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Why was Rolf Harris' sentence not referred for appeal?

The Attorney General decided not to refer Rolf Harris' sentence to the Court of Appeal because there were several reasons the original sentence would not be considered "unduly lenient".

The entertainer's age was one of the factors that influenced his sentence of five years and nine months for 12 counts of indecent assault.

A spokeswoman said the judge in the case also had to sentence Harris based on the maximum punishment available at the time of the offences.

It was also not possible to "simply add up sentences on individual counts" to reach a longer sentence, she explained.

"The overall sentence had to be just and proportionate to the overall offending," the spokeswoman added.

Read: Attorney General: No appeal on Rolf Harris sentence

Hammond: Sanctions are hurting Russian economy

Sanctions imposed on Russia are having an affect on the economy according to Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary.

He said Russia's predicted economic growth for this year had gone from 2.5 per cent before sanctions to "roughly zero".

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said sanctions were weakening the Russian economy.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said sanctions were weakening the Russian economy. Credit: ITN

"It is having a cost on Russia it is having a disproportionate cost on the group of people that supports and sustains the Kremlin leadership," Mr Hammond said.

"I hope they will be urging a more considered response by the Russian leadership."

He also said the Government was due to announce a new set of sanctions against Vladimir Putin's government later today.

Read: Russia attacks 'hypocritical' UN over human rights claims


Ministers 'acting early to keep the UK safe' from Ebola

The Government is "acting early" to make sure the UK is safe from the threat of the Ebola virus, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said.

He is chairing a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee today to look at what measures can be put in place, although he said there was no need for "serious concern" at the moment.

Read: Ebola: World leaders must 'act before it is too late'

Attorney General: No appeal on Rolf Harris sentence

Rolf Harris' prison term will not be increased after the Attorney General decided not to refer his sentence to the Court of Appeal.

Jeremy Wright decided against the move as he felt judges would not increase Harris' jail term.

Rolf Harris' sentence for indecent assault will not be increased.
Rolf Harris' sentence for indecent assault will not be increased. Credit: PA Wire

The case was referred after numerous complaints that the five years and nine month sentence against the 84-year old entertainer did not reflect the severity of his crimes.

A spokesperson for Mr Wright said: “The Attorney General understands that his decision not to refer the case may be a disappointment to some people; however, he did give extremely careful consideration to this sentence and he concluded that he could not refer it.”

Although the Attorney General does have the power to refer sentences to the Court of Appeal there is a high threshold that means the original sentence must be well below what the judge could reasonably have handed down.

Read: Rolf Harris should 'feel what it's like to lose freedom'

Gaza school classroom in ruins after direct hit

ITV News correspondent Dan Rivers has tweeted this photo of the aftermath of the blasts at a UN school in the Gaza Strip.


One of the classrooms at UN School Jabalya which took a direct hit.


Read: Gaza school shelling 'killed refugees as they slept'

Commonwealth Games: We take Bolt at his word

The Commonwealth Games Federation said it was "pleased" with Usain Bolt's response to this morning's allegations that he had called the Glasgow 2014 Games "a bit s***".

The world's fastest runner denied the allegations in a tweet today, saying: "I'm waking up to this nonsense..journalist please don't create lies to make headlines."

Glasgow 2014 spokeswoman, Jackie Brock-Doyle, said: "I think he woke up to the story like everyone else. His tweet says it all. He has woken up to something he didn't believe he said yesterday."

Jamaica's Usain Bolt during a press conference at the MPC, during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Jamaica's Usain Bolt during a press conference at the MPC, during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Credit: PA

Chief executive Mike Hooper said: "We take Mr Bolt at his word. We're very pleased with how he's responded."

He described the Jamiacan sprinter as "very upbeat, very positive, very focused on delivering for his fellow countrymen in the relay events".

Speaking about the Games, Mr Hooper added: "We're not trying to be the Olympic Games. We're about the celebration of the Commonwealth, sport and culture within the Commonwealth, and what a fantastic event we are seeing here in Glasgow."


Ebola: World leaders must 'act before it is too late'

International development organisation Plan International says the outbreak of the Ebola virus is a "health crisis with global dimensions".

Dr Unni Krishnan, the body's head of disaster preparedness and response, said: "The arrival of Ebola in the most populous city in Africa is a wake-up call."

Ebola is no longer a regional crisis - it has become a health crisis with global dimensions. The international community needs to act now before it is too late.

The countries battling Ebola are among the poorest in the world and the public health systems across West Africa are fragile. The impacted countries desperately need financial and technical assistance to avoid a catastrophic situation.

– Dr Unni Krishnan, Plan International

Wallis and Stenson charged following fresh evidence

The Crown Prosecution Service says its decision to charge two former members of the News of the World editorial staff comes after additional evidence was provided last month.

Earlier in July, the CPS announced six of eight suspects in Operation Pinetree - the investigation into an alleged conspiracy to hack phones at the newspaper - would face no further action.

The remaining two suspects, former features editor Jules Stenson and former deputy editor Neil Wallis, have now been charged with conspiracy to hack phones.

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