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OU faces threat of fresh strikes

Credit: The Open University

The Milton Keynes based Open University is facing the threat of fresh strikes by staff in a long running dispute over jobs. The University and College Union warned of walkouts on Tuesday if managers do not make a "fair offer" by tonight for staff affected by office closures.

The union said it wants a guarantee of fair transitional arrangements for around 500 staff in seven regional offices affected by a "massive" restructure.

"The Open University risks losing the experience and expertise of hundreds of staff members if it does not sort out transitional arrangements for its restructure plans.

We are fed up with its refusal to honour commitments made to staff and will be walking out on Tuesday if it does not come back to us with some serious developments. We remain happy to talk right up until Monday night's deadline but the ball is in the university's court."

– Pauline Collins, UCU Open University branch president

The closure of centres in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Gateshead, Leeds, London and Oxford sparked a strike last year.

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St. Neots treated to a spectacular view of five planets at once

Conditions couldn't have been better for viewing this rare sight in the night sky just before dawn this morning (Thursday 28th January 2016).

With skies predicted to clear overnight, Roger Skillin took the opportunity capture five planets at once with his camera in the skies over St. Neots.

Five planets spotted together in the night sky above St Neots early this morning. Credit: Roger Skillin

Roger's breathtaking shot faces towards the south - south east of the night sky. Jupiter can be seen to the west of the moon. Mars, Saturn and Venus appear to descend towards the horizon to the east of the moon.

Roger has even managed to capture Mercury as it rises just above the horizon and a few thin high clouds associated with a weather front to the south.

If you missed this morning's display, all five planets will be visible in the early morning sky until 20th February. Hopefully, we will be lucky enough to enjoy another morning as clear as this one.

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Police strip criminals of more than a million pounds

The police say that their specialist new financial unit has stripped criminals across the region of more than one million pounds.

Credit: ITV News Anglia

The 'Asset Confiscation Enforcement team' was set up to recover proceeds of crime. The recovered money includes £250,000 from a Wisbech drug trafficker, £288,000 from a firearms offender in Milton Keynes and £17,000 from an Essex man who defrauded people on dating websites.

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