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Medvedev: Russia prepared to get tough on Ukraine debts

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview broadcast by Russian TV that it would adopt a tough position if Ukraine decided not to pay off debts owed by its previous government,

PM Dmitry Medvedev (right) with defence minister Sergei Shoigu, president Vladimir Putin. Credit: PA

"If it is actually formulated in this way this would undoubtedly be a default of Ukraine ... We would adopt as tough a position as possible in this case and defend our national interests," Medvedev told the Vesti on Saturday programme on state TV channel Rossiya.

Medvedev also said his government had an interest in seeing a predictable rate for the rouble, but he defended the central bank's policy of allowing the rouble to float, saying it was "optimal" to achieve a balance in the forex market between supply and demand.

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Results being fed on Ireland's same-sex marriage vote

Results from the Republic's 43 constituencies will be fed back to the count headquarters in Dublin Castle, where a pattern is expected to emerge from the smaller regions and faster counts around lunchtime.

Results being fed on Ireland's same-sex marriage vote. Credit: PA

It is only 22 years since Ireland decriminalised homosexuality. Voters were asked one simple, specific question on whether to amend Article 41 of the 1937 Constitution by adding a new clause to a section titled The Family.

It asked them to support or reject a change to the 78-year-old document which reads: "Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex." It does not suggest any change to the definition of the family or remove any outdated references in the section, including those that state a woman's place is at home.

Counting under way in same-sex marriage ballot

Counting is under way in a landmark ballot in Ireland which could see it become the first country in the world to bring in gay marriage by popular vote.

Counting under way in same-sex marriage ballot. Credit: PA

A high turnout is expected, which supporters of the reform believe is a boost for them, with estimates and reports from individual constituencies putting the poll percentage somewhere in the 60s. A result is expected sometime in the afternoon but returning officers have warned it is dependent on how close the ballot is.

Cooper: Labour 'have to face some hard truths'

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has admitted her party needs to "face some hard truths" if they want to become electable in future.

Yvette Cooper, Labour's shadow home secretary Credit: PA Wire

Writing in a blog for The Huffington Post, Cooper said: "Bluntly, not enough people trusted us with their future. Not enough people were convinced we could do the job.

"The mountain we now have to climb is high."

The Labour leadership contender also warned her party against swinging too far to the left or right in its bid to win back voters stating "that's no good for Labour, for Britain or for those who depend on progressive change. We can't fight and win by remaining a narrow party, we have to reach out."

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Militia fighters and Iraqi army forces set out from base

An eyewitness and a local official have said a convoy of Shi'ite militia fighters and Iraqi army forces set out from a base near the western provincial capital of Ramadi, heading towards areas controlled by Islamic State militants.

Anbar provincial council member Azzal Obaid said hundreds of fighters, who arrived at the Habbaniya air base last week after Ramadi was overrun by Islamic State, were in Khalidiya and were approaching Siddiqiya and Madiq, towns in contested areas near Ramadi.

While pro-government forces are seeking to retake Ramadi, Islamic State insurgents have been pushing forward in the direction of Fallujah in a bid to take more territory in Anbar province that would bring them closer to the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Counting begins on same-sex marriage referendum

Counting in the Republic of Ireland same-sex marriage referendum has begun. More than 3 million people have been asked if they want to amend the country's constitution. With the turn out unusually high and far bigger for other recent votes. A result is expected later today.

ITV News' reporter James Webster explains:

Leslie questions 'secrecy' of BoE's EU exit assessment

Shadow chancellor Chris Leslie has raised questions over the 'secrecy' and 'concealment' surrounding the Bank of England's project looking at the economic risk to Britain if the country votes to leave the European Union

Chris Leslie accused the Conservatives of favouring the rich Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme Leslie said: "It's a very momentous decision that the country is facing, it's incredibly important for our place in the world and we have got to have the full information and analysis so that the British people can reach an informed decision.

"I don't think it's unreasonable to have an assessment of the consequences for jobs, trade and living standards, but why on earth so much secrecy and concealment?"

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