Caven blog

December 2012

2012: The year ‘banker’ became rhyming slang

This year seems to have been a big one as far as banking scandals go. A major part of the fallout from the financial crisis, which was predominantly caused by the irresponsible actions of banks, has been a public and government outcry regarding the way banks operate.

From rate fixing to bonuses, money laundering and sanction breaking, this has been a year in which the banks have been taken to task by lawmakers and regulators across the world.


London pharmacists alleged to sell controlled drugs illegally

An undercover investigation by the BBC reports its team found nine pharmacists in London willing to sell dangerous controlled drugs without seeing any prescriptions.

Furthermore, it is alleged that the pharmacists sold the medicines for high prices, far above the £7.50 NHS prescription charge.


Sally Bercow, the Speaker’s wife, being sued by Lord McAlpine over tweet

The fallout from the Lord McAlpine saga continues this week with reports that Sally Bercow, the Speaker’s wife, is being sued by McAlpine for a tweet Mrs Bercow made which linked McAlpine to the allegations of child abuse which were aired on BBC’s Newsnight.

The BBC reports that lawyers acting for Lord McAlpine have made a claim for damages limited to £50,000.


Grandmother hits neighbour twice with her car over access dispute

A 68-year old grandmother, Jean Glyde, from Henllys, near Cwmbran in Gwent, appeared for sentencing at Cardiff Crown Court on Monday, after pleading guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The Daily Mail reports that the assault happened in the wake of a dispute with Glyde’s neighbours over whether they had access to a driveway on her land. Jonathan Tunley, 38, was hurt in the incident, suffering injuries to his neck and shoulder. His injuries meant that he had to take time off work.


HSBC to pay £1.2bn fine over money laundering

HSBC has announced it will pay $1.9bn (£1.2bn) to US authorities in a settlement over poor money laundering controls, according to the BBC.

The news originally broke in July, when HSBC executives appeared at a US senate hearing following a subcommittee report which highlighted serious issues with the bank’s American operation.


Government plans regarding same-sex marriage law

The BBC reports that the Government is to publish plans next Tuesday, outlining how it intends to introduce same-sex marriage. For example, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, is now in favour of churches in England and Wales being able to carry out same-sex unions if they wish; originally he said legislation would not include religious ceremonies.

Due to the fact that some religious groups, such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, have voiced opposition to the plans, Ministers say any changes would “fully respect” the rights of religious organisations’ non-participation.


HMRC has the scent of garlic smugglers

A garlic smuggler is on the run after being convicted of avoiding £2m in import duty, according to the BBC.

Murugasan Natarajan was sentenced to six years in prison after being caught out pretending thousands of tonnes of garlic was fresh ginger, which is not taxed.


Workers at car-plant upset at ‘scrooge-like’ Christmas bonus

The Daily Mail reported on Saturday that employees of Luxembourg-owned International Automotive Components (IAC), which fits the trim to the Jaguar Land Rover, were bemoaning the state of the Christmas bonus at their place of employment.

Their bonus consists of a buffet with a choice of bacon or sausage sandwiches.


Five-year-old British girl embroiled in transatlantic custody dispute

A young British girl with an American father is the subject of an international custody battle which has gone all the way to the US Supreme Court, according to the Telegraph.

Five-year-old Eris Hales Chafin’s mother, Lynne Hales, is arguing with ex-husband Jeffrey Chafin, a US Army sergeant, over custody of their daughter.


European women’s groups call for ban on prostitution

The European Women’s Lobby (EWL), which claims to be the largest umbrella organisation for women’s associations in Europe, presented key policy recommendations for legislation to MEPs in Brussels last Wednesday.

BBC News reports that over 200 women’s rights groups, led by EWL, are campaigning for new laws to make paying for sex a crime throughout the European Union.


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