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US and Japan announce 'historic' security deal

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hailed an "historic" success as he and US President Barack Obama signed an agreement on security issues and made progress in bilateral trade talks.

The two countries issued a joint statement saying they oppose attempts to assert territorial or maritime claims by coercion and specifying that their bilateral security treaty covers Japanese islands claimed by China.

They failed to reach a bilateral trade deal that is key to both leaders' agendas. But Abe said they achieved a "key milestone" by making progress on the talks, which they said will inject "fresh momentum" into attempts to reach a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership pact.

Read: Barack Obama: negotiating Asia's troubled waters

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William and Kate appear at Anzac Day parade

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined a memorial parade in Canberra to mark Anzac Day.

William wore his military service medals to the ceremony, while Kate wore a Poppy brooch given to her by the wife of an Australian Victoria Cross holder.

William and Kate at an Anzac Day event in Australia. Credit: APTN

The service falls on the final day of the royals' tour of the country.

Read: Royals remember Australia's war dead on Anzac Day

'Safety failures found' on Sewol sister ship

Life rafts and escape chutes on a sister ship to the sunken Sewol ferry have been found to not work properly, the Reuters news agency has reported investigators as saying.

More than 300 people, most of them students and teachers from the Danwon High School near Seoul, are dead or missing presumed dead after the April 16 disaster.

The confirmed death toll currently stands at 181.

Claimant commitment 'strengthens' staff support

Plans to bind jobseekers to a series of commitments before they can claim unemployment benefit have "strengthened" staffs' ability to support those looking for work, according to a minister.

Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud said:

With Universal Credit, we are creating a modern and sustainable welfare system that is fit for the 21st century - one that supports people when they need it and helps them become independent.

The Claimant Commitment redefines the relationship between jobseekers and the state. Claimants receive greater support to get into work from their work coach and we expect them to do all they can to find a job as quickly as possible as part of the deal for receiving their benefit.

Staff have told me it has strengthened their ability to support people into work at the earliest opportunity.

– Lord Freud

Fifa: New doping tests will be 'extremely deterrent'

The new system of testing for doping in sport will have an "extremely deterrent" effect, world football body Fifa's chief medical officer has said.

Professor Jiri Dvorak said testers would now be able to freeze blood and urine samples so that scientists can re-test them later on, potentially using newer technologies to detect performance-enhancing drugs.

A blood sample is taken for analysis. Credit: Marius Becker/DPA/Press Association Images

"There is a strong evidence that if you re-analyse the samples from past years that new methods would find them, this is an extremely deterrent method," he said.

"Most of the international federations decided to freeze the samples for a number of years.

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Hillsborough families 'frightened' by Wikipedia insults

Insults posted on Wikipedia relating to the Hillsborough disaster were posted on Credit: PA

Families of Hillsborough victims have described as "deeply upsetting" the revelation that insults relating to the disaster were reportedly posted online from Government offices.

Margaret Aspinall, from the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: "I don't even know how to react, it's just so sad. I hear something like that and it upsets me a great deal, it makes me incredibly sad.

"I'm glad somebody has found out about it but I'm frightened to be honest that we haven't known until now."

Sheila Coleman, from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, said: "We're still in the inquests and we've sat listening to the most heartbreaking accounts of that day, and then you hear about things like this. It's absolutely appalling, disgraceful."

Deport foreign criminals more quickly, govt urged

Foreign nationals make up 13% of the total prison population, the PAC said.
Foreign nationals make up 13% of the total prison population, the PAC said. Credit: Reuters

A public spending watchdog has demanded action to speed up the Government's "frustratingly poor" record on removing from the UK foreign criminals who are costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.

Too many overseas inmates are still being locked up at public expense as the rate they are sent home has dropped by 14% over the past four years, the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said.

The committee's chair, Labour MP Margaret Hodge, said: "While more than 1,000 foreign national offenders are deported each quarter, a similar number are convicted, so the overall number of foreign national prisoners stays at the same level of around 11,000 - 13% of the total prison population."

"The agency should work with the Home Office to understand why there are delays in removing foreign national offenders, and tackle the barriers to their removal."

Warning over HS2 wildlife damage

Around 500 wildlife areas could be at risk from the HS2 high speed rail line, conservationists have warned.

The Wildlife Trusts called for a £130m investment to create new green areas over the length of the new line.

An anti-HS2 poster in a the Staffordshire village of Whittington. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Among the areas affected by the new line are 43 ancient woods and nine Wilflife Trust nature reserves.

Read: Osborne: No further spending on £50bn HS2

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