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Judge in plea on pervert law

A JUDGE criticised restricted sentencing powers that prevent tougher jail terms for perverts who download child pornography after allowing a scout troop leader to walk free.

Judge Christopher Elwen hit out while sentencing Damian Gough (49), who was found with hundreds of child sex pictures and videos.

Gough was being sentenced at Truro Crown Court in Cornwall, England, over 15 charges of making indecent images of children.

He now lives in a Salvation Army hostel in Birmingham.

He was made the subject of a three-year community order and banned from working with or living with children

Split Russia wants merger

THE presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed agreements to tighten economic integration .

It's a step towards what Moscow hopes will be a Eurasian Union linking as many ex-Soviet states as possible. The leaders want to set up a common economic space set to start on January 1, 2012.

The commission is to open in Moscow in July and will be headed for four years by Russian Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko.

Shiites protest for more rights

THOUSANDS of Shiite-led protesters calling for greater rights have streamed into an area outside the Bahrain capital.

Yesterday's rally was one of the largest demonstrations in weeks against the Gulf kingdom's Sunni rulers.

Some of the protesters carried tents, suggesting an attempt to occupy the site in A'ali, 3km from Manama.

Sunni leaders have offered reforms, but refuse to give up control of top government posts.

TV veteran to go off the air

VETERAN US personality Regis Philbin is saying goodbye to television.

He will say farewell as host of Live! With Regis And Kelly on Friday.

At 80, he is stepping down from the show he has co-hosted for 28 years.

Philbin is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most time on the air by a TV personality -- more than 17,000 hours.