The Morning Headlines

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The Morning Headlines

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London Universities challenge Oxbridge dominance 

London Universities are challenging the traditional research and league-table dominance of Oxbridge. 

Recent nationwide university research rankings show that Oxford still tops the league table for research quality but Cambridge is now in third place, overtaken by University College London.

The rankings are the first of their kind in six years. 

The London School of Economics has been revealed to have the highest proportion of "world-leading" research among UK universities.

The ratings will determine how £2 billion pounds of public funding is allocated over the coming year. 

Cuba and the United States restore ties after 50 year split 

Relations between the United States and Cuba have thawed after more than 50 years of severed ties.  

The two countries reached a resolution on Wednesday after 18 months of talks, which had been kept secret. 

Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro spoke on the phone on Tuesday and agreed on a prisoner exchange. Alan Gross, an American who was held prisoner in Cuba for five years, has been freed. 

Obama said the longstanding treatment of Cuba by the US was “outdated”.

While many diplomatic ties have been reinstated, the trade embargo will need congressional approval before it is lifted entirely. 

Read more about Cuba-USA relations.

‘The Interview’ pulled after 9/11 threats from North Korean hackers

Sony Pictures have cancelled their plans to release  Kim Jong-un spoof film “The Interview” on Christmas day.

The decision was made after hackers threatened 9/11 style attacks. It means the New York premiere has been cancelled as well.

Seth Rogen and James Franco's comedy about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was due to be premiered today. 

Stephen Greenhalgh to run as London Mayor

Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh has announced that he wants to be the next mayor of London, following Boris Johnson. 

Mr Greenhalgh will be the third Conservative candidate to announce his mayoral intentions. There are number of Labour candidates vying for the job, including Diane Abbott.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has backed his deputy’s decision to stand.

CCTV released of robber mugging woman

CCTV has been released of a prolific robber who grabbed a woman from behind and wrenched a necklace from her.

Ralf Dautzenberg from Canning Town attacked lone Asian women for their gold jewellery in west London. This attack happened in March this year.

He will be sentenced today for his crimes and faces a lengthy jail sentence after pleading guilty to 11 counts of robbery and one count of theft.

Smoking in cars with children may be banned

Smoking in cars with children could be banned from October next year. 

The move comes as part of government plans to protect young people from the harmful effects of second hand smoke. 

A proposed £50 fine will be given to anyone who smokes, or fails to prevent it, in private vehicles with children. MPs are due to vote on the issue before the General Election. 

Trafalgar Square holds vigil for victims of Peshawar attack

Thousands attended a vigil in Trafalgar Square last night for the victims of the Taliban attack on a school in Pakistan. 

It was organised by Pakistani students studying in London. 

132 school children and nine teachers were shot by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar on Tuesday. 

British Transport warn passengers to be vigilant

British Transport Police are asking train passengers to be extra vigilant as they make their journeys over the festive period. They warn that busy carriages can be an attractive environment to thieves. 

In the run up to Christmas, police will be increasing patrols at stations across the country - and advising passengers how to keep their luggage safe. 

Churchill’s personal affects sold for £15 million

Winston Churchill's personal belongings have sold at auction for more than £15 million. 

Items included a red ministerial box, paintings and silverware. The items belonged to Lady Soames, who was Churchill's only remaining relative. She died in May. 

In total 256 items were sold at auction, raising around five times their estimated value. 

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