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CPS defends decision not to charge Manchester bomb plotter

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has defended its decision not to charge Abid Naseer, a Pakistani man who was convicted of terror offences in the United States yesterday.

A court sketch of Naseer during his trial. Credit: Reuters

Naseer, 28, was found guilty of plotting to bomb a shopping centre in Manchester and the subway in New York City.

He was arrested in Manchester in 2009, and though police submitted a file to the CPS, it was deemed that there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.

"The evidence in our possession in relation to Abid Naseer which would have been admissible in a criminal court was very limited," a spokeswoman said.

"Crucially, there was no evidence of training, research or the purchasing of explosives.

"We had no evidence of an agreement between Abid Naseer and others which would have supported a charge of conspiracy in this country."

Ex-Marine killed in Syria 'wanted to make a difference'

Scurfield is believed to have died in battle on Monday.

A former Royal Marine that died fighting against Islamic State in Syria had travelled there to "help other people and to make a difference", his ex-girlfriend has said.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Jemma Weston described her former partner Konstandinos Erik Scurfield as "amazing" for "doing an unselfish act" in joining Kurdish forces' efforts against the militant group.

Scurfield was reportedly shot dead on Monday during a battle in the frontline village of Tel Khuzela.

Weston said that while they had ended their relationship, Scurfield had told her he wanted to return home to her, and said she was heartbroken at the news of his death.

Scurfield was an expert in battlefield medicine, and Weston said he believed going to help against IS was something he had to do.

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Clinton asks for emails to be released amid controversy

Hillary Clinton has requested the release of emails during her time as Secretary of State. Credit: Reuters

Hillary Clinton says she has asked for the public release of emails during her time as US Secretary of State, after controversy about her use of a personal email address while in office.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Clinton - seen as a potential Democratic candidate for the next Presidency - used the email address exclusively during her four years in the role, claiming that she may have violated federal rules by doing so.

Since then, a congressional committee investigating the deadly 2012 attack on a US consulate in Libya has issued subpoenas ordering the release of emails relating to the incident.

Some Republican politicians have argued that Clinton did not do enough to ensure the safety of Americans in the country at the time of the Benghazi raid.

Clinton tweeted today that she has requested the release of the emails.

Becky Watts' step-brother to make court appearance

Nathan Matthews (left) in fancy dress with girlfriend Shaunna Hoare (centre) are facing charges in connection with the death of Becky Watts (right).

The step-brother of 16-year-old Becky Watts will appear in court later today charged with her murder.

Nathan Matthews, 28, and girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21, were arrested on suspicion of the teenager's kidnap on Saturday.

They will both appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court today, with Matthews - the son of Watts' father's wife - charged with murder.

Hoare - who also goes by the surname Phillips - is charged with intending to pervert the course of justice.

Four men and one woman, all in their twenties, also remain in police custody after being arrested on Monday on suspicion of assisting an offender, after a warrant of further detention was granted on Wednesday.

Fraud probe over Bank of England liquidity auctions

A fraud investigation is underway into Bank of England liquidity auctions carried out during the financial crisis.

The Bank of England confirmed it had commissioned an independent inquiry into the auctions. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said it is looking into auctions conducted in 2007 and 2008.

Liquidity auctions allow banks to bid for cash in the form of borrowing from the central bank, and were used to help banks recover following the crash.

The Bank said it had previously launched an independent inquiry into the matter, which was conducted by Lord Grabiner QC.

Once that was concluded, it was then passed on to the SFO in November, a statement said.

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US envoy slashed with blade in South Korea attack

The US ambassador to South Korea was left bleeding heavily after being slashed in the face by an attacker during an event in the country's capital.

Mark Lippert was seen bleeding from the face after the attack. Credit: Yonhap/Reuters

Mark Lippert, 42, was seen walking out of the Seoul breakfast forum as he was taken to hospital, where he was later reported to be in a stable condition and not suffering life threatening injuries.

The suspect, identified as Kim Ki-jong, 55, had been seen wearing traditional Korean clothing and shouting that North and South Korea should be reunited, police said.

The table at which Lippert was placed at the time of the attack. Credit: Reuters

He was also said to have shouted that he opposed war exercises, in what appears to be a reference to yearly joint US-South Korean military exercises that began this week.

The White House said it strongly condemned the attack, and said President Barack Obama had called Lippert to tell him that he and his wife were "in his thoughts and prayers, and to wish him a speedy recovery".

TV debates: Clegg urges Cameron to 'get on with it'

Nick Clegg urged David Cameron to 'get on with it'. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Nick Clegg has called on the David Cameron to "get on with it" and agree to TV debates after the Prime Minister made a "final offer" to broadcasters.

Writing on Twitter, the Liberal Democrat leader urged the Prime Minister to stop holding the debates "to ransom".

In separate statement, a spokesperson for the party said: "The Tories clearly do not want to discuss and debate the merits of their manifesto with the British public - it's why they don't want them to happen during the campaign - but the Liberal Democrats do."

The Lib Dems had previously said they wanted to take part in "all the TV debates", but plans but forward by BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 propose two debates of seven party leaders, with one further debate featuring Ed Miliband and David Cameron alone.

Labour: Cameron 'running scared' of Miliband debate

David Cameron (left) has rejected proposals that included a head-to-head debate with Ed Miliband (right). Credit: Paul Rogers/The Times/PA Archive

Labour has accused David Cameron of being frightened of a debate with Ed Miliband, claiming the PM's latest proposal to broadcasters was an attempt to "bully" them.

In a statement following the Conservative leader's "final offer" of a one-off, seven-party debate, the head of Labour's General Election strategy Douglas Alexander said: "We continue to support the broadcasters proposals, including for seven-way debates alongside a two-way debate.

“But this is an outrageous attempt from the Prime Minister to bully the broadcasters into dropping their proposals for a head-to-head debate between David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

“That it comes only hours after Ed Miliband called David Cameron's bluff and said he would debate him any time, any place, shows the lengths David Cameron will go to run scared of a debate with Ed Miliband.”

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