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Murali rallies Sri Lanka to win over England
5 Dec 2007 source: today.reuters.co.uk

KANDY, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Spinner Muttiah Muralitharan claimed a match haul of 9-140 to propel Sri Lanka to an 88-run victory in the first test against England on Wednesday. Muralitharan toiled without taking a wicket for 31 overs as England's Ian Bell (74) and Matt Prior (63) led a brave rearguard during the afternoon before a deadly triple strike in the final hour of play as Sri Lanka took th ...


Christian loses blasphemy bid vs BBC
5 Dec 2007 source: today.reuters.co.uk

LONDON (Reuters) - A Christian activist has lost his bid to use blasphemy laws to prosecute a top BBC executive over the decision to screen "Jerry Springer-The Opera", a musical many Christians found offensive. Stephen Green of Christian Voice had gone to the High Court in London to try to overturn a decision by a district judge not to allow him to pursue his case against BBC Director-General Mar ...


Ghana court postpones sentencing of UK drugs girls
5 Dec 2007 source: today.reuters.co.uk

ACCRA (Reuters) - A court in Ghana on Wednesday delayed until January the sentencing of two British teenagers found guilty of smuggling 13 lbs of cocaine, saying it first needed to consider a social services report on the girls. Yasemin Vatansever and Yatunde Diya, both 16, were arrested on July 2 at Accra airport when Ghanaian anti-drugs officers said they found cocaine worth 300,000 pounds in l ...


Government calls for more commitment to Darfur
5 Dec 2007 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - The government criticised a lack of action by the international community on Darfur on Wednesday and said unless political will was strong, peace prospects were slim in the western Sudanese region. Africa Minister Mark Malloch Brown said Britain was fully engaged in trying to bring an end to the conflict which experts say has killed hundreds of thousands people a ...


Straw plans 10,500 extra jail places by 2014
5 Dec 2007 source: today.reuters.co.uk

LONDON (Reuters) - Justice Secretary Jack Straw said on Wednesday the government would spend a further 1.2 billion pounds to create 10,500 extra jail places by 2014 to help tackle a crisis of overcrowding in prisons. He said this would increase jail capacity to 96,000 places from around 81,500 now. Reporting on a review of prisons by life peer Lord Carter, Straw said the government would build u ...


Trials to consider abortions at GP surgeries
5 Dec 2007 source: today.reuters.co.uk

LONDON (Reuters) - Trials have been launched to see whether abortions can be carried out safely at GP surgeries in England, the Department of Health said on Wednesday. Pilot schemes have begun at two unnamed hospitals to test whether early terminations, using so-called abortion pills can be carried out in "non-traditional settings". "We are formally evaluating the safety and effectiveness of provi ...


Iran declares victory after U.S. report
5 Dec 2007 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Reza Derakhshi TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's president declared victory over the United States on Wednesday after a U.S. intelligence report contradicting the Bush administration's charges that Tehran was actively seeking a nuclear weapon. The report appeared likely to increase resistance from Russia and China to U.S. demands for further United Nations sanctions against Iran. Russian Foreign Minist ...


Springer opera court fight fails
5 Dec 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

A Christian group has lost its High Court battle to prosecute the BBC's director general over the screening of Jerry Springer - The Opera, in 2005. Christian Voice director, Stephen Green, had hoped to overturn a previous ruling which forbade him from prosecuting Mark Thompson. Mr Green said the show "clearly crossed the blasphemy threshold". Two judges ruled it was reasonable to conclude the play "in context" could not be considered as blasphemous. They said the production "as a whole was n ...


Pledge to do more for dyslexics
5 Dec 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

Children with dyslexia are to receive extra help in some schools in England under a £3m pilot scheme. The government says half of pupils in 10 areas will be given catch-up reading lessons or one-to-one help from dyslexia specialists. The scheme will be rolled out across England if it is successful. Dyslexia charities are also being given grants. Schools Secretary Ed Balls said a lack of understanding had previously branded intelligent young people as backward. "In the past a grave lack  ...


New sleaze watchdog 'to be named'
5 Dec 2007 source: bbc.co.uk

Gordon Brown has said he is about to announce a new head of the anti-sleaze watchdog, after seven months of the post being vacant. He told MPs the new chairman of the Committee for Standards in Public life would be named on Wednesday. But, during prime minister's questions, Tory leader David Cameron criticised Mr Brown for delaying "one of the most important appointments in politics". Former committee chairman Sir Alistair Graham's term ended earlier this year.


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