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One Russian pilot rescued, the other killed by jihadists

One of two Russian pilots whose plane was shot down by Turkey has been picked up by the Syrian army and taken to Russia's base, officials have said - but the other has reportedly been killed by militants on the ground.

The Russian jet was shot down by Turkey Credit: Reuters

According to Russia's ambassador to France, he had managed to eject and escaped alive. He is now expected to be taken to the Russian airforce base in the country.

Speaking to Europe 1 radio, ambassador Alexandre Orlov said the other had been wounded when he parachuted down, and was then killed by militants.

One on board was wounded when he parachuted down and killed in a savage way on the ground by the jihadists in the area and the other managed to escape and, according to the latest information, has been picked up by the Syrian army and should be going back to the Russian airforce base.

– Alexandre Orlov, Russia's ambassador to France


McDonnell: Chancellor may sell assets to plug budget hole

George Osborne is “desperately trying to plug a hole in the budget” and is considering selling off assets such as Channel 4 and the Land Registry to do so, Labour has warned.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said he was concerned by the potential loss of control of essential public services because of the need to reform tax credits.

Tax credits will be a central feature of Wednesday’s Autumn Statement. Mr McDonnell said he believes the Chancellor will “pull back a bit” from his original plans but was worried the burden will be shifted onto other services and vulnerable people.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn Statement, Mr McDonnell said: “He’s desperately trying to plug a hole in the budget that he’s created himself, and to dig him out of that hole he’s no longer selling off the family silver, this is the furniture that’s going.”

Mr McDonnell also said the Chancellor had not delivered on his promises to tackle debt and his proposals were usually more “political stunts” than sound economics.


Cloud and rain in the west, brighter start in the east

Temperatures will reach 11 to 12C on Wednesday. Credit: ITV Weather

Cloud and outbreaks of rain and drizzle will affect western parts of the UK throughout the day.

However, it will be a much brighter, drier start in the east with lengthy sunny spells for many.

Into the afternoon cloud and rain will move into central and eastern parts with the best of the brightness in the far south east.

Winds will be gusty along western and eastern coasts as maximum temperatures reach 11 to 12C.

Chancellor to outline plans to build 400,000 new homes

The measures will include building 200,000 new starter homes. Credit: PA

The Chancellor is expected to outline plans to build 400,000 new homes in England during his Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

George Osborne will pledge to "turn generation rent into generation buy" through the largest affordable housebuilding programme in more than 30 years.

The measures will include 200,000 new starter homes with a 20% discount for first-time buyers under 40 and 135,000 Help to Buy shared ownership homes.

The Government will also help create 10,000 homes that will be available to rent at around 20% below the market rent to allow tenants to save for a deposit, as well as 8,000 specialist homes for older residents and people with disabilities.

Mr Osborne is expected to say: "In the end, spending reviews like this come down to choices about what your priorities are. And I am clear: in this Spending Review, we choose housing. Above all, we choose homes that people can buy."

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