News Daily: TV betting ads ban and mental health law review

By Victoria King
BBC News


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Britain's biggest gambling companies have agreed to stop showing television adverts during live sports broadcasts. The "whistle-to-whistle" ban will include any event that starts prior to the 9pm watershed but ends after that time, and covers firms like Bet365, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.

Political pressure on the industry has been growing due to fears that ads contribute to the rise in problem and under-age gambling - some addicts like Matt, who spoke to the BBC, insist that was the case for them. And Labour announced in September it would introduce a ban if it won the next generation election.

More than 90 minutes of adverts were shown during this year's World Cup and it's football where the financial impact will be felt most by broadcasters and gambling firms alike. Horse racing will be exempt from the restrictions - given its dependence on gambling - but all other sports will be included.

There have also been calls, including from former player Tony Adams, to end shirt sponsorship by gambling companies, but this ban doesn't go that far. At present, only tobacco ads on football shirts are banned.

Mental health laws

Sectioning - when someone with a severe mental health problem is detained in hospital against their will - is being misused, an independent review has concluded. The rights of patients are not properly protected, and some are being abused and neglected. The review's chairman, Prof Sir Simon Wessley, said the 1983 Mental Health Act "was written when people with a mental health problem were something to be afraid of".

The review recommends an overhaul of the law, including new rights for patients to legally challenge their treatment and the right to choose a "nominated person" to have control of a patient's care - at present, it automatically goes to their nearest relative. Mental health charities are overwhelmingly supportive of the recommendations.

Nearly 50,000 people were detained last year, and the number has gone up by 40% in the past 10 years, despite levels of severe mental illness remaining stable. What is it like to be sectioned? Four people told us their experiences. The prime minister said the injustices highlighted by the review were unacceptable and promised action.

Financial crime crackdown

Ministers are ending a "gold-plated" scheme which offered wealthy foreign nationals a fast-track to settling in the UK in return for a £2m investment. More than 1,000 so-called Tier 1 visas were issued in 2017, mostly to Chinese and Russian investors, but the scheme is being scrapped as part of a crackdown on financial crime because there are fears it is being used to launder money. Earlier this year, the BBC looked at who's allowed a Tier 1 visa and why they've been losing their sparkle.

Four ways Bush's funeral was different

By Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America correspondent

Just over three months earlier, the same grandiose site was the scene of another memorial service, for senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Bush was almost certainly the last US president to have fought in World War Two. McCain was perhaps the closest a Vietnam War veteran will come to winning the White House. On the surface, the services were similar - the military pageantry, the ceremony, the choirs and the sermons. They were also, however, quite different - and, perhaps, mark divergent paths the US could follow in the days ahead.

What the papers say

Several papers highlight a series of confidential emails between senior figures at Facebook, published yesterday. The Guardian says they show staff discussed selling users' data to advertisers in 2012, before deciding to restrict such access two years later. The Daily Mail says it can reveal the "disturbing scale" of the personal data harvested and traded by what it calls "some of our best-known companies". Elsewhere, Brexit again dominates. The Daily Telegraph claims the EU could offer Theresa May the chance to delay the UK's departure if MPs reject her deal next week, but she'll be "hugely reluctant" to accept. The Sun claims there's a growing consensus at Westminster that she'll have to resign if it's voted down. Finally, Times columnist Gerard Baker reflects on the response to George HW Bush's death. "You have to die to be a great conservative," he says, given "how unfair the left-wing US media is to Republicans during their political careers".

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