Government facing Brexit defeat in Lords and other national stories.

The first defeat of the government’s Brexit bill is expected in the House of Lords later today.

The bill authorises the government to trigger Article 50 and start the formal withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

The major issue of contention is the protection of the rights of the EU citizens currently living in UK.

It is expected that the peers will agree to an amendment of the draft legislation.

However, the Lords’ proposed changes could be removed by MPs when the bill moves back to the House of Commons later this month.


Sex education is to be made compulsory in England

Children from the age of four are going to be taught about relationships in English primary schools.

Until now, sex and relationships education had been compulsory in only council-run schools.

In primary schools the emphasis of the education will be on the building of safe and healthy relationships.

This will continue into secondary school with the focus switching to sex education at an appropriate age; including the dangers of sexting, online pornography and sexual harassment.

Parents retain the right to withdraw their children from these classes.


Young men are turning to self-harm to cope with depression

A YouGov poll of 16 to 24 year-old men has revealed that one in four are self-harming due to depression, anxiety and stress.

The poll was commissioned by three youth charities, The Mix, Self-Harm UK and Young Minds.

24% of the 500 men surveys said they hurt themselves intentionally with a further 22% saying they had considered it.

Exercising excessively, pulling out hair, punching walls and abusing drugs were highlighted as common coping mechanisms for feeling under pressure.

Speaking to The Guardian, an NSPCC spokesperson said,

A frightening number of children and young people are being driven to self-harm as a way of dealing with unresolved feelings, tensions and distress in their lives.

Government announces TV licence fee rise

The UK’s licence fee is set to rise by £1.50 to £147.

The increase will come into effect on 1 April and is the first rise since 2010.

The price of the licence fee set by the government, who announced last year that it would rise with inflation for the next 5 years.

Previously the price had been frozen in a move by the collation government.

Current licence fee payers will receive a payment plan or reminder conforming to the new amount with their licence fee is next for renewal.

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