Ma Jian: China’s ex-intelligence chief jailed for life

China’s ex-intelligence chief Ma Jian has been sentenced to life in prison for crimes including taking bribes and insider trading, a court says. Ma had been put under investigation in 2015 and expelled from the Communist Party one year later. He pleaded guilty and would not appeal, a court in the north-eastern Liaoning province said. […]

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Italian Mafia ‘godfather’ Settimo Mineo held in Sicily raid

Italian police have arrested the man said to be the new head of the Sicilian Mafia, along with 45 associates. The dawn raid in Palermo netted 80-year-old jeweller Settimo Mineo. He was reportedly elected Cosa Nostra godfather at a Mafia meeting in May. Italian media describe him as the successor to Toto Riina, who died […]

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France fuel protests: PM Philippe ‘to halt fuel tax rise

France fuel protests: Who are the people in the yellow vests? The French government will suspend a fuel tax rise which has led to weeks of violent protests, local media report. The protests have hit major French cities causing considerable damage for the past three weekends. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe sought compromise with the protesters, […]

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Brexit: Theresa May to open five days of crunch debate

Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to sell her Brexit deal as she opens five days of debate in the Commons. The debate is due to last eight hours each day and to begin mid-afternoon. MPs will vote next Tuesday evening. The deal negotiated by the UK and the EU has to be backed by […]

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Brexit: May not ruling out second MPs’ vote on deal

Theresa May has refused to rule out another Commons vote on her Brexit deal if MPs reject it the first time. The PM said she thought she could win the vote on 11 December despite dozens of Tory MPs being against the deal. In an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, she urged MPs to […]

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Pittsburgh shooting: Anger at Pence rally ‘Jesus prayer’

US Vice-President Mike Pence faces controversy after a cleric who identifies as a Jewish believer in Jesus Christ led prayers for victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. Rabbi Loren Jacobs appeared at a Republican rally in Michigan where he described Jesus as the Messiah and did not name the victims of the attack. Known as […]

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Hammond v McDonnell on Budget ‘end of austerity’ claim

Budget headlines in two minutes Philip Hammond has said there will be no "real terms" increase in public spending apart from on the NHS. The chancellor used his Budget on Monday to say that austerity was coming to an end. But Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell rejected his claims, saying more welfare cuts were coming […]

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Niels Högel: German ex-nurse admits killing 100 patients

A former nurse has admitted murdering 100 patients during the first day of his trial, making him one of Germany’s worst post-war serial killers. Detectives say Niels Högel, 41, administered fatal doses of medication to the people in his care at two hospitals in northern Germany. His motive, prosecutors say, was to impress colleagues by […]

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Leicester City owner among five dead in helicopter crash

The owner of Leicester City FC died when his helicopter crashed outside the stadium, the club has confirmed. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, two members of his staff, the pilot and a passenger were killed when the aircraft spiralled out of control and crashed in a fireball on Saturday. It had just cleared the King Power Stadium when […]

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South Africa bank boss felt ‘threatened’ by minister

South Africa’s top banks have accused the governing African National Congress (ANC) of pressuring them to help out a notorious business family implicated in high-level corruption. The accusations have been made this week at a judicial inquiry into the activities of former President Jacob Zuma, the Gupta family, and what’s become known in South Africa […]

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