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Southern Railway talks 'end without agreement'

Credit: PA

Talks aimed at resolving the Southern Railway dispute have ended without agreement, the company said.

On Wednesday the train drivers' union Aslef said that "progress had been made" in talks but that Friday's strike would still go ahead.

It will be the third day of strike action this week, after members walked out on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Aslef is opposed to driver-only trains, citing safety concerns as passenger numbers grow, and warning that in-cab monitors, allowing them to check when it is safe to close doors, do not always work.

Nick Brown, chief operating officer of Southern's owners Govia Thameslink Railway, said: "We're deeply disappointed, as our passengers will be, that Aslef has been unable to accept our proposals and we cannot find a way forward to end this dispute with the drivers' union at this stage.

"We're sincerely sorry that commuters' work and family lives are being punished with this unjustified and unprecedented industrial action."

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Strike by Argos delivery drivers suspended - Unite

Credit: PA

A threatened strike by drivers who deliver Argos goods has been suspended.

A three-day walk-out had been planned by Unite members in the run-up to Christmas in a dispute over holiday back pay.

Members employed by Wincanton at a distribution centre in Staffordshire had planned to walk out from next Tuesday until December 22.

Unite regional officer Rick Coyle said: “We have had constructive talks with the Wincanton management today and, as a result, we have hammered out a deal that Unite feels it can recommend to our members.

“The details of the deal are confidential and we will be balloting our drivers on the offer."

Teenager to be sentenced over TalkTalk hacking attack

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted seven hacking offences. Credit: Andrew Milligan/ PA

A 17-year-old boy who hacked TalkTalk will be sentenced on Tuesday for his role in the multi-million pound data breach.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, found a vulnerability in the website using "legitimate software" and shared details of it online, an earlier hearing at Norwich Youth Court was told.

While he did not exploit the information for monetary gain, the TalkTalk website was targeted more than 14,000 times after the boy exposed the vulnerability.

He told magistrates "I was just showing off to my mates" as he admitted seven hacking offences.

Telecoms giant TalkTalk fell victim to what it described as a "significant and sustained" attack on its website in October 2015 and the firm said the fallout from the cyber attack cost it £42 million.

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BT to create 500 new jobs across UK

The new roles will be based at contact centres across the country. Credit: PA

Telecoms giant BT is to create 500 customer service jobs across the UK.

The new roles will mainly be based at contact centres in Swansea, Warrington, Doncaster and Accrington.

The jobs are in addition to a previously-announced target of 1,000 posts across the UK and Ireland by the end of March 2017.

Libby Barr, managing director of customer care at BT Consumer, said: "BT is completely changing the way we serve our customers in order to boost our service levels.

"We are going to answer 90% of our customers' calls in the UK and Ireland by the end of March, and we have been taking on great people to fill full-time jobs working for BT."

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