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  1. West Country (E)

Drivers prosecuted for refusing to take guide dog

Andrew Goddard with his guide dog Sammy Credit: ITV West Country

Two minicab drivers have been prosecuted for refusing to take a blind man's guide dog in their cars.

Andrew Goddard called a cab firm to pick him up from his home in Brislington to take him to the centre of Bristol. Not one, but two, drivers refused to take his dog Sammy. The men were prosecuted for breaching the equalities act. Mr Goddard says he's delighted the drivers went to court.

I got Sammy in May last year, and he has given me the confidence to go out to social events on my own. I don't have any problem with my normal taxi firm, who are always happy to take my dog, and if it hadn't have been raining, I would have probably got the bus. I am pleased that both drivers were prosecuted, and I hope that by highlighting this issue other people will not have to suffer.

– Andrew Goddard

Nicky Morgan: Ofsted reports 'very concerning'

The Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan said the findings of the Ofsted report into seven schools in the Tower Hamlets district of east London were "very concerning", and that they expected improvements to be made "within weeks".

We asked Ofsted to carry out these independent school inspections and the findings are very concerning.

While there is no suggestion of a co-ordinated plot, it is clear that these schools are failing children and this is unacceptable. All schools must prepare children for life in modern Britain.

We will now be demanding urgent action plans from the independent schools and expect to see improvements within weeks. If changes are not made then we reserve the right to force the closures of the schools involved.

– Nicky Morgan

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Farage: Tories 'tried too hard' in by-election campaign

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has welcomed the election of Ukip’s second MP, as Mark Reckless was voted in after a by-election in Rochester and Strood.

Nigel Farage says the Tories 'tried too hard' in by-election campaign Credit: Pool

In interview today, Mr Farage said he believed the Tories had “tried too hard” in their election campaign, and said he believed Mr Reckless had done the right thing by letting his constituents decide whether to keep him in his seat after defecting.

I think what Mark Reckless did was he didn’t just cross the floor and defect to Ukip, he said ‘I’m resigning my seat, I’m trusting you, the people of Rochester and Strood, to decide to back me or sack me. And people like that – they admire courage, they admire bravery, they admire decency. I think the second reason is - I actually think the Conservatives tried too hard. This full-scale bombardment, the numbers of phone calls houses were getting, that sort of thing.

– Nigel Farage

He denied that he was riding on the back of protest votes, saying people "absolutely believed" in what the party stands for.

Sheffield United decision can benefit Evans and club - PFA

The Professional Footballers' Association say Sheffield United's decision to not allow Ched Evans to train with the club may benefit both the Blades and the player.

It's the union's opinion that find a club elsewhere would be allow Evans to make a fresh start.

Ched Evans is looking for a new club after leaving prison. Credit: PA

A PFA statement read: "We note Sheffield United's decision to retract the offer they made to Ched Evans for him to return to training with the club.

"It is not surprising given the subsequent delay in his return as the matter was debated and understandably strong opinions were aired. We fully understand and respect the opposing views to Ched’s return to Sheffield United and clearly part of the issue related to him returning to the club he was previously with at the time of his imprisonment. With that in mind, it may ultimately be of benefit to both parties to move on and for Ched to look for a fresh start at a different club.

"We maintain our general position that the courts determine punishments and a return to society and a contribution to the community through employment is a key element of rehabilitation. We do not agree that society should impose different rules for footballers which go beyond the position of the law. In that regard, it is hoped that Ched will be given an opportunity at another club to return to the job he is trained to do."

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  1. London

Tower Hamlets schools could be shut down over extremism fears

Tower Hamlets Credit: PA

Six independent schools in Tower Hamlets could be shut down by the Department of Education if they fail to improve.

The schools are due to be served 'notices to improve' by the government on Monday. If they don't comply, the government then has the power to close them by removing them from the Independent Schools Register.

It follows an Ofsted report which found the schools were failing to protect children from Islamic extremism. A state school, Sir John Cass Red Coat School, has already been placed in special measures by the government.

Health chiefs declare end of Ebola in the Congo

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the end of the separate Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It comes after nobody showed any symptoms for two incubation periods - a total of 42 days - since the last reported case.

A total of 49 people died out of 66 infection in the country since August.

In a statement, a WHO spokesman said the country was now considered free of Ebola transmission.

Read: WHO: Ebola death toll rises to 5,420

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