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Obama: Vladimir Putin is no 'chess master'

President Obama addressing reporters on Friday. Credit: Reuters

President Obama has rejected the charge that he has been outmanoeuvered by Russian president Vladimir Putin, arguing that the Russian president is presiding over "a huge economic contraction" due to the Ukraine crisis.

Speaking on CNN, he rejected the notion that Putin "is the chess master and outmaneuvering the West and outmanoeuvering Mr. Obama and this and that and the other".

"Right now, he's presiding over the collapse of his currency, a major financial crisis and a huge economic contraction," Obama said in the interview recorded on Friday.

"That doesn't sound like somebody who has rolled me or the United States of America."


Hartlepool: We will not be signing Ched Evans

Hartlepool United have said they will definitely not be signing convicted rapist Ched Evans, following comments from manager Ronnie Moorethat suggested he would be interested in a deal.

A statement from the club said Moore's comments were only meant to be "hypothetical" and there were no plans whatsoever to sign the player.

Hartlepool United do not intend signing Ched Evans and, for the avoidance of doubt, will not be doing so, irrespective of his obvious ability as a football player.

This story has emerged following an unsubstantiated internet rumour which the manager was asked to comment upon. The manager responded hypothetically to the situation by stating "if it could happen I would want it to happen".

This response was based upon the player’s obvious ability as a footballer and as such as then been headlined by the media without asking the Club for their official position.

The Club can fully understand the concerns of supporters and the general public and regrets any misconception portrayed. After a highly positive week at Hartlepool United following the takeover by new owners and the appointment of a new manager, the owners are saddened by this unfortunate turn of events and wish to draw a line under it immediately.

– Hartlepool United statement

Mandelson: Labour must spell out spending cuts plans

Labour's shadow cabinet ministers should clearly set out how they will cut spending in their departments, Lord Mandelson has said.

Lord Mandelson appearing on the Andrew Marr Show. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

The former Cabinet minister, one of the architects of New Labour, said the party had to position itself in the centre and not be swayed by the rise of "marginal parties" like Ukip.

Lord Mandelson praised Ed Miliband for speaking out on the deficit, but also indicated he would like to see the leader's older brother - and former rival - David return to British politics.

He told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show that the Labour leader and shadow chancellor Ed Balls had set out a "sensible and reasonable" position on reducing the deficit, but the rest of the party needed to back him up.


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Millions of pounds of fake cash discovered in Manchester

Counterfeit notes found in police operation Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Police have recovered over £2 million of counterfeit cash in an operation targeting fraudsters.

Officers investigating a multi-million pound jewellery fraud stopped four men at the Portland Thistle Hotel shortly after 2pm on Saturday 20 December 2014.

They were in possession of over £2 million of counterfeit Euros, around £50,000 of legitimate Euros and over £100,000 of high value watches.

The men were subsequently arrested on suspicion of fraud and remain in police custody for questioning.

This type of crime causes a lot of harm to legitimate businesses and I hope the action this weekend reassures local businesses and residents we are committed to tackling organised crime in all its guises.

– Detective Inspector Rob Cousen from the Serious and Organised Crime Group

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud should contact police on 101.

Elton John and David Furnish legally married

Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish have now legally married, with the musical legend posting a picture on his Instagram of the pair with their marriage certificate.

The couple have already had a civil partnership in 2005 but decided early this year to get married, following the passage of legislation on equal marriage earlier this year.

May wants students to 'leave the country' for new visa

A Sunday Times source close to the Home Secretary told the newspaper that Theresa May wants anyone in the UK on a student visa to have to "leave the country" to apply for a new visa:

Making sure immigrants leave Britain at the end of their visa is as important a part of running a fair and efficient immigration system as controlling who comes here in the first place.

Theresa is pressing for the next Conservative manifesto to contain a policy that will make sure that anybody coming here on a student visa will have to leave the country in order to apply for a new visa of any kind.

– Sunday Times source

The newspaper reported that the Home Secretary wants a Conservative government to "move towards zero net student migration".

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