It's been a bad week for

m Journalists, who are unlikely to be granted exemption from new anti-terrorism laws. The House of Lords rejected a Liberal Democrat amendment to a bill's requirement to notify police of any information they receive about potential terrorist acts. Lord Goodhart QCtold peers that the provision could inhibit journalists' right to protect their sources. Cabinet Office minister Lord Falconer argued that journalists have a "degree of responsibility to society".

The Lord Chancellor.A new study carried out for Lord Irvine's department shows that, far from the professed appointments on merit only system, the method of choosing judges and QCs is riddled with indirect race and sex discrimination. Independent research found that a key factor in the selection was whether a candidate belonged to one of the elite set. One woman barrister told the researchers: "You put yourself in the circle if you are in the right chambers. You have only to look at who gets in – if you are the child of a judge or one of the senior lawyers or a judge."

Sleazy MPs or even those thinking about being sleazy. MPs accepting bribes will face up to seven years in prison and even the unaccepted offer of a bribe will be a criminal offence under new laws proposed by Jack "zero tolerance" Straw.

Michael Shakel, nephew of the late senator Robert Kennedy, who according to a fellow inmate at an alcohol treatment centre, admitted to being involved in a murder in 1975. During a court hearing into whether Shakel, now 39, should be tried as a juvenile or as an adult, witness John Higgins told the court that Shakel had wept when he told him of his involvement in the murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley. The case has been the subject of speculation for many years, with some alleging that the police had failed to press their investigation of Shakel because of his family connections.