Arts and Entertainment Damien Hirst,

Damien Hirst has today unveiled a new spot painting based on Disney character Mickey Mouse.

Letter: Love counts for much more than biology

Sir: I was interested to read the interview with a man suffering from infertility (12 May). I was in a similar situation but am now a father of two boys, both born with the help of donated sperm. Although it would have been nicer to have been able to be a biological father, it isn't so bad in practice. The gentleman in your interview seemed very anxious and depressed. I am grateful that I have two lovely sons whom I love very much. I doubt I would love them any more if we were biologically related. After all, there are plenty of biological parents who have little contact with, or commitment to, their children.

Baby burnt

A baby suffered 25 per cent burns after his brother, aged three, set fire to his mattress while playing with matches at their home in Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

NSPCC calls for video evidence in abuse cases

The NSPCC said yesterday that abused children should be spared the trauma of testifying in open court.

Letter: Playground ruderies

Sir: Iona Opie ('Rude stories in the playground', 11 March) suggests that the nature of playground stories may have changed. What she reports sounds much the same sort of thing - even down to one of her indexed items - as was doing the rounds in my primary school days in the late Forties. I suspect that all that has changed is what children and adults are prepared to discuss with each other.

Waco siege: Britons named

The FBI released the following details yesterday of Britons known to be inside the Branch Davidian compound:

Health Update: Child snorers

CHILDREN who snore can suffer psychological ill-effects, according to research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. A study of nearly 1,000 children aged four to five years found that those who snored habitually were more likely to suffer from daytime sleepiness, restless sleep and hyperactivity. They were also more aggressive and less attentive.

Letter: Time to oust the little emperors

HURRAY for Geraldine Bedell's 'The age of the little emperors' (28 February). The 'baby comes first' mentality among middle- class parents has repercussions outside the family too. I have attended a wedding where a guest soprano had to compete with a bawling infant. You can't blame babies for making a racket but surely it is time to reclaim some occasions as kiddie-free zones.

Letter: Whose absence?

YOUR REPORT on Ros Hepplewhite, the new director of the Child Support Agency ('The quiet woman on the trail of runaway fathers', 14 February) refers to our organisation as 'representing absent parents'.

Letter: Inverted nipples are no bar to breastfeeding

YOUR article 'Nipple aid 'will help thousands of women' ' (10 January) states incorrectly that women with inverted nipples are unable to breastfeed. It is this misinformation given by many health professionals, rather than the inverted nipples themselves, which causes many women to fail at breastfeeding.

Money Briefly: Cover against child injury

ABOUT 10,000 children a year are injured badly enough to suffer permanent disability, according to the child insurance specialists Firstcover. For a minimum premium of pounds 3 per child per month (or pounds 5 per family per month), Firstcover will provide child injury insurance for new-born babies to 18-year-olds.

Pounds 45m boost for child care places

Child care provision for the over-fives was given a pounds 45m boost yesterday. Gillian Shepherd, Secretary of State for Employment, announced plans to allocate the money - designed to help develop and set up new care places - over a three-year period through Training and Enterprise Councils.

Letter: Scout leaders

Sir: 'Can you really trust Akela?', asks Sandra Barwick (8 December) in her article about stopping the wrong types of adult working with children. Based on the practical experience of the Scout Movement, which has 115,000 adult leaders and processes about 20,000 appointments each year, we believe you can. In 1987, a professionally conducted opinion survey showed that according to a substantial majority of adults interviewed, the Scout Movement has as its leaders 'people you would trust with your own children'.

Children come out tops in income stakes

MOST CHILDREN and some top managers have more in common in terms of their financial expectations than one might at first suspect. The earnings of both have risen comfortably faster than inflation in the past year, unlike nearly every other category in the population, writes Neasa MacErlean.

Health Update: Help after tragedy

GREAT Ormond Street Children's Hospital opens a Child Death Helpline on Thursday. As well as being devastating for the immediate family, the death of a child can be shocking for the child's friends, teachers and people in the emergency services who may have had to help.
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