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Friday, November 19, 1999 Published at 23:23 GMT

Straw on trial over jury reform

The home secretary faces stiff criticism over his plans to remove the right to jury trial for some defendants.

Prescott: We must act on transport

The Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, defends his plans to introduce congestion charges on Britain's roads as the debate on the Queen's Speech resumes.

Queen's Speech: At a glance

A quick guide to the 28 bills unveiled by the Queen during the state opening of Parliament.

Prescott defends transport plans
John Prescott hits back at the "poll tax on wheels" jibe levelled at car charges set out in the Queen's Speech, insisting he will not force councils to implement them.
Queen unveils packed programme
Measures on transport, crime and e-commerce have been placed at the centre of the government's plans for the next year unveiled in the annual Queen's Speech.
Speech fails to deliver - Hague
Shortly after the Queen's Speech ceremony finished, the Conservative leader accused the prime minister of failing to tackle health, education and crime.
What a performance
The kidnapping of a government whip during a parliamentary ceremony headed by the Queen sounds like the plot of a Hollywood thriller, but it happens every year.
Queen's Speech in full
This is the full text of the Queen's Speech setting out the government's plans at the state opening of Parliament.
Picture gallery: The state opening of Parliament
The state opening of Parliament in pictures.
Controversy over law and order plans
The government is on a collision course with civil rights campaigners after it confirmed plans to introduce mandatory drugs-testing of offenders and people under arrest.
Safety concerns over transport reforms
The transport bill unveiled in the Queen's Speech brings together measures to improve rail safety, increase bus usage and introduce a public-private partnership for air traffic control.
Government to end fur farming
The government will keep its pre-election commitment to ban fur farming in Britain through a bill announced in the Queen's Speech.
Police net powers switched
The UK Government appears to have given in to pressure to amend controversial legislation about the internet and e-commerce.
Gay age of consent bill returns
Legislation to reduce the homosexual age of consent to 16 is among the government's plans - and Clause 28 will be repealed.
Race bill disappoints campaigners
The reform of the Race Relations Act, designed to target discrimination within public bodies, has been branded "disappointing" by the Commission for Racial Equality.
Action on 'domestic' terrorists
The fight against terrorism is being taken forward by the government which is drawing up new powers to tackle both international and domestic terrorists.
CSA reform tops welfare bill
New legislation to overhaul the Child Support Agency is part of the goverment's continuing programme of welfare reform.
'Anti-sleaze' reforms cap election spending
A cap on political parties' general election spending and a ban on foreign donations are included in a wide-ranging package of "anti-sleaze" measures.
Open government on the way
Open government in the UK is now significantly closer after the Queen revealed that action would be taken on freedom of information during the next year.
More rights for ramblers and wildlife
Thousands of acres of countryside would be opened up to ramblers under the Countryside Bill, which also aims to boost wildlife protection.
New freedom for Post Office
The Postal Services Bill will see the organisation converted to a public limited company, giving it greater commercial freedom and the means to compete more effectively.
Utilities face tough regulation
The government outlines tough regulation proposals for the privatised utility companies which will put the interests of UK consumers first.
Special needs pupils to get extra support
In the Queen's Speech, the government says it will improve special needs education and press ahead with cutting class sizes, introducing performance pay for teachers and reforming further education.

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