Guns spreading 'like a cancer'

GUN crime is spreading across Britain like a cancer, police chiefs were told yesterday. The Association of Chief Police Officers' annual conference was told by the organisation's firearms spokesman: "It's coming your way, believe me." Alan Green, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "Gun crime, impacting particularly on our black communities, has spread across this country like a cancer. If you don't think you have got a gun crime problem you are burying your head in the sand."

DYLAN FILM: Bob Dylan will give his first full interview about his early career in a BBC documentary directed by Martin Scorsese. Oscar nominated Scorsese has been granted full access to the media-shy singer for the film which examines the cultural and political impact of his music.

HISTORIC DEAL: TV history guru Simon Schama has signed an exclusive four-year deal with the BBC - thought to be worth about £3m. The History of Britain presenter will create two BBC2 series and their associated books under the deal.

FIRE DEATHS: The number of people who died in fires last year increased by 57 after a rise in fires and false alarms, figures show. Firefighters attended more fires and false alarms in the year to June after a big rise in the number of cars being deliberately set alight.

IN CUSTODY: A 29-year-old man charged with causing death by dangerous driving after two teenage girls were knocked down and killed by a car was remanded in custody yesterday. James Andrew Hill, of Cleethorpes, appeared before Grimsby and Cleethorpes magistrates charged in connection with the deaths of Amy Jones and Kayla Young, both 13.

FLOOD TRAGEDY: The death toll in Sri Lanka's floods rose to at least 300 yesterday. The flash floods struck three Sri Lankan districts on Saturday night after days of rain in the central and southern parts of the country.

WARRANTIES SHAKE-UP: Electrical retailers could be forced to display rival prices on extended warranties and limit bonuses to sales staff under suggestions published by the Competition Commission yesterday.

GAS BLAST: Three people were injured yesterday in a what was believed to have been a gas explosion outside a pub. Windows of a nearby fish and chip shop were also believed to have been blown out in the explosion at Coltishall, Norfolk, shortly after 10am.

ACID DOWN: Airborne chemicals that can cause acid rain fell by nearly half in the UK between 1990 and 2001, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics. The largest fall was in the electricity, gas and water sector, which saw a 70 per cent decrease.

DOLPHIN-FRIENDLY: Trials of fishing nets designed to reduce the harm done to dolphins by trawler catches are encouraging, the Government said yesterday. Fisheries Minister Elliot Morley said the use of new separator grids in the nets of boats fishing for sea bass show the numbers of dolphin caught had been considerably reduced.

KELLY BACK: TV presenter Matthew Kelly is to return as host of Stars In Their Eyes for the first time since being cleared over a child abuse allegation. He will film three celebrity specials of the show next month and will start a new series with members of the public later in the year.

TICKET WARNING: Celtic fans have been warned that as many as 700 forged tickets may be in circulation for the Uefa Cup final. With more than 50,000 supporters expected to be in Seville by tonight for the match against Porto, Strathclyde Police also warned the fans to drink plenty of water so they do not dehydrate.

HOME HELP: More than half of parents said they would borrow money to help their children get a foot on the property ladder, according to the Yorkshire Bank.