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Cold callers could be hit with fines of up to £500,000

Cold callers could soon be hit with hefty fines. Credit: PA

Firms who bombard people with nuisance calls and texts could be fined up to £500,000 under new government proposals.

The law currently requires the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to prove a company caused ‘substantial damage or substantial distress’ by their conduct.

But the Government wants to reduce this to causing ‘annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety’.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Being called day after day may not be ‘substantially distressing’, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

"I want to make it easier for companies to face the consequences of ignoring the law and subjecting us to calls or texts we have said we don’t want."

Driving licence fees to be slashed by 32%

Credit: PA

Driving fees will be slashed by 32% from October 31, the government has announced.

Under the new rules the cost of a provisional driving licence online will drop from £50 to £34.

And online licence renewals due every 10 years will fall from £20 to £14.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said the move was designed to "give savings back to the taxpayer".

The fee for driver tachograph cards - used by businesses to record how far their staff are driving - have also been cut from £38 to £32.

It is expected to save drivers and businesses £150 million over the next 10 years.


Mali Ebola girl 'could have infected hundreds'

A two-year-old Mali girl, who became the first to die of Ebola in the country, could have exposed hundreds of people to the deadly disease.

The tot, who has not been identified, had travelled hundreds of kilometres by bus with her grandmother to seek treatment.

Health workers are now scrambling to trace hundreds of people she may have come into contact with.

In a statement Mali's government confirmed the detah and said: "In this moment of sadness, the government would like to express its condolences to her family and reminds the population that maintain very strict hygiene rules remains the best way to contain this disease."

Ebola has killed 4,900 people mainly in nearby Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Palestinian-American teenager shot by Israeli forces

Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian-American teenager, US officials said.

Orwah Hammad, 14, was shot in the head in the village of Silwad on Friday.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed they had hit a Palestinian man who was hurling a molotov cocktail at them but said they would investigate the shooting.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called for a "speedy and transparent investigation."

She added: "The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a US citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24."

Earlier this week a Jewish baby girl was killed when a Palestinian man slammed his car into pedestrians at railway stop.

Her death followed that of five-year-old Palestinian girl Enas Shawkat, 5, who was run over by an Israeli motorist in the West Bank.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in April.

New York to quarantine medical workers returning from Africa

Medical workers returning from Ebola-hit countries to JFK airport will automatically be quarantined. Credit: Reuters

New York and New Jersey will automatically quarantine medical workers returning from Ebola-hit countries, officials say.

The measures announced by the two states, which go beyond the current restrictions imposed in the US, come as medical detectives try to retrace the steps of New York doctor Craig Spence, who tested positive for the deadly virus on Thursday.

The new policy applies to medical workers returning to New York's JFK airport and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

One female healthcare worker has already been ordered into quarantine.

Hannah Graham's parents 'devastated by loss of beautiful daughter'

The parents of murdered teenager Hannah Graham have said they are "devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter".

In a statement John and Sue Graham thanked police, emergency workers and hundreds of volunteers who searched for Hannah, whose remains were discovered five days ago.

"Please continue to hold these families in your thoughts and prayers," they added.

Police had already charged 32-year-old Jesse Matthew Jr with her disappearance.

The Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney's Office said they would now determine what charges will be brought against him.

He is further charged in connection with the disappearance of another woman, Morgan Harrington, whose body was discovered in 2010.


Asda faces action from thousands over equal pay

Asda is accused of paying its female staff up to £4 less than their male counterparts. Credit: PA

Supermarket giant Asda is facing legal action from up to 19,000 women over equal pay.

Law firm Leigh Day said the claims were launched after investigations revealed some store employees were being paid less than colleagues doing the same job in its distribution centres.

The pay difference between shop workers, who are mainly female, and warehouse workers, who are mainly men, could be as much as £4 an hour.

If the claimants are successful, they could be entitled to six years' worth of back pay in compensation.

Michael Newman, a discrimination and employment law expert at Leigh Day, warned the implications of these legal claims were "enormous for Asda and many other supermarkets in the UK".

The challenge is thought to be the largest challenge of its kind in the private sector and could act as a "test case" for other retailers.

An Asda spokesman said they would "robustly defend" the claims.

High school shooter named as freshman Jaylen Ray Fryberg

A student who opened fire at a high school has been named as Jaylen Ray Fryberg, NBC News reports, citing law enforcement sources.

Jaylen Ray Fryberg has been named as the shooter. Credit: Facebook

The American football player was a first year described as 'happy and popular' by fellow students and had recently been named 'Homecoming Prince'.

"Everybody knew him. Everybody liked him," Bryce Vitcovitch, a member of the school's football team, told NBC station KING of Seattle. "This is just a huge shock to everybody. For the most part, he was a really happy kid."

On his social media profiles Jayden appears to have been shattered after recently breaking up with his girlfriend.

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