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Drug driving clampdown aims to improve road safety

From Monday, there will be set limits for driving under the influence of eight illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis. And some people who take drugs for medical conditions could also be breaking the law if they get behind the wheel.

It comes after a long campaign from the mother of a teenage girl, killed by a driver who had been taking drugs.

Matt Price reports

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Tuition fee cuts would come into force next September

Ed Miliband has said a £3,000 cut to university tuition fees would come into force in September 2016 if Labour are elected.

He told supporters it would will benefit not only those starting degree courses next year, but "those already at university" and slash an average of around £9,000 off each student's debt.

Mr Miliband also said that maintenance grants will be raised by £400 a year, and that Labour is "determined" to help students with their living costs.

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Miliband pledges to cut university tuition fees to £6,000

Labour leader Ed Miliband. Credit: pool

Ed Miliband has pledged to cut university tuition fees from £9,00 a year to £6,000.

The Labour leader said if the party were voted in at the General Election they would make life better for young people.

He also pledged to offer:

  • 25 hours of free childcare for every child aged three and four
  • Lower class sizes for five, six and seven-year-olds to 30 or under
  • Guaranteed apprenticeships for teenagers if they get the grades at 18

Skeletons found by accident could have been criminals or soldiers

Twelve skeletons dating back to the time of Richard III have been found by accident by Northern Powergrid and their contractor Interserve.

The find, which dates back to the time of Richard III, is the first of its type to be found in the city Credit: Northern Powergrid

The first bones were discovered in November 2013 by Northern Powergrid and its contractor, Interserve, on Tadcaster Road, known locally as the Knavesmire.

A team of archaeologists remained present on site at all times and were called on to examine the find and start the process of carefully uncovering the skeletons. After initial excavations the team realised that this discovery was something very unusual.

Meticulous excavation in two trenches revealed 12 skeletons.

Unlike 15th century Christian burial practice, the skeletons were all together and weren’t facing East-West.

The Knavesmire was the site of York’s Tyburn, where convicted criminals were executed right up until 1802. Were these individuals criminals or could they have been Lancastrian soldiers?

They may have been captured in battle and brought to York for execution, possibly in the aftermath of the Battle of Towton during the Wars of the Roses, and their remains hastily buried near the gallows

– Ruth Whyte, Osteo-archaologist for York Archaeological Trust

Analysis and radiocarbon dating of two of the skeletons found that they could be dated to around the 1460s.

The skeletons were identified as male and mostly aged between 25 and 40 at the time of their death. Two had significant bone fractures which could be evidence of fighting, perhaps associated with professional soldiers.

The skeletons have been handed over to York Archaeological Trust to protect and preserve. Arrangements are also underway to exhibit one of the skeletons as part of the city’s Richard III Experience at Monk Bar in March.

Sally Simpson reports:

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