UK News: Kate and Wills told to avoid lavish ceremony

PRINCE William and Kate Middleton have been sent congratulations from around the world after announcing their engagement.

Details of the wedding have yet to be announced, but lobby group the Taxpayers' Alliance said a "lavish ceremony" during a time of austerity would be inappropriate.

Student in court over riot

AN 18-year-old student was due in court today charged with violent disorder after a fire extinguisher was thrown at officers during riots at the Conservative Party HQ.

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Edward Woollard was arrested in Southampton on Monday following the student-led protests which ended in Millbank Tower being overrun.

Couple held by pirates arrive back in the UK

Freed British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler have arrived back in the UK after being held captive by Somali pirates for more than a year.

Their return brings to an end a 388-day ordeal which began in October 2009, when their yacht was seized by pirates as it sailed from the Seychelles.

The couple, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, landed at Heathrow Airport last night on a flight from Nairobi. News of their release emerged on Sunday.

Four-year term rejected

MINISTERS have seen off a bid in the Commons to limit fixed-term parliaments to four years, not five as planned.

Plaid Cymru, backed by Labour and the SNP, had proposed an amendment to the bill, which would have seen the next election held in 2014.

The amendment was lost by a total of 242 votes to 315 - which was a government majority of 73.

Rachel joins mummy club

FORMER S Club 7 singer Rachel Stevens has given birth to a baby girl.

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The 32-year-old, who did not know the sex of the child while she was pregnant, has called her daughter Amelie. It is the first child for the former Strictly Come Dancing star and her husband Alex Bourne.

Belfast: A former IRA hunger striker is to replace Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams in the Northern Ireland Assembly, the party confirmed last night. Pat Sheehan, 52, will succeed Mr Adams who announced on Sunday that he is resigning his west Belfast seat in a bid to be elected in the Republic of Ireland's Louth constituency.

Tyne and Wear: At least 170 jobs are to be lost as the fire brigade tries to shave 25 per cent from its budget over the next four years. It has pledged to try to avoid compulsory redundancies and plans to focus reductions on back room functions.