Pengelly said they want to raise awareness of the crime for perpetrators, victims, and the public.
  • Sarah Mason, chief executive of Women’s Aid Federation NI, welcomed the move. She said, we believe women and girls in Northern Ireland are safer today than last year,” and “a media campaign to highlight this new law will send a clear message that this is a crime.”
  • For more, please visit the ITV News website.