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October 20, 2023

EU gives Meta and TikTok formal Hamas disinformation deadline

  • TikTok and Meta have been formally told to provide the EU with information about the possible spread of disinformation on their platforms relating to the Israel-Gaza conflict.
  • Previously, they were given 24 hours to provide answers to the bloc’s concerns, but that request did not carry legal force, whereas this latest demand does.
  • Both firms have a week to respond. Under its new tech rules, the EU can open a formal investigation if it is unsatisfied with their responses.
  • The EU’s latest demand comes a week after they contacted X over similar concerns.
  • Now under the Digital Services Act (DSA) the firms must respond by the set deadlines.
  • Failure to comply could result in fines up to 6% of a company’s global turnover, or even suspension of the platform.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

The following stories may be regionalised:

More than 1,600 arrested in police blitz on county lines drug dealers

  • Police reported that they have shut down 250 county lines.
  • Officers seized £1.2m worth of class A drugs, more than a million pounds in cash, 100kg of cannabis and 458 weapons.
  • In the raids across England and Wales last week 710 people, including 58 children, were referred for safeguarding support as victims of exploitation.
  • Commander Paul Brogden, of the National Police Chief’s Council, stated that they are “committed to tackling the supply of illegal drugs, and the exploitation and violence that is frequently associated with it.”
  • Home Secretary Suella Braverman also reported: “My message is clear. We will not tolerate illegal drugs of any kind, and we must rid our communities of these criminals.”
  • For more, please visit the Sky News website.

ITV News investigation reveals rising violence amid cuts to youth services

  • An ITV News investigation found that young people who have lived through multi-million-pound cuts to youth services in the UK are facing a rising tide of violence.
  • Youth work charities in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire have seen a rapid increase in the number of young people being criminally exploited by drug gangs.
  • The National Youth Agency has reported that an estimated £1 billion has been cut from annual local government youth service budgets, causing hundreds of council-run youth centres to close.
  • Additionally, Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) has revealed that it is treating an average of five teenagers for knife-related injuries every week.
  • A Government spokesperson said its National Youth Guarantee (NYG) will give every young person access to regular clubs and activities, and volunteering opportunities by 2025.
  • They added, that over £25 million has been allocated to youth services in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
  • For more, please visit the ITV News website

Childhood obesity shows slight fall in England

  • The National Child Measurement Programme measures the height and weight of children in Reception class and Year 6 to assess overweight and obesity levels in primary school children.
  • Obesity rates in Year 6 fell from 23.4% (2021-22) to 22.7% (2022-23).
  • In Reception-aged children, it fell from 10.1% (2021-22) to 9.2% (2022-23). This is lower than in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • A government spokesperson reported that they are committed to halving childhood obesity rates by 2030 and are promoting healthier lifestyles through their £320 million a year investment in school sport and schemes like Healthy Start – which encourages a healthy diet for families from lower income households.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.