In brief

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 25 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:802

UK government pledges to end child poverty: The UK's Labour government has pledged to end child poverty within a generation. The government's poverty audit sets out 32 poverty indicators including the number of households with below average income and the number of babies of low birth weight born in poor areas.

US eradicates measles as indigenous disease: Measles has been eradicated as an indigenous disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control. There were only 100 confirmed cases reported in 1998, compared with nearly 28 000 in 1990.

Website bans sale of tobacco and alcohol: The US internet auctioneer, eBay, will ban the sale of all tobacco products and alcohol on its site from 13 October. The ban is to protect eBay members from prosecution under regulations in force in several states which govern the sale of such products.

UK dentist struck off on serious charges: Melvyn Megitt, a dentist in Sale, Cheshire, who at one point earned £600 000($960 000) a year by seeing 150 patients a day, has been erased from the dentists' register after being found guilty of serious professional misconduct for lack of skill and attention in clinical treatment and for deliberately damaging orthodontic appliances, which increased his receipts and defrauded the NHS.

Green paper on abortion issued in Republic of Ireland: The Irish government has issued a green paper on abortion, which at present is permitted only if the mother is considered suicidal. The public will be asked to comment on seven options including retaining the current restrictions or permitting abortion in certain circum-stances Nearly 6000 Irish women travelled to Great Britain to have abortions in 1998.

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