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Murder sentence reduced Farmer Tony Martin could be released within a year; his murder conviction for shooting the teenage burglar Fred Barras was reduced to five years for manslaughter.

Asylum-seekers to carry identity cards Asylum-seekers will be issued with identity cards, carrying their photograph and fingerprints, revealed the Home Secretary, David Blunkett. This is part of a "radical and fundamental reform" of the existing asylum system.

British Muslims die in Afghanistan Four British Muslims, who travelled to Afghanistan to defend Islam, died when an American bomb demolished a building in Kabul. The Home Office threatened to prosecute for murder and terrorism any British Muslims who joined the Taliban and subsequently returned to Britain.

EU gives Mugabe deadline The European Union threatened Harare with punitive economic and diplomatic sanctions if Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe continued to refuse EU monitors access to the country in the run-up to the presidential election. Mugabe stands accused of human rights abuses.

Speaker apologises over remarks Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House, recanted his remarks approving the abolition of the voucher system for asylum-seekers and maintained that he was "wholly committed . . . to standing aside from politics". He sought the indulgence of the House for expressing opinions based, he said, on "personal experience in my Glasgow Springburn constituency".

SAS girlfriend refused full pension Anna Homsi, the girlfriend of the SAS trooper Brad Tinnion who died rescuing six British soldiers in Sierra Leone last year, was offered £250,000 in compensation by the Ministry of Defence. Homsi had contested the MoD's earlier refusal to grant her a full widow's pension.

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