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    • UK prisons chief warns of terrible toll of inmate suicides
      Nick Hardwick says 69% rise in self inflicted deaths during 2013-14 provides evidence for rapidly deteriorating safety in jails

      A warning over a steep rise in prisoner suicides formed the heart of a critical report from the chief inspector of prisons yesterday as he said that jails were gripped by rising violence, worsening safety and overcrowding.

      Nick Hardwick, giving his annual report, said the rate of self inflicted deaths was at its highest for a decade amongst inmates in England and Wales and had risen by 69% during 2013-14.

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    • Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years but short sentence fiercely criticised
      Outrage on social media as defence lawyers for disgraced Paralympian seek his release into house arrest after 10 months

      The last the world saw of Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday was a sombre figure, still wearing suit and tie, under police guard in the back of an armoured vehicle as he was transported to Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria.

      It was left to the imagination what fate awaited the disgraced Paralympian as he prepared to have fingerprints taken, don an orange jumpsuit and spend his first night behind bars at the start of a five-year jail term for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

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    • Rochdale taxi firm admits providing white drivers on request
      Car 2000 minicab company, which serves area where Asian grooming gangs have operated, says it is catering to demand

      Customers ordering minicabs in the town at the centre of Britains biggest grooming scandal are being offered white drivers on request.

      Residents in Heywood in the Greater Manchester borough of Rochdale have been offered the service after two local drivers of Pakistani origin were jailed for their part in the rape and trafficking of young white girls.

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    • Five Britons a week travel to Iraq and Syria to join Isis, says Met chief
      Britains top police officer warns about terror threat of returning fighters, as third Portsmouth jihadi reported dead in Kobani

      Five Britons are travelling to Iraq and Syria to join Islamic State (Isis) every week, the UKs most senior police officer has revealed, after reports that a third jihadi from Portsmouth has been killed in the conflict.

      The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said the figure was a minimum and the drumbeat of terrorism in the UK was now faster and more intense.

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    • Nigel Farage deal with Polish far-right party raises serious questions say Jews
      Leading British Jewish group criticises Ukips fund saving tie-up with Congress of the New Right MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz

      Britains leading Jewish organisation has accused Nigel Farage of putting Ukips credibility on the line by striking a deal with a far-right Polish party whose leader has a history of Holocaust denial and racist and misogynistic comments.

      The Board of Deputies of British Jews said Farage had very serious questions to answer after the Ukip leader confirmed that an MEP from Polands Congress of the New Rightwould be allowed to join his European grouping.

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