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Putin predicts rouble recovery and blames 'external factors'

Vladimir Putin making his annual address. Credit: APTN

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the country's uncertain economic situation has been provoked by "external factors", and believes it may take two years for the country to return to growth.

Making an annual address in Moscow, he said he believes the country's currency, the rouble - which has recently been in freefall - will inevitably recover.

He also said he was confident the Russian central bank and government were taking adequate measure to deal with the uncertainty.

Putin added the Central Bank's current interest rate of 17% will not last throughout the currency's crisis.

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Sony share price jumps after pulling The Interview

Sony Pictures has cancelled the release of comedy The Interview on the fictional assassination of North Korea's leader Credit: Reuters

Sony's shares closed 4.8 percent higher in Tokyo today - outperforming the 2.3 percent gain on the Nikkei benchmark index.

Investors said it was hoped that pulling The Interview would help to bring an end to the studio's current crisis.

"By not releasing the movie, they won't be hacked again. Investors think that from here on, further damage probably won't be done," said Makoto Kikuchi, CEO of Myojo Asset Management. "Whether that justifies a 5 percent jump in Sony's stock, I'm not so sure."

Before The Interview was cancelled, Sony is estimated to have lost $84.41 million (£54.2 million) from leaks of its other current releases, such as Fury and Annie.

Bradford councillor: School attack 'shocked' everyone

The attack on an army-run school in Peshawar was so severe it "shocked" everyone, not just those with relatives in Pakistan, a Bradford councillor has told Good Morning Britain.

Khadim Hussain said Brits "irrespective of what colour or creed they are" would be sickened by the Taliban attack, which killed 141 people, most of them children.

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Savile victims were 'routinely ignored' by police and others

Lawyers representing 169 of Jimmy Savile's alleged victims have said complaints against the late TV presenter were "routinely ignored" amid his "systematic reign of abuse".

They welcomed an apology from North Yorkshire Police over the force's handling of complaints against the late TV presenter - but urged the government to learn from the past.

The victims will take some comfort from the apology.

Savile's victims were routinely ignored when they reported the abuse and countless opportunities to investigate him were missed, not just by police but also in other organisations he was involved with.

Hopefully, we are learning the lessons of the past and no one will ever get away with the systematic reign of abuse Savile did.

– Jessica Standley, Slater & Gordon
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