Other NI News In Brief

Hot Posting For TA Signals

Part-time soldiers from an east Belfast unit are to be deployed to Cyprus for six months, as part of the United Nation's peace-keeping effort. Nearly 300 of the Territorial Army troops from 40 (Ulster) Signal Regiment Group, (whose 'Hermes' cap badge symbol is pictured) will maintain security along a 30-kilometre stretch of the Green Line on the divided island. Cyprus was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974, which was triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. Training is under way for the tour, with the deployment beginning at the end of next month at a crucial time in political talks regarding re-unification of the island.

Child Abuse Website Banned

SDLP South Belfast MLA Conall McDevitt has welcomed Minister for Education Caitriona Ruane's decision to block schools access to an educational resource website run by a convicted sex offender. "Ten days ago I warned the Minister that many schools were downloading workpages from the 'Sparklebox' teaching resources website. I informed the Minister by means of a priority question that the person who owns this site had been found guilty and imprisoned for making and possessing indecent images of children and babies. Last week I was informed that the Minister instructed that access through the C2K education portal has been blocked. I look forward to hearing her confirm that in the Assembly," he said. Samuel Kinge, 28, from Evesham, was last month jailed for a second time for downloading abusive images of children. He had been running the Sparklebox teaching and parenting resource website used in thousands of schools but was blocked in some areas after internet safety officials discovered who was running it and that there had been some "worrying interactivity".

Probe Abuse Call

Amnesty International has called for an inquiry into the extent of child abuse in Northern Ireland institutions run by both the state and the churches. Its NI executive director told the SDLP conference that the Government should comply with its "international obligations".

Camp Weight Loss Launched

Northern Ireland's first residential fitness and weight-loss Bootcamp is to be launched on 28 February as a collective of experts in outdoor sports, fitness, nutrition and medicine. NI Bootcamp, an all-inclusive, residential weight-loss camp will run over six days to 6 March and will see women of all ages escape the gym environment to lose weight, get fit and tone up in exciting new ways, in a rural accommodation in the Mourne Mountains.

See: nibootcamp.gandi-site.net/

Beef On The Up

Over 70 trade stands stands and 14 breed society exhibits, including 35 pens of cattle, have already been booked for the NBA Beef Expo NI event at Dungannon on Tues, March 2. National Beef Association event organiser Euan Emslie, faced with a continuing flow of trade stand bookings, is arranging extra exhibition space and cark parking. "The response to the first NBA Beef Expo in this part of the UK has exceeded all expectations as regards support from farmers, suppliers and sponsors," reported Euan. "NBA Beef Expo NI is attracting farmers and farmers' groups not only from across Northern Ireland, but from as far afield as Aberdeenshire, Cumbria and Cork."


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