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Alleged abuse survivors welcome new inquiry proposals

Dozens of survivors of alleged child abuse have welcomed moves by the Home Secretary which could see the panel investigating the claims disbanded and a more powerful body put in its place.

Home Secretary Theresa May. Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Theresa May wrote to the panel's members setting out her plan for the inquiry to be given statutory powers, including the ability to compel witnesses to give evidence.

The move has left members of the panel "devastated" that they could face being removed from the inquiry, but more than 60 victims and their representatives have backed a proposal which could see the investigation start again from scratch.

South Korea nuclear plants computer system hacked

Computer systems at South Korea's nuclear power plant operator have been hacked, he company and the Seoul government have said.

However, NBC New reports that only "non-critical" data has been lost and there is no risk to the safety of the country's 23 nuclear reactors.

The attacks come amid concerns that North Korea may mount cyber-attacks against industrial and social targets after allegations by the United States that Pyongyang was responsible for a devastating hacking assault on Sony Pictures.

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Man shot dead in Sheffield city centre

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A man has been shot dead and another injured as they sat in a car in Sheffield city centre.

The men, both 22, were shot in Derek Dooley Way, Sheffield, at around 10.15pm on Sunday, South Yorkshire Police said.

They were taken to hospital but the driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead. The passenger remains in hospital in a stable condition, police said.

Both men are from the Sheffield area. No one has been arrested, police said.

Security measures stepped up in France after man drives into crowds

Security measures for police and other authorities have been stepped up after a driver said to be shouting "God is great" slammed into crowds in a French city, injuring at least 11 people and raising national concern as Islamic extremists call for attacks.

The government said the man's motives were unclear but last night's incident in Dijon, in eastern France, came a day after a knife attack on police in another town being investigated by anti-terror officers.

Officials say a 40-year-old man had been arrested over last night's attack.

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'Make your mind up time ' for Northern Ireland politicians

Credit: Niall Carson/PA Archive

Northern Ireland's leaders face a "deal or no deal" ultimatum as they enter what the Government has warned is the final day of negotiations on outstanding disputes threatening the future of devolved government.

Talks to find consensus end today, with or without agreement, Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers warned last night.

Discussions between Ms Villiers, the Irish Government and the five Executive parties at Stormont resume at Stormont House this morning.

"It's 'make your mind up' time for Northern Ireland's political leaders," the Secretary of State said last night.

"These talks finish tomorrow, even if it takes all night. It there's no agreement tomorrow, there isn't going to be one, and the process ends in failure."

The Government is set to respond later to their request for £2 billion-plus of extra funding and loan access over the next decade.

The plan essentially addresses long-standing nationalist concerns over introducing the Government's welfare policies in Northern Ireland by establishing a significant "cushion" fund, drawn from the Executive's budget, to support those hardest-hit by the changes to the benefits system.

North Korea warns of strikes on US over Sony hack claims

Credit: Reuters

North Korea has threatened strikes against the White House and the United States mainland, calling the country a "cesspool of terrorism" and accusing Barack Obama of spreading "reckless" rumours about its involvement in a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures.

Such rhetoric is not unusual from Pyongyang's massive propaganda machine during times of tension with Washington.

But the long statement from the powerful National Defence Commission also underscores Pyongyang's sensitivity at a movie whose plot focuses on the assassination of its leader Kim Jong Un, the beneficiary of a decades-long cult of personality built around his family dynasty.

"Our toughest counter-action will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole US mainland, the cesspool of terrorism, by far surpassing the 'symmetric counter-action' declared by Obama," said the commission's policy department, in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The US blames North Korea for the cyber-attack that escalated to threats of terror strikes against American cinemas and caused Sony to cancel The Interview's release.

China condemns 'all forms of cyber terrorism'

China has said it opposes all forms of cyber attacks and "cyber terrorism" in the wake of the massive Sony Pictures security breach.

Beijing's Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the denouncement to US Secretary of State John Kerry via a phone call, Reuters have reported.

"China opposes any country or person using other nations' internal facilities to conduct cyber attacks on third-party countries." Wang Yi reportedly told Kerry.

Last week, the US concluded that North Korea, one of China's global allies, was responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures.

New detective takes over Madeleine McCann case

Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive

A new detective has taken over the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall has replaced Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is retiring.

Mr Redwood has led Operation Grange since it was launched in 2011, while Ms Wall was with the homicide and major crime command, the Metropolitan Police said.

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