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Parents gave tot methadone

A couple who gave heroin substitute methadone to a toddler who died of suspected poisoning were due to be sentenced for child cruelty today.

Holly Agius, aged 14 months, died after being taken to hospital from her home in Gloucestershire.

Her mother Bonny Richards (27) and partner John Davies (31) previously admitted two counts of cruelty towards the little girl. One charge covered a six-month period between July 2008 and January last year.

The pair were appearing in Bristol Crown Court today.

Appeals over terror sentence

Five men who were sentenced earlier this year to up to 28 years in prison for plotting a terrorist attack in Australia will appeal against their sentences.

A legal representative told Sydney's Supreme Court today that the men's formal appeal would be filed in November.

The five were sentenced in February to 23 to 28 years in prison after being found guilty of stockpiling explosive chemicals and firearms for terrorist attacks on unspecified targets. All five pleaded innocent.

Manhunt for killer soldier

The hunt for a rogue Afghan soldier who killed three British troops intensified today as tributes were paid to his victims.

UK special forces are reportedly involved in a massive manhunt for the killer, named as Talib Hussein, following the attack which the Ministry of Defence suspects was premeditated. He also fired a rocket-propelled grenade into the base's command centre, killing a soldier from Northern Ireland and another from Nepal.

Brazil aims to curb smacking

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sent a bill to Congress proposing that Brazil join the countries around the world that have moved to curb smacking.

While a law already makes it illegal to abuse children, the new measure prohibits parents and guardians from using corporal punishment.

The statute calls for violators to be warned, or ordered into psychological treatment for repeated offences.