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Seven arrested in child sex exploitation probe

Seven people have been arrested in Greater Manchester as part of a probe into child sexual exploitation.

Six men and a teenage boy are being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to commit sexual acts with a child.

The arrests took place following raids in the Rochdale and Oldham areas.

Police said the suspects, aged between 16 and 47, were of mixed ethnicity.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Aston said: "The team were initially looking at reasons why two girls, aged 15 and 13, and a 13-year-old boy were going missing from home.

"Officers spoke to one of the girls who suggested they were being groomed between 16 September and 17 October 2014.

"A swift investigation was launched and agencies worked together which has resulted in these arrests across the Rochdale and Oldham areas plus the safeguarding of three vulnerable children."

Magical Journey Christmas attraction to reopen today

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen with elves at The Magical Journey. Credit: BPM Media

A Christmas attraction backed by celebrity interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is due to reopen today after being swamped with complaints.

The Magical Journey at the Belfry Hotel in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, shut down after just one day following gripes it was unfinished, had "rubbish presents" and "chav elves".

Ticket prices of £22.50 for a 90-minute visit were also criticised with many branding the "winter spectacle" a "rip-off".

After three days of improvements Llewelyn-Bowen, who stressed he had nothing to do with the production or management of the event, said he hoped the experience was now "much closer to his original ravishing vision".

But despite reopening to the public, organisers have barred the press from attending.

A spokesman said: "We feel that introducing camera crews, reporters and journalists is only going to take away from the experience and possibly even create anxiety for our visitors."

They added they "just want to concentrate on making Christmas as magical as we can for the people who have chosen to join us for The Magical Journey".

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New powers are 'essential to keep up with terror threat'

Theresa May will unveil the plans in parliament later. Credit: PA

The Home Secretary has said new powers being pushed through parliament today are "essential to keep up with the serious and rapidly changing terror threats we face".

Theresa May said it could never be completely eradicated from society "but we must do everything possible in line with our shared values to reduce the risks posed by our enemies."

She added: "This bill includes a considered, targeted set of proposals that will help to keep us safe at a time of very significant danger by ensuring we have the powers we need to defend ourselves."

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Hong Kong protest leaders arrested as police clear area

Joshua Wong (second left) and Lester Shum (far right) were arrested last night. Credit: Reuters

Hong Kong police have arrested two student leaders of the pro-democracy protests.

Joshua Wong and Lester Shum were held by officers, who attempted to clear hundreds of protesters overnight after obtaining a court order.

Police guard HSBC headquarters after clearing protests sites near the financial district. Credit: Reuters

Riot police demolished barricades which have been up since the protests began in September, allowing roads to open again.

Credit: Reuters

Eighty court-appointed bailiffs wearing red caps and "I love Hong Kong" T-shirts began clearing metal and wooden barricades where hundreds of tents had been erected.

Credit: Reuters

But defiant protesters, whose symbol has become the umbrella, vowed to stay put as talks with the government remain unresolved.

Credit: Reuters
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