By James North – On tonight’s show – Immigration Minister Damian Green has denied claims by MPs that a backlog of cases saw asylum seekers granted leave to remain so many times that it amounts to an amnesty.
The Commons Home Affairs Select Committee said that of 450,000 cases in the backlog, some 38,000 have had their claims denied by the Border Agency and are being removed from Britain; however, 161,000 have been granted leave to remain.
A prisoner has been allowed to father a child from behind bars via artificial insemination because of European laws that guarantee him the right to a "family life". The decision to allow him the treatment, which is reportedly being paid for by the NHS at a cost of up to £2,000, was based on his rights under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
In European news, research conducted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals that more than 7.5 million Euros was spent on private jet travel for EU Commissioners between 2006 and 2010; 20,000 Euros was spent on gifts since 2008, including cufflinks, fountain pens and Tiffany jewellery; and 300,000 Euros was spent on cocktail parties.
Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has criticised Germany and the European Commission over its handling of the so-called ‘cucumber crisis’. It confirmed that it will seek ‘sufficient compensation’ following the Hamburg state government ministry’s public allegation that Spanish cucumbers are the source of the recent outbreak of E coli.
In world news, Belarus has asked the International Monetary Fund for a loan of up to 8 billion US dollars. The money is needed to boost the crippled economy and revive people's faith in the government.
And finally, Sana’a, the Yemeni capital, was gripped by intense gun battles and shelling for a fourth day as soldiers loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh, the embattled president, fought heavily armed followers of an opposition tribal leader.
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