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December 1, 2023

Elfbar: Top vape firm drops sweet flavours over appeal to kids 

  • The UK’s leading vape brand Elfbar and its sister brand Lost Mary say they will drop dessert and soft drink flavours which have been criticised for appealing to children.
  • Elfbar and Lost Mary make up more than half of the UK’s disposable vape sales, according to data firm NielsenIQ.
  • The company has also called for tighter restrictions on vape sales, including a licensing regime for retailers and rules requiring them to display vapes behind the counter.
  • A company spokesperson reported: “The introduction of such a regime would mitigate children’s access to vapes and make it easier for the authorities to better regulate the sale of vaping devices. Furthermore, we believe it would help combat the growing illicit vape market and drive increased rates of vape recycling.”
  • The ongoing vaping consultation on e-cigarette regulations ends on the 6th of December, and legislation in England, Scotland and Wales is expected “as soon as possible” afterwards.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website. customers warned of ‘well-designed scam’ putting details for sale on dark web 

  • Cybersecurity firm Secureworks said criminals are targeting the website’s partner hotels to steal their user details.
  • They then send phishing emails to the customers, claiming their reservation will be cancelled if they do not provide payment information urgently.
  • The scam unfolds in two phases, starting with hotels themselves being targeted by scam emails, claiming to be a guest who has left valuable documents during their stay.
  • They then send a follow-up email directing the hotel to a Google Drive link purporting to show an image of the lost item.
  • The link contains malware called Vidar Infostealer, which allows the criminals to access the account portal that people use to make their reservations, and from there, target the customers.
  • reported that they “recommend vigilance and that people carefully check the payment policy details outlined in their booking confirmation.”
  • For more, please visit the Sky News website.

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Schools becoming ‘fourth emergency service’ to cold and hungry children 

  • Millions of children are struggling to feed their children and heat their homes, Dr William Baker has said.
  • He recently led a study into the expanding network of school food banks and pantries introduced to support families amidst the cost-of-living crisis.
  • As well as the cost-of-living crisis, the study found that food charity in schools is becoming mainstream across England amid welfare cutbacks and entrenched poverty.
  • A primary school pupil cited in the research wrote a letter appealing to their school, which read: “We haven’t got any gas. We haven’t got any food for tonight, please can you help?”
  • The Food Foundation also reported that last September, a quarter of households with children were experiencing food insecurity.
  • A Government spokeswoman stated: “We understand the pressures many households are under, which is why we are providing record financial support worth an average of £3,300 per household”, and have “raised benefits in line with inflation, increased the National Living Wage and are providing help for households with food, energy and other essential costs.
  • For more, please visit the ITV News website.

School did not retain historical sexual abuse evidence 

  • Barry Welsh, a head teacher at a school at the centre of an abuse scandal, admitted that letters detailing any physical and sexual abuse at Edinburgh Academy in the 1970s were no longer kept.
  • Many of the accusations involve Iain Wares, who was employed by the Academy and Fettes College in the 1960s and 70s – neither school reported the allegations to police.
  • Mr Welsh reported that the school was trying to build relationships with some former pupils, that would in a small part help in “taking away the pain we caused them.”
  • Mr Welsh added: “If the school was aware that Wares was a prolific abuser and were merely allowing him to move on elsewhere and carry on that abuse then that is unforgiveable.”
  • In a statement, the Academy said it “accepts responsibility and [again] expresses it sincerest and wholehearted apology to the boys who were failed and all the others who were affected.”
  • Fettes College said: “We sincerely and unreservedly apologise to those who suffered and deeply regret what they went through.”
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Wales should keep free school meals in Christmas holidays, says mum 

  • A mum has criticised the Welsh government’s decision not to fund free school melas during the Christmas holidays.
  • The Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health (RCPCH) said it was an “own goal” for the Welsh government.
  • Dr Nick Wilkinson said the RCPCH was seeing more children with conditions linked to a lack of adequate food.
  • In the recent budget cuts announced by the government, there was an £11.5m underspend on the universal free school meal scheme.
  • Sioned Williams, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for social justice, called for this money to be used to fund free school meals over the Christmas period, and said it would cost £6m over two weeks.
  • The government reported the decision was due to financial pressures: “Unfortunately, due to the significant financial pressures facing the Welsh budget, it is not possible to reinstate the provision of free school meals.”
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.