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ONS Reports Knife Crime Is At Its Highest Since 1946

The number of fatal stabbings in England and Wales last year was the highest since records began in 1946, official figures show.

There were 285 killings by a knife or sharp instrument in the 12 months ending March 2018, Office for National Statistics analysis shows.

The ONS says one in four (71) of all victims (285) were men aged 18-24.

The figures also show 25% of victims were black – the highest proportion since data was first collected in 1997. The figures show a 45% increase in the number of victims aged 16-24 and a 23% increase in those aged 25-34.

While gun crime was lower than 10 years ago, it was at its highest for a decade in four English counties – West Yorkshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Cheshire.

Suspects convicted of all 252 killings in the year to March 2018, were most likely to be aged 16-24.

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Former Crime Boss Pays £50,000 To Avoid Prison

The former head of a notorious crime gang paid nearly £50,000 in court costs to avoid going to prison – hours after claiming he was broke.

Terry Adams, 64, who was associated with the north London “Adams family”, initially pleaded poverty and offered to pay back what he owed at £15 a week. At this point the judge ordered him to serve the “default term” of 12 months.

The Judicial Office said within three hours of the hearing Adams had paid up the £46,258 he owed in costs.

Adams’s lawyers had told Westminster Magistrates’ Court he was living in a council flat and unemployed. However, the Crown Prosecution Service argued there was a strong case the 64-year-old from Bloomsbury had “substantial undisclosed assets”.

District Judge Michael Snow said Adams’s £15-a-week offer meant his debt would take “many decades to settle” and gave him a 12-month jail sentence for his “wilful refusal” to pay.

However, he added that Adams “doesn’t have to spend a single day in custody because if he settles the order in full he will be released immediately”.

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Man Making Threats To Labour MP Arrested

A man has been arrested by police investigating threats made to Labour MP Yvette Cooper.

The 59-year-old Leeds man was arrested in Castleford on Friday over alleged threats to the Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP.

West Yorkshire Police said the man was held “as a result of information received in relation to alleged threats against a serving MP”. He was bailed pending advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, police said.

The nature of the alleged threat or whether it was made on social media was not disclosed by police. Ms Cooper had previously contacted police after receiving a message she said threatened the lives of her children. The former Cabinet minister received the threat in June 2016 via her Twitter account. It accused her of sending pro-EU “propaganda”, adding: “Please stop or I will kill your kids and grandkids.”

The threat followed the murder of Batley and Spen Labour MP Jo Cox by Thomas Mair, a week before the EU referendum vote.

Russia Pulls Out Of INF Treaty

Russia has suspended its involvement in the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) following a similar decision by the US.

President Vladimir Putin said Russia would start developing new missiles.

On Friday, the US, which has long accused Russia of violating the treaty, formally announced it was suspending its obligations under the agreement.

Signed in 1987 by the US and USSR, it banned the use of short and medium-range missiles by both countries. “Our American partners announced that they are suspending their participation in the treaty, and we are suspending it too,” Mr Putin said on Saturday. “All of our proposals in this sphere, as before, remain on the table, the doors for talks are open,” he added.

Earlier on Saturday, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “All [European] allies agree with the United States because Russia has violated the treaty for several years. They are deploying more and more of the new nuclear capable missiles in Europe.” He also said the six-month period the US had given Russia to return to full compliance should be taken advantage of.

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Up To 18 Civilians Killed By Australian Defence Force In 2017

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) says its fighter jets may have caused the deaths of up to 18 civilians in a strike on Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.

The incident in 2017 was part of the US-led coalition’s bid to retake Mosul. However, the ADF said it was impossible to “definitively know” whether its forces, another coalition strike or “other actors” killed the civilians.

The deaths were “highly regrettable”, military officials said.

Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said two Australian F/A-18F Super Hornets had bombed IS militants in a residential area on 13 June 2017, following a request by Iraqi ground forces. A separate strike by unidentified coalition force took place simultaneously in the same street.

Despite post-strike surveys failing to detect civilian deaths, “credible” reports of casualties later emerged, Air Marshal Hupfeld said.The allegations were first raised publicly by Airwars – a group monitoring civilian deaths – which suggested up to 34 people had died.

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