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Greetings from Mumsnet Towers,

Where we have a couple of dates for your diary. Book club is back and acclaimed Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell is our guest author this month. We have 100 copies of his latest novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, to give away and book club will meet on 28 Sept at the new time of 9-10pm. Do join us.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be on Mumsnet next Thurs, 15 Sept, from 12.30-1.30pm, to talk about meat-free cooking and his new recipe book River Cottage Veg Everyday. And we have the answers to your Qs back from historian Peter Ackroyd.

Finally, a swift mensh for this week's Good Cause: the BIG award scheme is a new anti-bullying campaign backed by a coalition of charities - urge your child's school to sign up.

Now for this week's parenting news...

Childcare costs price parents out of work: A survey of more than 4,300 parents, including Mumsnetters, shows that the cost of childcare is forcing low-income parents out of work and driving others into debt. More than half the poorest parents questioned said they were no better off working once they had paid for childcare and a quarter of all the parents who responded, regardless of income, said the cost of childcare had led to debt. The report, by Save the Children and the Daycare Trust, says parents in the UK spend almost a third of their income on childcare - more than anywhere else in the world. (BBC News, 07.09.11; join the discussion on Talk)

Abortion counselling amendment defeatedMPs voted by a majority of 250 to reject an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, tabled by Tory MP Nadine Dorries, which would have stopped abortion providers giving NHS-funded counselling to women. But Ms Dorries said she had "lost the battle but won the war" as the government has said it will consult on improving abortion counselling for women and MPs will vote again when the government presents the findings of the consultation. (Guardian, 07.09.11; join the discussion on Talk)

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Other stories in brief


 The week on Talk

Quote of the week

Insomnia11 suggests some seasonal adjustments to the British weather: "I like the word 'Fall'. Very descriptive. I think we should rename winter 'Freeze', spring 'Optimism' and summer 'Disappointment'."

Blog of the week

Goodynuff Mum: Thoughts on parenting from journalist Ellie Levenson, author of The Noughtie Girl's Guide to Feminism
"For a family where one or both parents are Jewish (me, in this case) circumcision obviously comes up in discussions about the unborn child. But I see it as a highly personal issue, and one in which the child deserves privacy. Should I feel able to ask you about your genitals and what they look like? Of course not. So why did so many people think that they had a right to know about my child's?"
Enjoy more juicy blogs on our Bloggers Network.



Check out the great prizes in our September competitions. Here's what you could win:

Recipe of the week

Whomovedmychocolate's cheese and caramelised onion muffins: Lunchbox fatigue already setting in? Pep up your children's packed lunch with these simple yet scrumptious muffins.

You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?

That's (almost) all, bar a quick plea for your summer holiday reviews - please tell other MNetters if your hotel, cottage or campsite is one to book or one to bodyswerve. 
Love, MNHQ

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