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Prime Minister to hold talks on 'English votes'

Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Prime Minister David Cameron will gather senior MPs at his official country retreat today to consider his plan to restrict the voting rights of Scottish MPs in the Commons in an attempt to deliver "English votes for English laws".

The Prime Minister has said measures to address the issue of MPs with seats in the devolved nations being able to vote on policies that do not apply in their constituencies must go "in tandem" with the process of granting fresh powers to Holyrood.

The row over Mr Cameron's decision to link the issues overshadowed the Labour Party conference, with Ed Miliband under pressure to support the changes.


China explosions kill at least two people

Several explosions in China's western region have killed at least two people and injured many others, according to Chinese state media.

The blasts happened in at least three places of Luntai county, according to the Tianshan news portal, which is run by the regional branch of the Communist Party.

"Public security officers quickly handled the situation," it said, without giving details.

The brief statement said the unspecified number of injured had been taken to hospital and an investigation was under way.

Luntai county is in central Xinjiang, 220 miles south-west of the capital, Urumqi.

Xinjiang has experienced rising unrest in recent months blamed on militants from the region's native Muslim Turkic Uighur ethnic group seeking to overthrow Chinese rule.

Researchers 'shock' over hate crime perpetrators

Researchers have called the revelation that almost a third of hate crime victims know the people abusing them as a "shock."

University of Leicester researchers described this as a "huge shock to us" as many people would think the threat may come from a stranger.

Disabled people being tipped from wheelchairs, human excrement being posted through letterboxes at homes and guide dogs being attacked in the street were among the harrowing crimes. Many victims said their experience had made them feel unsafe to step out of their front doors.

Researchers found that 87% of victims said they had suffered verbal abuse, 38% said this had been a routine occurrence while 24% went on to report it to the police.

Dr Neil Chakraborti, the project's principal investigator, said: "Local authorities and police forces have worked hard to raise awareness of hate crime and of support mechanisms in place.

"However, we found that many of the 4,000 community members we engaged with had never even heard of the term 'hate crime'.

"Service providers must do more to treat victims with empathy, patience and humanity, to make reporting procedures more accessible, and to support victims from all sections of society."

GP check 'vital' if people 'notice anything unusual'

It is "vital" people check with their GPs as soon as something unusual happens to their bodies if they want the best chance to beat cancer, according to a healthy charity.

Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK explained:

Diagnosing cancer at its earliest stages is crucial to give patients the best chance of survival.

There are a number of reasons why cancer may be diagnosed at an advanced stage.

For some cancers, such as pancreatic, symptoms are often only noticeable once the tumour has already started to spread. But for many others there are chances for the cancer to be picked up earlier.

It's vital that people are aware of their body and if they notice anything unusual for them they should visit their GP. And GPs play a critical role of course, knowing when symptoms need to be investigated and referring patients promptly for tests.

– Sara Hiom


Cancers diagnosed early would 'save NHS £44m'

If four of the most common cancers - colon, rectal, lung and ovarian - were diagnosed early, it could save the NHS £44 million in treatment costs ever year, a report has found.

According to Cancer Research UK's report, Incisive Health:

  • Early diagnosis in those cancers would benefit at least 11,000 patients.
  • Diagnosis figures for seven cancers in England - breast, colorectal (bowel), lung, melanoma (skin), Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, ovarian and prostate - showed that 46% were detected at a late stage in 2012.
  • Breast cancer had the best diagnosis rate - 83% of cases of were identified early, highlighting the benefits of national screening.

Report: Almost half of cancers 'caught too late'

Almost half of cancers diagnosed in England are discovered late, knocking back the chances of successful treatment, according to a report.

Testing for cancer has evolved past a standard biopsy - these blood tests were used to screen men for prostate cancer. Credit: PA

Some 52,000 cancer patients could improve their chances of survival if they were diagnosed early - and save the NHS £210 million, the report from Cancer Research UK claims.

Experts believe if all cancer patients had tumours detected earlier an extra 5,000 people would survive five years or more after their initial diagnosis.

Lung cancer had the worst record of delayed diagnosis, with 77% of cases being spotted late.

Early-stage tumours can often be removed by surgery, but once a cancer has started to spread around the body it becomes much more difficult and costly to treat.

New Afghan president finally named

Credit: Reuters

The new president of Afghanistan has finally been named, ending months of tension.

The country's election commission said Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai will be the next president, and his one-time rival Abdullah Abdullah, will fill the newly created position of chief executive, a post similar to prime minister.

The decision came just hours after the leading candidates signed a power-sharing deal, but the commission pointedly did not release final vote totals amid concerns that doing so could inflame tensions.

The deal brings to a close an election season that began in April, when millions of Afghans first went to the polls despite threats from Taliban militants, and ended when the two candidates signed a national unity government agreement and embraced in a hug.

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