Disabled people are now allowed to copy MP3s, CDs and DVDs if there is no commercial alternative. The change is part of broader legislation that eases copyright law with a view to bringing 250 million pounds to the UK economy over the next decade.

The act of copying DVDs, MP3s and CDs is still a crime in the United Kingdom, although a survey by Consumer Focus in 2009 showed 59 percent of the population thought it was perfectly legal.

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The situation has been repeated several times now across east Ukraine following Kiev’s announcement of its anti-terrorist operation at the weekend: Ukrainian troops and their hardware are blocked by angry residents, who stop them in their tracks and convince them to turn round or even withdraw.

On Wednesday, pro-Russian militia captured six Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicles and, allegedly, 60 soldiers in Kramatorsk, driving them to nearby Slavyansk with a Russian flag flying.

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Chancellor will try to debunk claims that a further five years of austerity will restrict growth and hurt living standards

George Osborne is to tell an audience of free-market campaigners in Washington that the UK’s economic turnaround will defy those who say austerity and low wage growth will lead to long-term stagnation. In his first major speech in the US, the chancellor will attempt to demolish claims that a further five years of austerity will restrict growth and hurt workers’ living standards. 

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Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness for the “evil” damage to children caused by sexual abusers in the clergy.

He said the abuse was a “moral damage carried out by men of the Church”, and that “sanctions” would be imposed. The statement, made in a meeting with a child rights group, is being described as his strongest the issue so far. 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned European leaders that Ukraine’s delays in paying for Russian gas have created a “critical situation”.

Pipelines transiting Ukraine deliver Russian gas to several EU countries and there are fears that the current tensions could trigger gas shortages. 

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