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Report: Thousands evacuated in Philippines as volcano threatens to erupt

Thousands of people have been evacuated from a region in the central Philippines over fears that a volcano is about to erupt, ABC News reports.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has moved Mount Mayon in Albay province up to alert level three following recent earthquakes and gas emissions.

Authorities have reportedly ordered a six-kilometre (3.7 mile) evacuation zone around the active volcano.

Independence 'only way to guarantee' more powers for Scotland

A spokesman for the Yes Scotland campaign has accused Westminster politicians of being "willing to say anything" to secure a No vote in Thursday's referendum.

It's clear that project panic is willing to say anything in the last few days of the campaign to try to halt the Yes momentum - anything except what new powers, if any, they might be willing to offer.

The reality is that the only way to guarantee Scotland gets all the powers we need to create jobs and protect our NHS is with a Yes vote on Thursday - so that we can use our enormous wealth to create a better and fairer country.

– spokesman, yes scotland


MP: 'Serious management failures' at Passport Office

The Passport Office is guilty of "serious management failures" after a lack of staff at the agency caused a huge backlog in applications, the chair of Hasc has said.

Keith Vaz told Good Morning Britain: "Here is an organisation that has made £124 million in surplus over two years, with a 500,000 applications backlog at the peak of the problems in the summer - with hundreds of thousands of British citizens in misery."

Readers reflect on 'everyday' maths GCSE proposal

Readers have been sharing their thoughts on a proposal to introduce an additional GCSE in 'everyday' maths to help raise numeracy levels.

Here is a selection of comments left on the ITV News Facebook page:

Children should be given a proper and thorough grounding in the basics of maths and numeracy when in primary school. Bring back the weekly mental arithmetic and reading tests that my generation had up until the 1960's!

– Susan

Everything I studied for GCSE Maths disappeared from my memory the minute I left the exam room because the vast majority of it had no place in everyday life. I am the first to admit I am horrific when it comes to maths!

– Sarah

Too many changes [are] happening at the moment ... It's just too much for schools to handle at the moment. I suggest coming back to the idea once they have tested the new changes.

– Ash

Govt wants 'no repeat' of passport chaos next year

The Government needs "to make sure there is no repeat" of the problems at the Passport Office that plagued holidaymakers this summer, a Home Office minister has said.

Immigration and security minister James Brokenshire explained:

We need to make sure there is no repeat of the problems experienced this year.

That is why the Home Secretary commissioned two reviews of HMPO to ensure it is working as effectively as possible.

We are currently considering the findings of these reviews and will be announcing our response shortly.

– James Brokenshire


Cameron, Miliband and Clegg pledge 'extensive new powers' for Scottish Parliament

The leaders of the three main pro-union parties have put their name to a letter guaranteeing "extensive new powers" for the Scottish Parliament if Scotland decides to remain parts of the UK.

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have all signed the pledge, which appears on the front page of today's Daily Record.

The letter also appears to guarantee the future funding of the NHS:

And because of the continuation of the Barnett allocation for resources and the powers of the Scottish Parliament to raise revenue, we can state categorically that the final say on how much is spent on the NHS will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.

– joint letter signed by three party leaders

MPs: Compensate victims of summer passport chaos

Holidaymakers who suffered severe delays due to this summer's passport chaos are entitled to compensation, an influential group of MPs has said.

The delays were caused by staff shortages at the Passport Office. Credit: PA

The Home Affairs Select Committee (Hasc) wants to see the Passport Office back under ministerial control and compensation paid to those who used the fast-track renewal service.

Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO) was accused of putting holidaymakers' summer plans in jeopardy as it struggled to cope with demand and a backlog of applications in progress spiralled past half a million.

The number of applications has been cut from 550,000 to 90,000, according to ministers, but it has not been enough to stop thousands of families from missing their holiday.

Compensation should be paid to fast-track applicants, who had paid an extra £30 to have their passport renewed within a week of sending off their application, Hasc said.

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