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SCIENTISTS DEVELOP NEW DRUG TO OUTFLANK CANCER RESISTANCE

SCIENTISTS DEVELOP NEW DRUG TO OUTFLANK CANCER RESISTANCE

LONDON. December 12, 2007/3mnewswire.org/-- A NEW drug has shown promising results against breast and prostate cancer cells and tumours that are resistant to conventional hormone-based treatments, according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer* today (Tuesday).

Cancers such as breast and prostate cancer are often fuelled by sex hormones, such as oestrogen or testosterone. Hormone therapy for breast or prostate cancer aims to reduce the levels of these hormones in the body, “starving” the cancer of these signals and halting tumour growth. Some cancers are resistant to this treatment from the outset while many build up a resistance to these drugs over time, their growth becoming hormone-independent – such cancers are a major challenge to treat.

Now, researchers have shown that a new drug – STX140 – directly targets hormone-independent cancer cells by initiating a natural suicide process within them. They also show that STX140 starves cancer cells of essential nutrients by stopping the growth of new blood vessels inside the tumours of mice.

Around eight out of every ten men with prostate cancer will respond to hormone therapy, but many of them will become resistant to the drugs during their treatment. Although breast cancer treatments are now very effective, there are fewer treatment options for patients with hormone-independent cancer.

Dr Simon Newman, lead author of the paper based at Imperial College London, said: “Although at an early stage, the results of our study show that by targeting tiny structures within cells we can overcome the huge problem of resistance to hormone therapy. STX140 works by disrupting the action of microtubules – components of cells involved in cell division – causing the cell to stop dividing and eventually die.

“We hope that our new drug, STX140, will enter clinical trials so we can test whether this treatment will be effective in humans. If the trial results reflect what our lab tests show, we could produce a treatment for cancer patients resistant to hormone therapy, hopefully with fewer side effects than conventional drugs.”

After showing great promise in cell lines, STX140 was given to mice orally each day for 60 days. Five out of eight tumours shrank in size, with two disappearing completely after 88 days. The three tumours that did not get smaller responded to the drug by staying the same size.

Conventional treatments for hormone-independent cancers, including the taxane family of drugs, are associated with side effects that mean they can only be given every three weeks by injection into the blood stream. Not only could STX140 be given orally, it was also found to be more effective than taxanes tested on the same mouse tumours.

Dr Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, which owns the British Journal of Cancer, said: “Research into how to overcome resistance to cancer drugs is vitally important, as this is a common problem that affects the treatment of many people with cancer. Building on existing drugs to create smarter targeted therapies is an exciting field of cancer research.

“Further tests are needed before we can tell if this drug can be used in people, but many thousands of patients stand to benefit from treatments that beat the mechanisms involved in resistance to cancer drugs.”

3mnewswire.org

Container vessel aground in Dover Strait

Container vessel aground in Dover Strait

LONDON. January 1, 2008/3mnewswire.org/-- A large container vessel ran aground in the Dover Strait this morning and Dover Coastguard has sent the Coastguard Emergency Towing Vessel, Anglian Monarch to render assistance and assess the situation. At 5am Dover Coastguard were in contact with the German registered container vessel LT Cortesia after Coastguard radar monitoring of the traffic separation zone indicated she had come to a sudden stop close to the Varne Bank. The crew confirmed that the vessel had run aground on the Varne Bank.

The LT Cortesia is a large container vessel of 90,465 Gross Tonnes and was traveling through the Dover Strait in the South West bound lane from Thames Port on route to the Suez when she ran aground on the Varne Bank 9 miles South of Dover Harbour. The vessel has 27 people on board who are all uninjured. Crew members are checking for damage on board but the cargo is reported to be secure and early indications are that the vessel is watertight. There is no reported pollution from the vessel.

The Coastguard Emergency Towing Vessel, Anglian Monarch is on scene to help evaluate any external damage to the vessel and assess the options for salvage of the vessel. Dover Coastguard and the Anglian Monarch will warn any approaching vessels of the potential navigation hazard posed by the LT Cortesia while she is aground.

The LT Cortesia is carrying 42,785 Tonnes of cargo in containers. The tide is now falling and next high water is 6.33pm. Weather on scene is currently South South East force 4 but winds are forecast to strengthen later today to South East backing East 5 or 6, occasionally 7 later.

3mnewswire.org

Statement from the Foreign Secretary on the death of Benazir Bhutto

Statement from the Foreign Secretary on the death of Benazir Bhutto

LONDON. December 27, 2007/3mnewswire.org/-- "I am deeply shocked by news of the latest attack in Rawalpindi which has claimed the life of Benazir Bhutto and killed at least 15 other people. My thoughts and sincere condolences go to Ms Bhutto's family at this terrible time, as well as to the families of all those who lost their lives in this senseless attack.

Benazir Bhutto showed in her words and actions a deep commitment to her country. She knew the risks of her return to campaign but was convinced that her country needed her. This is a time for restraint but also unity. All those committed to a stable future for Pakistan will condemn without qualification all violence perpetrated against innocent people. In targeting Benazir Bhutto extremist groups have in their sights all those committed to democratic processes in Pakistan. They cannot and must not succeed.
The large Pakistani community in the United Kingdom will be gravely concerned about these latest developments. Let me reassure them that the UK government will continue to work with all those who want to build a peaceful and democratic Pakistan."

3mnewswire.org

PROTEIN CLUE COULD STOP CANCER ‘CREEP’

PROTEIN CLUE COULD STOP CANCER ‘CREEP’

LONDON. December 31, 2007/3mnewswire.org/-- Cancer Research UK scientists have unlocked the secrets of proteins involved in tumour cells creeping away from the original tumour and spreading around the body.

Their findings are published in Molecular Cell today (Thursday). The study involves a protein called Tes which appears to block cell growth and prevent tumours from forming.

Scientists have now shown that it locks onto Mena – a protein involved in cell crawling that is found in excessive amounts in tumours. This is exciting because Tes binds to Mena in an unexpected way compared with other proteins that interact with Mena. Crucially, when Tes binds to Mena, it stops cells from crawling as it blocks Mena from sticking to its usual binding partners.

The discovery offers the possibility of the development of drugs which could block the action of Mena by mimicking the action of Tes. The movement of cells from the primary tumour to other parts of the body is the main reason that cancer can be so difficult to treat. Preventing this is one of the major challenges for researchers.

Dr Michael Way, lead author based at Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute, said: “Our findings represent a new way to regulate of a key family of proteins involved in cell crawling that will change the way researchers see current models of cell migration – an important aspect of the spread of cancer.” Dr Lesley Walker, director of science information at Cancer Research UK, said: “Cancer cells use many complex processes when they break away from their tumour and spread to other areas of the body. Understanding these mechanisms and increasing our knowledge about this protein can hopefully help us to develop more effective cancer treatments in the future.”

3mnewswire.org

Roll out of digital technology revolutionises NHS patient care in England

Roll out of digital technology revolutionises NHS patient care in England

LONDON. December 27, 2007/3mnewswire.org/-- State of the art digital technology that has revolutionised the way the NHS captures, records and uses patient x-ray and scans is now being used in every hospital trust in England, the Department of Health said today.

Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) are replacing the old way of capturing x-rays and scans on film and paper enabling clinical images to be stored electronically and viewed on screen.

The roll-out of PACS has been a major element in the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), which is helping the NHS to deliver better, safer care to patients via new computer systems and services.

Using this technology, healthcare professionals can look at images at the touch of a button. X-rays and scanned images are available to view on screens in different locations such as x-ray departments, out-patients clinics, operating theatres and in-patient wards simultaneously.

The system also gives clinicians instant access to old x-rays and scans, enabling the comparison of old images with new. This is especially useful when treating long-term conditions. Images can also be rotated, enlarged and manipulated in other ways, helping clinicians diagnose conditions more quickly and accurately.

More timely reporting and clinical decision-making, and more efficient ways of working, mean that PACS is making a major contribution to the delivery of a maximum 18-week wait for patients from referral to start of treatment.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said:

"The benefits of the introduction of PACS in terms of improved patient care are massive. This innovative technology speeds up and improves the accuracy of diagnosis, saves time and improves the quality of care. Trusts are reporting that the time taken for radiologists and radiographers to issue reports to clinicians have typically been halved from more than six days to less than three and these report turnaround times continue to fall with some hospitals reporting all imaging within 24 hours.

"2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the NHS, an ideal time to reflect on how the service has evolved using the skill of its dedicated staff and technological advances together with record investment to continually improve the standards and quality of care for millions of people. The NHS is the envy of the world, which is something we should never lose sight of."

As well as improved patient care, the introduction of PACS is also saving money with trusts reporting an average saving of £250,000 in their first year of using the technology.

In 2004 the Government introduced the programme to implement PACS in all English trusts. The final trust to receive a PACS as part of NPfIT was Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust on 10 December 2007, marking the completion of a three year process that has seen 127 trusts across England receive PACS.

PACS medical director Erika Denton, a practising radiologist, said:

"We all recognise the role that PACS is playing in improving patient care. Prior to the advent of NPfIT it had taken 50 trusts some 14 years to implement PACS. But in the last three years, the pace has accelerated massively; the speed and scope of the roll-out has been an incredible achievement. It's a credit to the way that NHS Connecting for Health, strategic health authorities, trusts and IT service providers have worked together."

3mnewswire.org

Kenya: joint statement from Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, and International Development Secret

Kenya: joint statement from Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, and International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander

LONDON. December 31, 2007/3mnewswire.org/-- We're appalled by and condemn the incidents of violence taking place in Kenya, including horrific killings in several Kenyan cities and towns. We call on all political leaders to urge restraint on their followers and avoid any actions that inflame tensions. We call on those involved, including government security forces and political party supporters, to behave responsibly, to act within the law, and to address their grievances peacefully.

We welcome that the parliamentary elections have been considered to be free and fair. But we share the serious concerns voiced by the EU and domestic election observers, and the US, over the presidential elections and vote counting.

Given the reported irregularities in the presidential election, and the continuing claims and counter-claims over the outcome of that election, we believe it is vital that Kenya's political leaders enter a process of dialogue aimed at achieving a solution which is seen to be democratic and fair by all concerned and which brings the current crisis to an end.

We are following the situation carefully. The Prime Minister is in touch with key Kenyan leaders this evening making clear our concerns and encouraging reconciliation and unity in dealing with the situation. We are in touch with our international partners including the EU, US and President Kabbah's Commonwealth delegation in Nairobi, to help resolve the crisis.

We have also updated our travel advice to warn against all but essential travel to the affected areas of Kenya.

3mnewswire.org

Coastguards rescue bait digger from mud flats in fog

Coastguards rescue bait digger from mud flats in fog

LONDON. January 1, 2008/3mnewswire.org/-- Bradwell Coastguard Rescue Team rescued a lost bait digger from treacherous mud flats this afternoon after thick fog closed in.

At 4pm Thames Coastguard received a 999 call from a bait digger out on mud flats at Bradwell on Sea near St Peters Chapel. He had become disorientated and lost when thick fog came in. Thames Coastguard was unable to call out a lifeboat due to the low tide or scramble a helicopter due to the poor visibility.

Bradwell Coastguard Rescue Team went to the area and used a powerful search light to help the lost man locate himself. The team was then able to find the man and lead him to safety, avoiding the dangerous saltings and rills (deep water channels) amongst the mud flats and marshes.

Thames Coastguard Watch Officer Mark Baker warns,
"Always check conditions and weather forecasts before venturing out on mud flats or marshland. It is very easy to become disorientated in poor visibility"

The 46 year old man is from Colchester.

3mnewswire.org

UK Government launches consultation on protecting Scotch Whisky

UK Government launches consultation on protecting Scotch Whisky

LONDON. January 1, 2008/3mnewswire.org/-- Jeff Rooker, Minister for Sustainable Food and Farming at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, today launched a UK-wide consultation on regulations to enhance the protection of Scotch Whisky - a prestigious and world-renowned product.

Defra is consulting on draft legislation that will deliver, in UK law, strengthened definitions of Scotch Whisky, to help support action against counterfeiting and passing-off, as called for by the Scotch Whisky Association, with the aim of introducing secondary UK legislation in Spring 2008.

Jeff Rooker, Minister for Sustainable Food and Farming said:

"I am very pleased that the UK Government has been able to work closely with the Scotch Whisky Association to produce draft regulations and launch a public consultation that will tighten UK legislation. This will help meet the industry's request to protect Scotch Whisky here and in global markets from counterfeit products and misleading practices. This consultation gives us the opportunity to ensure that the legislation we lay before Westminster Parliament provides the best protection to a product that has built up an international reputation for the highest quality whisky in the world."

The proposed legislation will make special provisions relating to Scotch Whisky and more tightly define the descriptions applied to it - for example "single malt" or "blended grain". These provisions will also tightly define Scotch Whisky's geographical provenance - such as Highland or Islay - and ensure that if the product uses the name of a distillery then it must also come from that distillery.

The Secretary of State for Scotland Des Browne said:

"Not only is Scotch Whisky one of our most iconic products, it is also economically hugely significant with exports worth £2.5 billion each year. This is why the UK Government acted when approached by the industry. Once the proposed legislation is enacted, Scotch Whisky, and in particular, Single Malt Scotch whisky, will be defined by law in Scotland, the UK, the EU and nearly every export market around the globe.

"The industry was always clear- only UK legislation could deliver this and I am proud that the UK Government is meeting the industry's needs . We will always act wherever possible to help Scottish concerns and we have a long tradition of working with the industry in overseas markets through our network of embassies and assisting them in international negotiations over trade matters."

Gavin Hewitt, Chief Executive of The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), said:

"SWA members will be delighted the industry's international significance and important contribution to the economy have been recognised with new standalone Scotch Whisky Regulations. The legislation will put in place a robust and comprehensive legal framework for Scotch Whisky, improving its protection from unfair practices globally, and ensuring consumers receive clear and consistent product information."

3mnewswire.org

Improve your management skills and grow your business in 2008, says Denham

Improve your management skills and grow your business in 2008, says Denham

LONDON. January 1, 2008/3mnewswire.org/-- Small business managers should resolve to make 2008 a year to improve their leadership skills and boost their competitiveness, John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills said today.

Mr Denham made his call for action to highlight how small businesses can take advantage of a huge expansion of Government funded training which will come on stream later in the New Year.

Funding for tailor-made management and leadership training provided through the Government's 'Train to Gain' service is rising from £4million to £30million a year for next three years.

Just one call to the 'Train to Gain' helpline gives employers access to an impartial and independent skills broker to help them identify their basic or higher level skills needs. Training from a range of available services can be sourced, including local education institutions and publicly or privately funded training providers. This could mean a formal certified training programme or, for others, a coach or mentor to help businesses improve the way they manage staff.

Mr Denham said:

"Small business managers are the backbone of our economy, making an immense contribution to innovation, boosting regional competitiveness and bringing opportunity and enterprise to local communities.

"To really succeed in an increasingly competitive climate, every small business manager needs to get the best from their employees. Despite the time pressures they face, no small business manager can afford to cut corners on training - either for their employees, or themselves.

"This is why I have made the provision of leadership and management training, tailored to the individual needs of each business, a priority for 2008. Since its launch in 2006, Train to Gain has helped more than 52,000 employers and enabled over 240,000 employees to undertake training. If you manage a small business, I urge you to join in this fantastic work and make your business a winner in the New Year."

From 2008, the overall Train to Gain budget will double to over £1billion in 2010/11 ensuring that skills training is available for employees in every company in the country. The increases in funding for management training for small and medium-sized enterprises (those between 10 and 249 employees) will support managers in around 42,000 companies over the next three years.

Skills Minister David Lammy, said:

"Services aimed at small businesses only work if they are flexible enough to be used when and where employers want them. In expanding Train to Gain, we've listened closely to the business community to ensure we've met their needs - in particular in designing the enhanced management training service.

"I hope that employers will respond by making full use of the opportunity to improve their staff leadership credentials, and to get their staff trained up to deliver real growth in 2008".

Ian Smith, Chairman of the UK's Leadership and Management Advisory Panel, said:

"This additional Government money to fund the expansion of the leadership and management programme is fantastic news. The programme, which has been developed with and for small to medium sized businesses, really does give managers the support they need to run their businesses more effectively, to increase productivity and ultimately to improve economic performance."

3mnewswire.org

David Miliband and Douglas Alexander comment on the Kenya election results

David Miliband and Douglas Alexander comment on the Kenya election results

LONDON. December 31, 2007/3mnewsire.org/-- Joint FCO, DFID statement

"This is a pivotal moment for Kenya, a time when the democratic process and election outcome has to be seen to be fair in the eyes of the Kenyan people. We congratulate Kenyan voters for conducting their vote in an orderly and dignified manner. But we have real concerns at the irregularities reported by the EU observers and others. We call on all Kenya's political leaders and democratic institutions to work together to address those concerns, seriously, in a spirit of unity, and in a way which will bring the respect and support of the Kenyan people. Those leaders must also ensure the safety of Kenya's people - the tragic deaths this weekend have marred an otherwise peaceful election. That violence must not be repeated. We urge all sides to pursue their disputes peacefully through dialogue and the appeals process.

"Britain looks forward to working with a legitimately elected government of Kenya, which commands the support of the Kenyan people and which wants to advance the economic, social and democratic interests of the people of Kenya. We will be discussing ways forward with our European and other partners in the coming weeks."

3mnewswire.org

Wicks calls for a 'go' green' new year resolution

Wicks calls for a 'go' green' new year resolution

London/December 31, 2007/3mnewsire.org/--
£25 million in grants issued for micro wind turbines and solar panels

Small scale renewable energy grants worth some £25 million have now been claimed from the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP), it was revealed today. The news came as Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks called for more homes and business to follow his lead by adopting a 'go green' new year's resolution.

His call comes as more and more homes, schools and businesses have been helped with Government grants to install technologies such as solar panels, biomass boilers and ground-source heat pumps.

Grants claimed under BERR's Low Carbon Buildings Programme since it launched in April 2006 are up to approximately £25 million:

* £7.5 million to help 4,600 households generate their own clean and green energy.

* £18 million for a total of 739 projects on school, community, housing association and business buildings.

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said:

"It's vital that recent efforts by world governments to reach a deal on cutting global carbon emissions are matched by action by each and every one of us. Deciding to go green and generate your own clean energy is one of the most valuable New Year's resolutions you can make. It is certainly my intention to make a difference, and make my own house more energy efficient and install clean and green electricity.

"There are still grants available to householders who want to follow in the footsteps of the thousands across the UK who have been helped by the Government to fit microgeneration technology at their homes. Many schools have benefited also and the pupils there have been able to see renewable energy in action and understand more about its important benefits."

There are still £11m in grants available under Phase 1 for householders who want to generate renewable energy at home. Schools, charitable bodies and other public sector organisations can apply for a share of the £44m that remains from the original £50m set aside for them under Phase 2.

It has also been another year of progress for the wider renewable sector.

* Consent for eight major renewables projects, including the world's largest biomass plant in Port Talbot; the innovative Wave Hub project off the Cornish coast; the 66MW Fullabrook Down wind farm in Devon and a 450MW offshore wind farm at Walney in the Irish Sea.

* Announcement by Energy Secretary John Hutton of plans for a massive expansion in offshore wind power. The vast bulk of the seas around the UK are to be covered by a new Strategic Environmental Assessment, opening up the possibility of enough offshore wind to power all of the UK's homes.

* The announcement by John Hutton of a feasibility study into the possibility of clean energy generation in the Severn Barrage that could generate up to 5% of the UK's future electricity.

In 2008 the momentum will be maintained with the introduction of legislation that will aim to 'band' the Renewables Obligation to bring on more support for less developed renewables technologies such as wave, tidal and offshore wind.

3mnewswire.org

A year to remember - The work of the Met Office in 2007

A year to remember - The work of the Met Office in 2007

LONDON/December 31, 2007/3mnewswire.org/-- Looking back at 2007, the weather and climate change have never been far from the headlines meaning the Met Office has had another busy year.

For many people in the UK, 2007 will be remembered as the year without a summer. The extreme rainfall of May, June and July and the large-scale flooding that followed gripped the nation for much of the summer, and the consequences are still being felt by many of those affected.

The Met Office played a vital and significant role during the summer, providing excellent forecasts and warnings ahead of the heavy rains. Ahead of, and during the flooding we worked with the Environment Agency, emergency planners and advised COBRA so that the nation was as prepared as possible for the exceptional rainfall. But our work didn't stop once the rain did - we have since been working with local councils, government and insurers throughout the clean-up operation to get those affected back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Heavy rain is just one cause of flooding, and we were put to the test again in November as one of the largest North Sea storm surges since 1953 affected the east coast. As is the case whenever the weather or climate has a major impact, the Met Office was at the centre of the response, advising government and the EA on the areas most at risk. Our well-timed and accurate forecasts allowed local councils to prepare for possible flooding, protecting lives and property along the east coast of England.

The Met Office Hadley Centre has also had a very successful year, undertaking more climate change research than ever before, as well as helping business mitigate and adapt to the challenges of our changing climate.

Scientific highlights from the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2007 include:

* findings that increasing levels of ozone near the earth's surface is leading to a reduction in plant and crop growth. This impacts plants ability to soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, accelerating global warming;

* findings that increasing carbon dioxide levels make plants less thirsty, leaving more water to drain into rivers which will add to the river flow increases already expected due to climate change;

* evidence than humans have an influence on global surface humidity - causing a more humid world exacerbating the affects global warming;

* reports into the impacts of climate change on the fate of the Amazon rainforest;

* our first ever forecast for the next ten years - in 2014 the world will be 0.3 C warmer than 2004, with at least half of the years after 2009 predicted to exceed the warmest year currently on record.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007. As the UK's foremost climate research centre, the Met Office Hadley Centre was the single most influential scientific contributor to the Working Group I report - The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change; a significant contributor to the Working Group II report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and our scientists were lead authors on the summary report published in November.

The IPCC were joint-winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 and we were honoured that Met Office climate scientist and IPCC lead author, Richard Wood, was invited to attend the awards ceremony in Oslo, representing his colleagues who have contributed world-leading science to IPCC assessment reports over many years.

The climate science from the Met Office Hadley Centre not only enhances the world's understanding of the science of climate change, but also helps inform government policy as demonstrated at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in December.

During 2007, Met Office Consulting undertook groundbreaking work to help businesses prepare for a world under climate change. In a specially commissioned study, the Met Office used its regional climate models to explore the effects of climate change and sea level rises at British Energy's nuclear sites across the UK. The report will help them plan measures to ensure their power stations are kept safe from rising sea levels.

The Met Office has since signed agreements with the majority of the UK energy industry to examine the impacts of climate change on their strategy, operations and planning; has worked with the CBI Task Force on Climate Change and issued its first ever North Atlantic Tropical Storm season forecast. This forecast provided unparalleled accuracy and advice in trials during 2005 and 2006 and again this year, with an excellent forecast of the number of named tropical storms likely throughout the season (June to November). These forecasts ensure we provide accurate advice on the possible impacts and risks of tropical storms to businesses ranging from financial markets, insurers and the oil industry.

Elsewhere in the world, Cyclone Sidr brought devastation to low-lying Bangladesh with torrential rain causing terrible flooding and a huge death toll. In December the Met Office signed an agreement with the Bangladesh Meteorology Department (BMD) to offer guidance and assistance in forecasting tropical storms in the Indian Ocean. With climate change perhaps meaning an increase in tropical storm frequency this is just one example of how Met Office expertise is hoped to bring worldwide benefits.

2007 was one of the mildest on record across the UK, which means the last six years have been the warmest six on record. As the impacts of climate change begin to take hold the Met Office is ready to help governments and business prepare for and adapt to a changing climate and to help you make the most of what 2008 has to hold.

3mnewswire.org

Angler recovered from sea at Eyemouth

Angler recovered from sea at Eyemouth

December 31, 2007/3mnewswire.org/-- An angler has been taken to hospital after being recovered from the sea at Eyemouth.

Forth Coastguard received a call from ambulance control reporting that the man had been fishing with his brother from rocks 25 metres off shore when he fell into the water. The Eyemouth Coastguard Rescue Team were dispatched and St Abbs and Eyemouth RNLI lifeboats were requested to launch.

The man was recovered from the water by Eyemouth lifeboat and then taken to Melrose Hospital by rescue helicopter.

Simon Smart, Forth Coastguard Watch Manager says:

"We received the call from Ambulance Control at 12.17 pm and the lifeboats arrived on scene within minutes to retrieve the man from the water. Conditions for this incident were reasonable with a calm sea and force 2-3 winds."

3mnewswire.org

Coastguard teams rescue fallen pony

Coastguard teams rescue fallen pony

December 31, 2007/3mnewswire.org/- Coastguards rescued a wild pony this afternoon which had fallen down a gulley on Anglesey.

At 10.50am Holyhead Coastguard was contacted by a member of the public and resident at Lynas Point, North East Anglesey about the distressed animal spotted in a deep gulley.

Moelfre and Cemaes Coastguard Rescue Teams went to the scene and winched down a Coastguard with a vet to tranquilise the animal. The pony was then winched back up the gulley to safety and following treatment at the scene was released.

3mnewswire.org

Angler saved from sea

Angler saved from sea

LONDON. December 27, 2007/3mnewswire.org/- An angler who was swept off rocks into the sea was saved within minutes, thanks to the swift action of the Porthcawl RNLI lifeboat crew and the fact that he was wearing a floatation suit.

The 52 year old man was angling off rocks at Witches Point, Ogmore this morning, when he was swept into the sea in south westerly gale force weather. His friend immediately dialled 999 and spoke to Swansea Coastguard who asked him to keep in contact with his friend and to reassure him that help was on its way.

Swansea Coastguard requested the launch of Porthcawl RNLI Inshore Lifeboat and requested the Llantwit Major and Porthcawl Coastguard Rescue Teams to attend. A rescue helicopter was also requested to scramble but did not become airborne due to the swiftness of the rescue.

The first call was received into Swansea Coastguard Operations Room at 9.25 am and by 9.47 am, the lifeboat had hauled the man onboard. He has been taken to Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend.

Graham Warlow, Swansea Coastguard Watch Manager says:

"The floatation suit which the angler was wearing undoubtedly contributed to saving his life. His survival time would have been very short in the sea conditions, with a 1 1/2 to 2 metre swell and south westerly force 7 to gale force 8 onshore winds. In addition, hypothermia would have very quickly set in without the suit in the low sea temperatures (8-9 degrees) at this time of year.

"This angler was also wise to be fishing with a friend who knew exactly what to do in an emergency. The man's companion had the presence of mind to call 999 immediately, not to attempt self rescue and to keep in visual contact with his friend, reassuring him until help arrived.

"Sadly, during 2007, several sea anglers lost their lives during similar incidents and this incident shows how dangerous the British Coastline can be. Fortunately, since this angler was well prepared, the outcome is a good one.

"As a reminder, when out sea angling, take an appropriate method of communication, such as a mobile phone; fish with a friend so that there is always someone available to call for help if required; wear an immersion suit, floatation suit or floatation device; be aware of tides and local conditions and call 999 and ask for the Coastguard in an emergency.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to praise the swift and heroic action of the Porthcawl lifeboat crew who took to sea in foul conditions. The lifeboat was launched and the man pulled from the sea in around twenty minutes, contributing to a successful outcome."

3mnewswire.org

Make it your new year resolution to get out and about with your bus pass in 2008

Make it your new year resolution to get out and about with your bus pass in 2008

LONDON. December 27, 2007/3mnewswire.org/- Older and disabled people are being urged to make the most of their free national bus pass when they plan their New Year's resolutions this year.

From 1st April people living in England who are aged 60 or over, or eligible disabled people, will be entitled to free off peak local bus travel anywhere in England. They will be able to use their new bus passes when visiting family and friends or taking a much needed weekend country or seaside break and also to travel to a range of events and activities outside their local area.

To help people make the most of the forthcoming change, the Department for Transport and the Local Government Association is suggesting a list of activities and events to help inspire some different New Year resolutions that involve exploring new sights, hobbies and experiences throughout 2008.

Far from typical promises such as eating healthily or getting fitter, the list includes resolutions to see the last QE11 voyage in Southampton in April; indulge motoring passions at the British International Motor Show in July; explore Liverpool during its year as Europe's Capital of Culture or simply enjoy the many other festivals and celebrations throughout England.

Transport Minister Rosie Winterton said:

"Extending the concessionary fares scheme so that it operates across England is going to be very important to so many people.

"Up to 11 million older and disabled people can already enjoy free off-peak bus travel in their local area. But by removing limits to their free travel they can use their bus pass on off-peak local buses anywhere in England. This means that from April 1st no older or eligible disabled person need be prevented from travelling where they want on a local bus by cost alone.

"I hope that people will use their pass to gain greater freedom and independence. It is no longer just for regular everyday journeys - it can also provide some great days out for those who want to make the most of it."

Cllr David Sparks, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Transport and Regeneration Board, said:

"Free bus travel throughout England will benefit millions of elderly and disabled people. Councils are committed to putting people first and hope the new pass will allow more people over 60 to enjoy a day out to their favourite seaside town or historic location."

For further information on the national bus concession including details on how to register, people aged 60 or over and disabled people will need to contact their existing pass provider or log on to http://www.direct.gov.uk/buspass.

New Year's Resolutions for people aged 60 or over:

January

Resolution - Relax more! Get tips on how to get and care for your very own escape from reality in the form of The Collins Stewart London Boat Show, which takes place on the 12th of January.

Resolution - Broaden your horizons. If you have always wanted to be knowledgeable about art, then this is your opportunity. Venture along to the London Art Fair on the 16th of January to experience some classic pieces from professionals and new talent.

Resolution - Take up a new hobby. Jump straight into a new hobby at the Make It exhibition on the 18th of January in Surrey where you can pick up tips on taking up arts and crafts.

February
Resolution - Rock until you drop! Experience former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman in concert to re-live the days when there was real music. 12th February in Surrey.

Resolution - Stick to your plans to have a healthy 2008 and head along to Shape08 event on the 23rd of February in London.

Resolution - Laugh more! Everyone loves to laugh, so tickle your ribs and attend the Leicester Comedy Festival from the 8th of February.

March

Resolution - Don your Sunday best and enjoy a day of high class. Head over to the Cheltenham Festival on the 10th March in Gloucestershire.

Resolution - Keep your hand to eye co-ordination at it's best. You can either take part in or watch the British and World Marble Championships on 21st March in West Sussex.

Resolution - Remember your new bus pass. From the 01 April the England bus concession is changing. Your new bus pass will allow you free off peak local bus travel anywhere in England. Have you arranged yours? Contact your local pass provider to find out more.

Resolution - Experience another country. La Dolce Vita show in London gives the perfect taste of Italy including food, wine, culture, fashion and property from the 13th of March.

April

* TV Licence fees go up
* New England bus concession comes into effect

Resolution - See the last QE11 voyage. Be one of the first and last people to see the QE11 dock following her final round the world trip, in Southampton on the 18th of April.

Resolution - Visit family for the Easter holidays. The new England bus concession comes into force on the 1st of April, so use this chance to visit family members using free off peak local bus travel in England.

Resolution - Taste the best of local produce. The Lancashire Food Festival plays host to a traditional and exotic foods and live cookery demonstrations in Accrington on the 5th of April.

May

Resolution - Challenge your mind. Writing on the Wall on the 1st of May in Liverpool, is an opportunity to challenge your mind as the festival features creative writing, storytelling and humour through inquiry and debate.

Resolution - Be more environmentally friendly. On the 7th of May in London, Think 08 will focus on sustainability and environmental issues and has over 100 exhibitors to learn from.

Resolution - Treat your taste buds. Enjoy the sandwich of your choice during British Sandwich Week, which celebrates everything about the snack from the 11th of May.

June

Resolution - Be decadent! Enjoy the French tradition of partaking in an aperitif before dinner in the evening, to bring the class of Paris into your living room, when International Aperitif Day is celebrated on the 5th of June all over the world.

Resolution - Experience more culture. The Ashbourne Festival on the 20th of June has a taste of different arts including classical, opera, jazz music, a masked parade and art exhibitions.

Resolution - Have a holiday! Use your concessionary bus pass and enjoy free off peak local bus travel whilst visiting family or going on holiday in England. Make sure you relax in the sunshine (weather permitting!).

July

Resolution - Get to know new people. The Southwark Irish Festival on the 5th of July is the perfect opportunity to meet new people and sample the delights including dancing, music, sports, stalls and sideshows.

Resolution - Enjoy the sea breeze. Head to Whitstable for the annual Oyster Festival and enjoy displays and food by the sea from the 19th of July.

Resolution - Switch into fifth gear. If you have a love of cars both classic and modern, the British International Motor Show is an opportunity to see first hand the latest car designs from around the world. The event is held in London on the 23rd of July.

August

Resolution - Spend more time outdoors. With activities such as fly fishing and falconry displays, the Spirit of the Countryside in Dorset on the 9th of August will inspire the urge to enjoy rural life.

Resolution - Become a flower expert. Experience 34 acres of gardens and flowers at the Southport Flower Show on the 21st of August and enjoy live music and food stands.

September

Resolution - Support Britain's farmers. From the 1st of September, the whole country will celebrate Farmers' Market month by visiting local producers and experiencing their unique specialities.

Resolution - Pay respect. The London Poppy Walk on the 21st of September is one way to pay our respects. Even if you can't do the walk, you can attend and show support for those who are doing it.

October

Resolution - Celebrate life! Use the International Day of Older Persons on the 1st of October to take time to enjoy life and marvel at all the achievements you've made.

Resolution - Read more. Inspire your imagination by visiting the Manchester Literature Festival from the 4th of October and experience poetry and fiction readings.

Resolution - Visit family during the school holidays. Use your concessionary bus pass to visit your grandchildren in England in their half-term.

November

Resolution - Experience the bright lights! The Musical Fireworks Spectacular takes place on the 1st of November in Essex and climaxes with a magnificent fireworks display to mark Guy Fawkes Night.

Resolution - Enjoy traditional food. Taste over 20 types of pies at the Cumbrian Pie Festival from the 7th of November and experience the original food at 17th century pub The Mill Inn.

Resolution - Buy your Christmas presents early! Be organised and get your Christmas presents early this year and head along to The Festive Gift Fair at the NEC in Birmingham from the 13th of November.

December

Resolution - Get into the festive spirit. Visit Norfolk's Magic of Christmas exhibition to truly get into the festive spirit and see entertainers and performances on the 5th of December.

Resolution - End the year on a high. Make the end of the year special by attending the New Year's Eve Banquet in Leeds Castle Kent on the 31st of December.

New Year Resolutions for eligible disabled people

January

Resolution - Become an ale expert! Learn your bitters from your pales and impress all your friends at the National Winter Ales Festival in Manchester from the 16th of January.

Resolution - Enjoy living and eating in Britain. Take advantage of the National Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Awards, which are on the 23rd of January and sample the best our waters have to offer.

February

Resolution - Do more for mankind. This Fairtrade Fortnight from the 25th February, do your bit by buying produce which has the Fairtrade mark on it to support those producers around the world who get a raw deal.

March

Resolution - Become a vegetarian! Use the fact that March is Veggie Month to kick-start your healthier lifestyle and find out more about the health, nutrition and animal welfare benefits of becoming a vegetarian.

Resolution - Remember your new bus pass. From the 01 April the England bus concession is changing. Your new bus pass will allow you free off peak local bus travel anywhere in England. Have you arranged yours? Contact your local pass provider to find out more.

April

* TV Licence fees go up
* New England bus concession comes into effect

Resolution - Experience flora and fauna. Delight your nose and sample the wonders that nature can produce at the Cambridgeshire Garden Show from the 11th of April.

Resolution - Visit family for the Easter holidays. The new England bus concession comes into force on the 1st of April, so use this chance to visit family members using free off peak local bus travel in England.

May

Resolution - Experience more culture. Use the Museums and Galleries Month, which starts on the 1st of May to visit venues across England where special events are taking place.

June

Resolution - Have a holiday! Use your concessionary bus pass and enjoy free off peak local bus travel whilst visiting family or going on holiday in England. Make sure you relax in the sunshine (weather permitting!).

July

Resolution - Investigate all options. Disability Awareness Day on the 6th of July combines independent living exhibitions with a family carnival providing ideas for disabled people and their families in Cheshire.

Resolution - Enjoy the great outdoors! On the 25th of July Beyond Boundaries Live in Kent offers disabled visitors the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of activities covering sports, holidays, adventure and relationships.

August

Resolution - Learn history. Celebrate the middle ages and attend the Medieval Festival in Sussex on the 23rd of August to experience jousting, fire eaters, and craft stalls.

September

Resolution - Make peace not war. Celebrate the International Day of Peace to strengthen peace among all nations and people on the 21st of September.

October

Resolution - Smile more! On the 3rd of October spend some time being happy on World Smile Day and encourage others to do the same.

November

Resolution - Pamper yourself! Treat yourself to some pampering at the Mind, Body and Soul exhibition in London on the 15th of November and find out more about reflexology and reiki.

December

Resolution - Get some 'me time'. Celebrate how great you are on International Day of Disabled Persons on the 3rd of December.

Appointments to the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee

Appointments to the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee

LONDON. December 27, 2007/3mnewswire.org/- The Department for Transport has today announced the appointment of four new members to the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), and the reappointment of six existing members.

The announcement follows the statutory review of half of the Committee's membership at the end of 2007.

The Committee has twenty members plus chair and this brings a combination of experience and expertise to matters related to disability and transport.

Reflecting the Government's approach to diversity in public appointments, the new Committee has 67% of members who are disabled, 38% who are women and 10% people from minority ethnic communities. They also represent a wide geographical spread.

The Committee will continue to be chaired by Neil Betteridge whose appointment was not subject to this review.


Resolve to cut your carbon footprint

Resolve to cut your carbon footprint

LONDON. December 28, 2007/3mnewswire.org/-- Despite growing concern about climate change, when it comes to making New Year's resolutions, Britons are more worried about losing weight than saving the planet. According to a YouGov poll, just 15 per cent of Britons have resolved to reduce their carbon footprint in 2008 compared to 38 per cent pledging to lose weight and 20 per cent aiming to make more money.

To help people take action against climate change in 2008, the Government has developed an online carbon calculator - http://www.direct.gov.uk/ActOnCO2 - which enables people to work out the size of their carbon footprint and provides them with a personal action plan to reduce it.

Individuals are responsible for more than 40 per cent of CO2 emissions in the UK - mainly from energy use in the home and travel - but there are many simple, low cost ways to cut down the amount of CO2 emissions we create. Here are a few suggestions:

* Cycling to work or walk children to school rather than taking the car;

* Make sure you unplug appliances when not in use and don't leave TVs, DVD players or stereos on stand-by;

* Turn the thermostat down by 1 degree c;

* Insulate your hot water tank and pipes - a British standard lagging jacket will save you money and reduce emissions;

* Extend your low-carbon entertainment into the New Year and switch off the TV and entertainment systems for the night; and

* Ensure you use the dishwasher or washing machine only when you have a full load.

Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said:

"It is imperative that we all do our bit to try to limit the effects of climate change. Our Act on CO2 calculator enables people to work out their current carbon emissions using government-recognised data and provides a personalised action plan with steps you can take to make a positive difference.

"Over 500,000 people have already logged on to http://www.direct.gov.uk/ActOnCO2 to find out how they can reduce their carbon footprint and we're hoping many more will do the same throughout 2008."

3mnewswire.org

Revenue & Customs dawn swoop to smash money laundering and VAT fraud crime syndicate

Revenue & Customs dawn swoop to smash money laundering and VAT fraud crime syndicate

LONDON. December 28, 2007/3mnewswire.org/-- Revenue & Customs officers investigating a suspected £20 million VAT missing trader and money laundering fraud swooped in early morning raids today making six arrests in Scotland. Codenamed Operation Vaulter, today's action is the result of a 24-month long investigation and follows the arrest of 17 persons in North West England last September.

Today, four men and two women have been arrested and four premises - three domestic and one commercial - have been searched. All those arrested are being taken to police stations in England for questioning by Revenue & Customs investigators.

Chris Harrison, Director of Operations, Criminal Investigations, for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said:

"Tackling missing trader fraud is HMRC's top priority. We have a duty to protect the revenue given the scale and nature of the attacks we are seeing. Today's arrests are the result of a lengthy investigation by dedicated officers who work tirelessly and diligently, fighting criminal attacks on the tax system. The sophistication of the organised crime gangs behind these frauds means that our investigations are increasingly complex but we are committed to bringing the criminals responsible to justice and to recovering the money stolen from the British taxpayer, wherever in the world our investigations lead. This is not victimless crime, it's organised crime that causes real harm."

Those arrested are believed to be part of an organised crime group operating a network of companies that 'carouselled' large quantities of mobile phones and other low volume, high value goods, buying them VAT-free from European Union and then selling them on to businesses in the UK, then defaulting without paying the VAT due. It is thought that the proceeds of this crime have then been used to finance lavish life styles.

3mnewswire.org

Make it your New Year resolution to get out and about with your bus pass in 2008

Make it your New Year resolution to get out and about with your bus pass in 2008

LONDON. December 28, 2007/3mnewswire.org/-- Older and disabled people are being urged to make the most of their free national bus pass when they plan their New Year's resolutions this year.

From 1st April people living in England who are aged 60 or over, or eligible disabled people, will be entitled to free off peak local bus travel anywhere in England. They will be able to use their new bus passes when visiting family and friends or taking a much needed weekend country or seaside break and also to travel to a range of events and activities outside their local area.

To help people make the most of the forthcoming change, the Department for Transport and the Local Government Association is suggesting a list of activities and events to help inspire some different New Year resolutions that involve exploring new sights, hobbies and experiences throughout 2008.

Far from typical promises such as eating healthily or getting fitter, the list includes resolutions to see the last QE11 voyage in Southampton in April; indulge motoring passions at the British International Motor Show in July; explore Liverpool during its year as Europe's Capital of Culture or simply enjoy the many other festivals and celebrations throughout England.

Transport Minister Rosie Winterton said:

"Extending the concessionary fares scheme so that it operates across England is going to be very important to so many people.

"Up to 11 million older and disabled people can already enjoy free off-peak bus travel in their local area. But by removing limits to their free travel they can use their bus pass on off-peak local buses anywhere in England. This means that from April 1st no older or eligible disabled person need be prevented from travelling where they want on a local bus by cost alone.

"I hope that people will use their pass to gain greater freedom and independence. It is no longer just for regular everyday journeys - it can also provide some great days out for those who want to make the most of it."

Cllr David Sparks, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Transport and Regeneration Board, said:

"Free bus travel throughout England will benefit millions of elderly and disabled people. Councils are committed to putting people first and hope the new pass will allow more people over sixty to enjoy a day out to their favourite seaside town or historic location."

3mnewswire.org

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