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Woman due in court over cannabis worth £340,000

The woman is the ninth person charged in relation to a major international drug trafficking operation. Credit: Andrew Milligan / PA Archive/PA Images

A 24-year-old woman will appear in court today charged with importing thousands of pounds worth of cannabis.

The woman, who was arrested in Birmingham on Wednesday, is also charged with conspiracy to supply cannabis, possession with intent to supply and converting criminal property.

She is the ninth person charged in connection with a major international drug trafficking operation after police found £340,000 worth of cannabis at an address in Ballywalter, County Down last month.

She is due to appear before Newtownards Magistrates' court today.

Detective Inspector Andy Dunlop of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: "There are more arrests to follow. This investigation is complex, but we are vigorously pursuing all lines of inquiry to gather all evidence against those allegedly involved."


PM plans to give pensions campaigner ministerial role

David Cameron wants to give pensions campaigner Ros Altmann a ministerial role. Credit: Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/PA Images

Pensions campaigner Ros Altmann will become a government minister if the Conservatives are re-elected, David Cameron has announced.

The Prime Minister said Dr Altmann would be made a Tory peer and given responsibility for financial education and consumer protection.

Describing her as the "country's leading expert" on the issues, Mr Cameron said he wanted Dr Altmann "at the heart of government" helping give people "more power to save, to access their pension, to pass their pension on to their children".

"We've got millions more people saving for a pension because of auto-enrolment - having an automatic pension in your workplace - so there are many more people saving.

"There are also great new products like the flexible Isa, a real encouragement for savings with the single tier pension, and now at the heart of government, if we're elected, Ros Altmann - the country's leading pensions, savings, and financial education expert to make sure that we make the most of this great revolution in favour of savings and financial security for many in our country."

– David Cameron

Five arrested in Australia over 'Anzac Day terror plot'

Five men have been arrested in Australia over an alleged plot to attack an event in Melbourne to mark the centenary of Anzac Day, Australian police said.

Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Neil Gaughan, said two men are being held over alleged terrorism-related offences and another man was arrested in relation to weapons offences.

The others being held in custody are assisting police with their enquiries. All of the arrested men are aged 18 or 19 years old.

Victoria Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said 200 police officers were involved in today's operation at seven properties.


Labour criticises government over immigration record

Ed Miliband will criticise the Conservatives for failing to meet targets to cut immigration. Credit: Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire/PA Images

Labour will address immigration concerns head on today with an attack on the Tory record and a pledge to create a new Government task force to crack down on exploitation.

In a speech Ed Miliband will say that under a Labour government prosecutions and fines against bad employers who encourage low skilled migration and undermine the minimum wage will be increased.

Mr Miliband will say abusive practices such as forcing hundreds of workers to live in cramped houses for illegally low wages is fuelling unskilled migration and hurting conditions for local workers.

And he will condemn the Prime Minister for not meeting his promise to cut immigration to the tens of thousands, insisting Labour will not make pledges it cannot meet.

Labour election adviser criticises Tory attacks on Miliband

The Labour Party's election adviser has said Tory attacks on Ed Miliband and his relationship with his brother have obviously failed.

David Axelrod said attacks on Ed Miliband by the Tories were 'a flawed tactic'. Credit: Stefan Rousseau / PA Archive/PA Images

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper David Axelrod said the speed with which the Tory "back stabbing" attack has been dropped demonstrated it was a flawed tactic.

Plainly that backfired because they got off of it pretty quickly.

People are worried about their own family, they are not worried about Ed's family. They worry about whether their kids are going to make it in the future. They want to hear some solid ideas.

All of this other stuff appears like a sideshow and they notice it is a sideshow. It appears desperate and it was desperate.

– Labour election adviser David Axelrod

Mr Axelrod was controversially hired by Labour at a reported £300,000 to enhance its election campaign.

Despite reports he had been detached from the Labour operation, Mr Axelrod said he is in regular communication with Labour strategists from his US base and will arrive in Britain on April 26th for the run in to polling day on May 7th.

The strategist, who helped mastermind both of Barack Obama's White House campaigns, said Mr Miliband was succeeding when it mattered, as the campaign closes on polling day.

And he accused the Tory campaign of flailing around for a strategy as its efforts fall flat with the electorate.

Mr Axelrod said the Tories "keep pushing buttons that are not working", which is leading them to "lurch from tactic to tactic".

Michael Gove rules out Conservative deal with Ukip

Chief Whip Michael Gove has ruled out any post-election deal with Ukip. Credit: Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/PA Images

Senior Conservative Michael Gove has ruled out a deal with Nigel Farage's Ukip party if the Tories fails to win an outright majority in the general election.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph Mr Gove said: "I don't want to say anything disobliging about Nigel Farage or about people in Ukip, but I've got no appetite, interest or inclination towards doing a deal with anyone."

When pressed specifically on whether his party could make agreements with Ukip on a vote-by-vote basis, Mr Gove insisted: "No, no, no. There won't be. Firstly, I don't think there will be many Ukip MPs - if any - after the election...But we're not going into talks with them, no.

He added: "I'll be perfectly civil with any member of Parliament from any party after the next General Election and if they want to vote for Conservative policies, then great. But we're not going to get into bed with them, no."

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