In brief: Help for bill pay firm customers

Thousands of consumers left high and dry after a bill-paying company went bust have been assured of help to manage household charges.

The Home Payments business shut its doors on Wednesday of last week, leaving 2,300 customers unable to pay bills and some facing losses on savings.

The National Consumer Agency said regulators in the banking, energy and telecoms sectors and other industry bodies have given a commitment to treat exposed bill-payers sympathetically.

Cole bags her first movie role

Cheryl Cole has landed her first movie role, in a film starring Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez.

She has been given the part just weeks after her American X Factor dreams fell apart.

Her publicist said: "Cheryl Cole is confirmed for a small cameo appearance in the film What To Expect When You're Expecting."

It has been claimed her movie debut could see her playing a judge on a TV talent show for which Cameron Diaz's character Jules auditions.

China deploys anti-terror unit

China has sent an elite anti-terrorism unit to the restive western region of Xinjiang in the wake of recent violence there and ahead of an international trade convention.

The state-run China Daily newspaper said the Snow Leopard Commando unit will be based in Aksu city, roughly halfway between Kashgar, where two violent attacks took place in July, and the regional capital of Urumqi.

At least 20 people died late last month in the two incidents in Kashgar, in the southern part of Xinjiang.

Wrestling boss for Senate race

Former wrestling executive and 2010 Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon says she is "leaning strongly" towards getting into Connecticut's 2012 Senate race.

Mrs McMahon said she is working with political consultants to "evaluate what's the best thing to do" and "what makes sense".

She said she expects to solidify that decision over the next four to six weeks.