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  1. Chris Choi

Smaller power firm Ovo squares up to Big Six with 10.4% cut

The Energy Secretary has warned big power firms that they "can't hide", after one of their smaller rivals offered more than double the price cut of the so-called Big Six companies.

Ovo has more than doubled the cut offered by its Big Six rivals Credit: PA

Today's price drop means that while the average customer of the major firms will see a four per cent reduction in gas prices, customers of Ovo will see a drop of 10.4 per cent.

Now consumer groups are urging companies to drop prices further - and extend their reductions to electricity prices.

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Jordan government 'ready' to hand over prisoner in exchange for pilot

A spokesman for the Jordan government has said they are ready to hand over a failed suicide bomber in prison in the country if pilot Mu'ath al-Kaseasbah is released by Islamic State militants, according to news agency Reuters.

The terrorist group has threatened to kill Mu'ath al-Kasaesbeh, along with Japanese journalist Kenji Goto unless the Jordanian government release Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman facing the death penalty for her part in a deadly suicide bomb attack in 2005.

Jordan is ready to release prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi if the Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Muath al-Kasaesbeh was released and his life spared.

– Mohammad al-Momani, government spokesman

He did not make any reference to Mr Goto.

Read: IS demand release of failed suicide bomber al-Rishawi

Missing mother murder accused remanded in custody

Two men charged with murdering a young mother who disappeared more than 23 years ago have been remanded in custody by a court.

Nigel Barwell, 50, of Copperas Street, and Thomas O'Reilly, 50, of Ribble Road, both Coventry, are accused of killing 18-year-old Nicola Payne in the city in 1991.

Nicola Payne had a seven-month-old son when she disappeared Credit: Family handout

They appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court, where they spoke only to confirm their names, addresses and that they understood the charge against them.

Nicola, who left behind a seven-month-old son, has not been seen since December 1991, when she left her boyfriend's house to return to her parents' home nearby.

Nicola's father, John Payne, was among the family and friends who packed into the court's public gallery for the hearing.

Barwell and O'Reilly were remanded in custody to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on January 30.

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Ex-KGB agents remain main suspects over spy's death

Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun Credit: Reuters

Two former KGB agents remain the main suspects wanted for Alexander Litvinenko's murder, an inquiry has heard.

Detective Inspector Craig Mascall, who works for Scotland Yard's counter terror command, has been working on the investigation into Litvinenko's poisoning since two days before his death in November 2006.

Today Det Insp Mascall told the hearing: "It's still an ongoing criminal investigation. There are still two people wanted for the murder of Mr Litvinenko and that's Mr Lugovoi and Mr Kovtun."

Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun were named as the main suspects in 2007 but continue to deny any involvement in Litvinkenko's death.

Yesterday the inquiry heard them two men had been invited to give evidenceto the hearing in London but remain in Russia.

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