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January 11, 2024

Pornography review to canvass public’s view on issue 

  • The public, adult performers and law enforcement are being invited to answer a questionnaire on the impact of pornography.
  • It will be used in a review of the industry that will make recommendations to government.
  • Questions in the survey will delve into the influence of pornography on relationships, mental health, and attitudes towards women and girls.
  • The review will investigate the evolving landscape of pornography production and consumption, particularly with regards to the impact of AI and virtual reality (VR), following concern about the ability for AI to generate child abuse material.
  • The new Online Safety Act already includes measures to prevent children from accessing online pornography, requiring platforms to implement age verification and age estimation tools for user age confirmation.
  • However, Baroness Bertin reported that the review would help “future proof the law” as technology evolved: “Extreme pornography can have a damaging impact – we owe it to our children and indeed to the whole of society to put the guard rails back in place.”
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Nearly 10 per cent of young girls took diet pills or laxatives in the past year 

  • Nearly 10% of girls used “very dangerous” diet pills in the past year, according to a global study of 604,552 children conducted by researchers from Deakin and Monash universities.
  • Over 5% of under-18 boys and girls took weight-loss aids without prescription for intentional weight loss.
  • They reported it was a “public health concern” and links use among girls to low self-esteem, parental influence, peer pressure, and media-driven beauty standards.
  • Researchers emphasise the ineffectiveness and dangers of these drugs, associating them with unhealthy weight gain and increased eating disorder risk.
  • In 2023, UK authorities seized 369 fake Ozempic weight-loss drugs, while DNP, an active ingredient in some pills was reclassified as “poison” by the government.
  • Doug Shipsey, whose daughter Bethany died in 2017 after consuming the chemical, had campaigned highlighting DNP’s role in deaths.
  • Tom Quinn of Beat called for “stricter laws to ensure that weight-loss products are never sold to people with or vulnerable to an eating disorder.”
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo News website.

School meals: ‘Watching my pupils go hungry is heartbreaking’ 

  • Children in low-income working families, not qualifying for free school meals, attend class hungry, reported a Belfast head teacher.
  • Slightly over half of the 800 pupils at Malone Integrated College are entitled to free school meals.
  • As a temporary measure to address hunger, Ms Moore is using grant money to provide free food to all her pupils.
  • Malone Integrated College utilised grants from the James Kane Foundation in December 2022 for temporary breakfast provisions to address hunger.
  • The charity, founded by the late aerospace entrepreneur Jim Kane from Portadown, has left money to “advance education for the public benefit” in Northern Ireland.
  • Last month, the principal of Brownlow Integrated College in Craigavon, County Armagh told BBC News NI a pupil had fainted due to hunger and families were “struggling to afford the basics.”
  • Northern Ireland is also the only part of the UK where there is no support available to feed schoolchildren during the school holidays.
  • In March 2023, the school holiday food grant was scrapped by the Department of Education.
  • At the time the department said it was ending the scheme “with great reluctance” but no longer had enough money to fund it.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.