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Nicola Sturgeon to declare SNP leadership bid

Credit: PA Wire

Nicola Sturgeon is today expected to formally announce her bid to become leader of the SNP and Scotland's First Minister.

Ms Sturgeon, who has been Deputy First Minister since the nationalists came to power at Holyrood in 2007, has emerged as the overwhelming favourite to take over the post from Alex Salmond.

He announced his intention to step down on Friday after Scotland voted against independence in last week's referendum.

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UK set to offer further military aid in fight against IS

Credit: PA Images

The United Kingdom looks set to ramp up its military involvement in the struggle against the Islamic State terror group, as David Cameron addresses the United Nations in New York later today.

Ahead of the address, Mr Cameron is likely to receive a formal Iraqi request for UK involvement in air strikes when he meets prime minister Haider Abadi, head of the new inclusive administration in Baghdad.

Iraq has not yet formally asked Britain to join the US and France in air strikes on IS forces which have seized control of large swathes of northern Iraq, though the UK responded swiftly to Baghdad's plea for heavy machine guns and ammunition earlier this month.

Mr Cameron yesterday laid out a stark warning that IS is planning terror attacks in Britain, Europe and the US, saying: "This is a fight you cannot opt out of. These people want to kill us. They've got us in their sights."

Threat to West from 'Syria-based Al Qaeda operatives'

Long exposure nightshot of an aircraft taking off from USS George Washington as part of the operation against IS militants. Credit: US Department of Defense

US intelligence agencies have issued a bulletin warning about terror threats from Syria-based al Qaeda militants in Europe and the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security and FBI alerted national, local and federal law enforcement in the US to the latest threats, a spokesperson said.

Recent intelligence indicated that senior Syria-based AQ operatives were nearing the execution phase for an attack in Europe or the Homeland.

– Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman

PM: Iran 'can play a constructive role' in Middle East

Iran "can play a constructive role" in developing a stable Middle East, David Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister was speaking to NBC News after of a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about their support in the fight against Islamic State (IS).

I will be very clear; we think they are wrong to have this nuclear weapon programme. We think they are wrong to support terrorist organisations.

It'll be a tough conversation. I'm not saying that my enemy's enemy is my friend. I don't believe that.

But the fact is if we want to have a successful, democratic, pluralistic Iraq and if we want to have a successful, democratic, pluralistic Syria, Iran can play a constructive role in helping to bring that about.

– David Cameron PM

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John Prescott mocks 'Chumbawumba' Umunna

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott, shows his 1997 Labour card. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has dismissed shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna as "Chumbawumba" at a Labour Party conference event.

Lord Prescott made the remark during an interview with comedian Matt Forde at the Comedy Store in Manchester, while being asked about how he viewed modern Labour politicians, like the Streatham MP.

Forde asked: "Do you find it difficult? ... When you are watching people do speeches, like ... Chuka Umunna?"

Lord Prescott replied: "They can call him Chumbawumba." He also quipped that water was now in fashion.

The Labour MP was famously drenched by anti-establishment band Chumbawumba at the 1998 Brit Awards when they poured a bucket of ice cold water on him.

When the group announced their split in 2012, Lord Prescott took to Twitter to express his delight.

He wrote "Chumbawho?" and said he would mark the moment by going to buy their greatest hits album.

The wide-ranging interview also covered topics like the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the threat of Islamic State and the infamous punch in 2001 when he lashed out after being hit in the face with an egg.

Tech advance leads to fall in death rates

Death rates at two large hospitals fell by more than 15% after nurses started using handheld computers instead of paper charts to record patients' vital signs, according to new research.

The drop in mortality represented more than 750 lives saved in a single year across the two sites, the paper in BMJ Quality & Safety found.

Nurses record patients' blood pressure, pulse, oxygen levels and other indicators on the handheld devices.

Poll: 40% 'support airstrikes against Islamic State'

One in four people in the UK would support airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) if the Prime Minister authorised them, an exclusive poll for Good Morning Britain has found.

A F/A-18E Super Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron returning after targeting key IS positions in Iraq. Credit: REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

However, a similar number opposed Western intervention in the Middle East, with 36% against airstrikes, according to the survey.

A further 23% of those quizzed said they did not if they supported or opposed of airstrikes in Iraq, but fewer women (23%) than men (55%) were in favour of intervention.

It comes as the Prime Minister starts another day of talks at the United Nations in New York including a meeting with the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

The UK is already providing arms to Kurdish forces fighting IS. Violence continues to escalate in the region, with 130,000 Kurds fleeing to Turkey to escape the extremists.

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