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Cyber expert warns of 'copycats' after Sony threats

The decision by Sony to not release controversial comedy film The Interview is concerning some cyber experts, who believe it could send out the wrong message.

Computer expert Caroline Baylon told ITV News: "We don't want other countries or groups to be looking at this and seeing, 'OK, if we launch a very successful cyber attack on a company we can actually cause films to be pulled, we can affect freedom of speech'."

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Child abuse: Probe into police 'cover-up' claims

The Met Police said it takes allegations of impropriety "very seriously". Credit: PA

A number of claims that police acted inappropriately in relation to child abuse allegations are being investigated, the Metropolitan Police said today.

Speaking at a press briefing today, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse said Professional Standards were looking into the claims, which cover a period from the 1970s up to 2005.

Some cover-up allegations are related to different strands of Operation Fairbank - a wide-ranging probe into alleged abuse - while others are completely unrelated, he said.

"We take any allegations of impropriety by police officers very seriously," Rodhouse said.

Hunt denies trying to cover up rise in A&E waiting times

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was forced to deny he is trying to cover up a rise in A&E waiting times, after a delay in publishing the weekly figures.

Labour's Andy Burnham accused the government of imposing a 'media blackout' on figures at the most critical time of the year, but Burnham insisted the stoppage of the figures was to enable NHS staff to have time off during the holidays.

Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports.

Council leaders warn of cuts to services

Services like bin collections have already been cut back. Credit: PA

Council leaders warned a reduction in government funding would lead to cuts in services which are already struggling.

Surrey County Council leader David Hodge said: "The reality for Surrey is we are facing significant demands on school places and on adult social care and children's services.

"When we have taken 40% out of our budget, it is extremely difficult to continue to do that."

Buckinghamshire County Council leader Martin Tett said a "tipping point" had been reached "where we can't just eat away at our back office services any more, we are going to have to do things in terms of home-to-school transport, cutbacks in a whole range of areas that people are going to really start noticing now".

He added: "We are going to have to make cuts of another £46 million in the next three years, and those cuts are going to be felt by people."

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Government pledges £275m to help freeze council tax

Credit: PA

The government has pledged £275 million to help local authorities freeze council tax.

Local government minister Kris Hopkins urged councils to take up the offer of money, telling MPs: "All councils should be freezing their Council Tax in 2015 to 2016 and helping people with their cost of living.

"We are providing additional funding equivalent to a 1% Council Tax increase, to help councils freeze."

Man arrested on suspected firearm offences near school

A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of firearm related offences near a school in Dorset that went into "lockdown" today, following reports of shots being fired at workmen nearby.

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