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Loughboroug Teenager faces retrial over bomb plot

A teenage boy accused of planning a “Columbine-style” attack on his former school is to face a retrial.

A jury at the Old Bailey was discharged after failing to reach verdicts on two charges under the Terrorism Act.

The 17-year-old from Loughborough in Leicestershire said the alleged attack plans, written in a notebook, were a fantasy to help him cope with bullying.

The teenager, who cannot be named, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome after being arrested in February.

Recorder of London Judge Brian Barker QC discharged the jury of six men and six women following six days of deliberation.

A hearing will take place at the Old Bailey on 12 December to set a date for a retrial.

‘Anti-Islamic views’
The teenager has already admitted three charges of possessing explosives.

The trial heard that he was fascinated with mass murders and school shootings and expressed anti-Islamic views.

Police discovered weapons including partially-assembled petrol bombs and air rifles after searching the teenager’s home in February following reports he had confronted two boys with a knife.

The prosecution alleged that he had these for a purpose connected with terrorism, but the teenager denied this.

The trial heard that he listed six potential targets in his home town of Loughborough, including a mosque, council offices and cinema.

He claimed he had not intended to hurt anyone and his notebook contained “jottings, not actual plans”.

Jurors were also told that two of his friends, also aged 17, had admitted possessing explosives.

Iran delivers nuclear warning

Iran’s Supreme Leader has warned his country will not step back “one iota” from its nuclear rights, as it resumes talks with world powers in Geneva.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he would not intervene directly in the negotiations, but that he had set “red lines” for Iran’s representatives.

President Barack Obama meanwhile urged US senators not to impose new sanctions on Iran to allow time for diplomacy.

He was unsure if it would be possible to reach an interim agreement soon.

“We don’t know if we’ll be able to close a deal with Iran this week or next week,” he told a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) forum in Washington on Tuesday.

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White supremacist serial killer Joseph Franklin executed

A US white supremacist who targeted black and Jewish people in a nationwide killing spree has been put to death in the US state of Missouri.

Joseph Franklin was executed for shooting dead a man outside a synagogue in the city of St Louis in 1977.

The 63-year-old was convicted of seven other racially motivated murders. He claimed to have committed 20 in total.

His execution came after the US Supreme Court upheld an appeal court’s decision to lift a stay of execution.

In 1978 Franklin shot Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, leaving him partially paralysed, after seeing a picture of a mixed-race couple in one of his magazines.

But Mr Flynt – who opposes the death penalty – had sued to prevent Franklin’s execution.

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UK reviewing Gibraltar navy options following incident

Britain is reviewing its navy options in Gibraltar after an illegal incursion into its territorial waters on Monday, a Foreign Office minister has said.

Mark Simmonds told the Commons a Spanish state vessel, the RV Romon Margalef, was accompanied across the border by three Guardia Civil boats.

The vessel failed to leave Gibraltan waters for 22 hours despite requests, and was challenged by the Royal Navy.

Spain’s ambassador to the UK was called to the Foreign Office to explain.

Mr Simmonds said the Spanish vessel had come within 250 metres of the entrance to Gibraltar Harbour.

During the incident, the RV Ramon Margalef said it had been “carrying out oceanographic works” that were “of the European Community interest”.

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DR Congo officers in rape and war crimes trial

Thirty-nine government soldiers accused of war crimes have gone on trial in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Most of the charges relate to the mass rape and other acts of sexual violence against more than 130 women and girls in November 2012 by a retreating army.

Correspondents say the military trial comes after months of international pressure after some officers were suspended but no soldiers tried.

The UN then threatened to stop funding army units suspected of abuses.

Armed groups in eastern DR Congo often use rape as a weapon of war.

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