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Former child services chief 'sorry' for Rotherham abuse

Rotherham's former director of children's services said she wished staff "could have done more" to help the children who were abused in the town.

In a statement, Dr Sonia Sharp, who worked for the borough council from 2005 to 2008, said staff "knew that there were many children in the community at risk and feared that this was the tip of an iceberg."

Dr Sharp, who now works for the Australian state of Victoria's department of education and early childhood development said: "You can't be a director of children's services and not take responsibility for what happens to children.

She added: "I am sorry that these children and young people suffered terrible abuse and I wish we could have done more to prevent the abuse of children and young people in Rotherham."

Net migration to UK increases

There was a net flow of 243,000 long-term migrants to the UK in the year ending March - up from 175,000 in the previous year.

PA Wire
The government has aimed to reduce net migration to below 100,000. Credit: PA Wire

The Office for National Statistics said the overall net migration - the difference between migrants leaving and arriving in the UK - had seen a "statistically significant increase".

Two-thirds of all immigrants to the UK within this period came from within the European Union.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May previously pledged to cut net migration to below 100,000 by the 2015 General Election.

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Russian forces and equipment 'deployed in Ukraine'

Separatists backed by Russian soldiers and using Russian military equipment have entered the town of Novoazovsk in south-eastern Ukraine, a pro-government militia fighter said.

"There is military equipment in Novoazovsk which came across the border two days ago from Russia. The equipment is carrying the flags of the DNR (Donetsk People's Republic) rebels but they are regular Russian forces, the Ukrainian fighter told Reuters.

200 business leaders back Scottish independence

A group of 200 business leaders have signed an open letter expressing their support for a 'Yes' vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

The letter, published in The Herald, follows a similar statement from pro-Union business voices yesterday, which said the case for independence "has not been made".

In today's letter the pro-independence group says the UK government based in Westminster "do not and never will pay sufficient attention to the interests of Scotland's economy".

The signatories include the founder of transport company Stagecoach, Sir Brian Souter, and the former chief executive of William Hill, Ralph Topping.

Read: Cameron: Union supports one million Scottish jobs

British Ebola victim may have caught it from baby boy

Britain's first Ebola victim may have caught the deadly virus by playing with a one-year-old boy whose mother had died, a medical colleague said.

William Pooley may have contracted the Ebola from a one-year-old boy.
William Pooley may have contracted the Ebola from a one-year-old boy. Credit: ITV News

William Pooley's supervisor Josephine Sellu said he had developed a bond with an orphaned baby boy named Sellu Borbor.

She said: "Pooley and some other nurses fell in love with the boy and would play with him in their free time."

She added that like other health workers, Pooley initially took precautions when handling the infant after his mother had died from the virus.

But after the boy he tested negative for the disease, Pooley had later played freely with him.

However, the youngster later tested positive for the virus, which he is thought to have caught from his mother's breast milk.

He died on August 24, the same day Pooley was diagnosed with the disease.

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Separatist leader: Russian soldiers are fighting with us

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are being helped by Russian soldiers.
Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are being helped by Russian soldiers. Credit: Reuters

Pro-Russian separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko said serving Russian soldiers on leave from their posts are fighting Ukrainian troops alongside the rebels, Russian state television reported.

"Among us are fighting serving soldiers, who would rather take their vacation not on a beach but with us, among brothers, who are fighting for their freedom," said Zakharchenko.

Michel Platini will not stand for Fifa presidency

Uefa president Michel Platini has ruled out standing for the Fifa presidency.

Reuters
Michel Platini. Credit: Reuters

Platini, 59, was rumoured to be preparing to challenge current president Sepp Blatter in next year's election.

He previously said Fifa - which has been blighted by corruption allegations - needed a "new breath of fresh air".

But former France international told Uefa officials at a meeting in Monaco that he had opted against standing as he wanted to concentrate on leading European football's ruling body instead.

Hollande: 'Unacceptable' for Russia to enter Ukraine

Francois Hollande said sanctions against Russia could be increased.
Francois Hollande said sanctions against Russia could be increased. Credit: PA

French president Francois Hollande said it would be "intolerable and unacceptable" if it was proved true that Russian troops had entered Ukrainian territory.

He told an annual conference of French diplomats:

Europe will maintain (sanctions), even increase them if the escalation increases. I don't want it because it is neither in Russia's nor our interest.

Russia cannot hope to be a 21st century power yet not respect the rules.

– Francois Hollande
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