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ITV staff to strike over pay

ITV staff are walking out over pay Credit: PA

ITV production workers and other staff are to strike on May 14 in a dispute over pay, the Bectu union has announced.

The technicians' union Bectu said its members had voted in favour of industrial action by 67% in protest at a 2% pay award.

Unions have been pressing for a bigger wage increase in view of the TV company's profits.

"There is a huge disparity between the pay offered to staff and the bonus package to executives as well as shareholder dividends," said Bectu general secretary Gerry Morrissey.

"Our members are helping to make the profits but are not sharing in them."

Bectu said the strike, which will coincide with ITV's annual meeting, will hit live programmes and journalists and other staff are also involved in the dispute.

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Duke and Duchess leave for Norfolk with Princess Charlotte

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have left Kensington Palace with four-day-old Princess Charlotte for their Norfolk home Anmer Hall.

William and Kate headed out of London with their new baby and her elder brother Prince George as they made their way to their home in East Anglia.

They will spend the first few weeks of the princess's life in their refurbished Georgian mansion on the Queen's private Sandringham estate as they get to grips with looking after both a newborn and a toddler.

The couple's Range Rover, being driven by William with Kate in the front passenger seat, was seen leaving Kensington Palace on what was Princess Charlotte's first outing since leaving hospital.

Kensington Palace confirmed the family had set off for Anmer Hall.

William is on two weeks paternity leave from his job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot and is expected to start the final phase of his training at the beginning of June.

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Seven arrested over Syria extremist fraud allegations

Police are investigating a large-scale fraud linked to UK extremists travelling to Syria. Credit: PA

Counter-terrorism police investigating fraud allegations linked to extremists travelling to Syria have arrested six men and one woman, Scotland Yard said.

Police said the arrests form part of an ongoing fraud investigation involving vulnerable and elderly victims being 'cold called' on their home phone by a suspect impersonating a police officer.

The six men were arrested for conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering, while the woman was arrested for money laundering only.

Syria president Assad makes rare public appearance

Bashar al-Assad has claimed that recent military setbacks are just part of normal warfare as his troops seek to relieve an insurgent-held town.

Speaking at an event in a school at an undisclosed location to commemorate martyrs, the Syrian president said soldiers would head to the outskirts of Jisr al-Shughour to help besieged soldiers.

The town, which is in Syria's Idlib province, is close to the government-held heartland of Latakia along the coast.

In a rare public appearance, he was surrounded by crowds of people who chanted in support.

Nicola Sturgeon: 'Outlook for Scotland is sunny'

Nicola Sturgeon said it was up to the people if she joined a coalition. Credit: PA

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said "the outlook for Scotland is sunny" on the eve of the General Election.

The Scottish First Minister Sturgeon said tomorrow's vote could be a "watershed election", with opinion polls suggesting Labour is facing a wipeout in its historic heartlands north of the border to be replaced by SNP MPs.

But she said it is up to the people to decide whether she joins the Westminster power-brokering by returning a hung parliament.

Speaking at a rally in Edinburgh Sturgeon said there was no reason for the rest of the UK to fear the SNP insisting the party would play "a positive and constructive role at Westminster".

She added: "We are now within touching distance, if we continue to work hard today and tomorrow, of doing something the SNP has never done in our history - winning a Westminster election.

"If we do that, then the voice of Scotland is going to be heard more loudly at Westminster than it has ever been heard before."

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