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In Brief: Call for delay to Bulger trial

LAWYERS for mobster James "Whitey" Bulger are headed to court to argue that his trial should be delayed until next November.

Irish-American Bulger, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, is accused of playing a role in 19 murders.

His trial is scheduled to begin in March, but his lawyers say they need more time to prepare.

They are to make arguments today to US Judge Richard Stearns, who has twice rejected a defence request to disqualify himself from Bulger's trial.

Bulger's lawyers say Stearns was a federal prosecutor at a time when Bulger claims he was given immunity for crimes he committed while he was also an FBI informant on the Italian Mafia, his gang's main rival.

Britain wants EU budget cut

Britain wants a cut in the European Union budget and Prime Minister David Cameron will veto any deal that is not good for the British taxpayer, finance minister George Osborne said.

"We want a cut in the EU budget," Osborne told the BBC. "We are at the beginning of a negotiation. Let us see where that negotiation leads."

He refused to be drawn on whether he thought securing such a cut was possible.

Women in jail hunger strike

An Iranian opposition website says at least nine female political prisoners have begun a hunger strike in protest of snap body searches and abuse by prison guards.

The inmates started the strike after female guards at Evin jail in northern Tehran carried out unannounced inspections. Internationally renowned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been on hunger strike in the same prison since last week.