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CPS: Flowers charges 'in the public interest'

The Crown Prosecution Service says it has "carefully considered a file of evidence" gathered by police following newspaper allegations against former Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers.

Clare Stevens, from CPS Yorkshire and Humberside’s Complex Casework Unit, said she believed "there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Paul Flowers with possession of Class A and Class C drugs relating to an incident on 9 November 2013".

Mr Flowers has been charged with possession of cocaine, methamphetamine and ketamine, the CPS said.

Read: Former Co-op Bank chair faces drug charges


Labour: Workers 'worse off and feel no recovery'

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, has responded to wages rising above the rate of inflation this morning’s by saying:

“At long last earnings are finally rising faster than CPI inflation when bonuses are included, but after four years when prices have risen faster than wages there is a huge amount of lost ground to catch up."

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

"Working people are now over £1600 a year worse off than when David Cameron came to office, most people are not feeling any recovery and the link between the wealth of the nation and family finances remains broken".

Read more: Unemployment rate drops to 6.9%

Paul Flowers charged with three drug offences

Paul Flowers.
Paul Flowers. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Disgraced former Co-op Bank chief Paul Flowers has been charged with drug offences, police have said.

West Yorkshire Police said Mr Flowers, 63, has been charged with two offences of possession of a Class A drug and one offence of possession of a Class C drug.

Mr Flowers has been bailed and will appear before Leeds Magistrates Court on 7 May.

Witnesses recall 'boom' sound before ship sank

Witnesses said that they heard a "boom" sound before the ferry which sank off the coast of South Korea began capsizing.

"It was fine then the ship went 'boom' and there was a noise of cargo falling," said Cha Eun-ok, who said she was on deck of the ferry taking photographs when the disaster began.

South Korean rescue team boats and fishing boats try to rescue ferry passengers/ Credit: AP Photo/South Korea Coast Guard via Yonhap

"The on-board announcement told people to stay put... people who stayed are trapped," she said in Jindo, the nearest town from the scene of the accident. As well the passengers, there were 150 vehicles on board the ferry Sewol, officials said.

Many of the passengers were children and their teachers from a high school on a field trip to Jeju island. An official from the Danwon High School in Ansan, a Seoul suburb, had earlier said all of its 338 students and teachers were rescued but that could not be confirmed by the coastguard.

Read: '290 missing' after South Korea ferry sinks

AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young 'too ill to play live'

AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young is "unable to perform any more" due to illness, according to a friend of the musician.

Mark Gable, the frontman with fellow Australian group Choirboys, claimed that Young "will probably not be able to record" any more.

Malcolm Young (far left) with AC/DC bandmates Cliff Williams, Angus Young and Brian Johnson Credit: Suzan/Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

However music magazine Billboard has said there is "no truth" to rumours that AC/DC will be forced to retire.


Paul Weller wins damages over pictures of his children

Paul Weller fronted The Jam and The Style Council.
Paul Weller fronted The Jam and The Style Council. Credit: Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

Singer Paul Weller has won £10,000 privacy damages from Associated Newspapers at the High Court in London over the publication of paparazzo pictures of three of his children.

Weller, 55, sued Associated Newspapers for misuse of private information on behalf of daughter Dylan, who was 16 when the seven unpixellated pictures appeared on MailOnline in October 2012, and twin sons John-Paul and Bowie, who were 10 months old.

Starbucks move 'ringing endorsement' of London

Starbucks' decision to move its European headquarters from the Netherlands to London is a "ringing endorsement" of the capital's business environment, according to the chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Colin Stanbridge.

This very positive move by Starbucks greatly reinforces London as a key global centre for business and a highly desirable location for firms to base their operations.

Creating the right environment for businesses to flourish is essential to London competing at an international level and we are delighted that Starbucks has given the capital a ringing endorsement.

Read: Starbucks 'will pay more tax in UK' after moving HQ

Esther McVey: 'More women in work, wages going up'

Minister for Employment Esther McVey has praised the news of average earnings rising above the rate of inflation for the first time in six years.

She said: "More young people are in work, more women are in work, wages are going up, and more and more businesses are hiring - and it's a credit to them that Britain is working again."

Esther McVey

Russian GDP 'contracts by 0.5%' in first quarter of 2014

Russia's GDP growth contracted by 0.5% in the first three months of this year compared to the final quarter of 2013, the AFP agency reports.

Vladimir Putin's government has been the subject of sanctions from western governments since the annexation of Crimea in March.

Read: IMF cuts Russia's 2014 GDP forecast over Crimea

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