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New passport checks could force more travel disruption

New passport checks at Britain's ports are introduced on 8 April. Credit: PA

Passport exit checks at ports could lead to more travel problems following the Easter break.

In an effort to clamp down on illegal immigration, every traveller leaving the UK will have their passports checked at ferry ports for the first time in 20 years.

Ferry operators predicted that the exit checks, which are to be introduced on 8 April, could lead to long delays and lengthy traffic queues.

The companies have also warned of hold-ups on roads to Dover with "coach-loads of grannies" having to have their passports checked.

Immigration minister James Brokenshire, who has advised travellers to set off in good time, said he said he did not recognise the "extreme" stories about how the changes could impact travellers and insisted there were contingency plans ready.


Productivity fall could spark recovery concerns

A fall in UK productivity could raise concerns about the sustainability of the wider economic recovery.

Productivity fell in the final quarter of last year compared to the previous quarter according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Productivity fell by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014 Credit: ONS

Productivity fell by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014 and is slightly lower than pre-economic crisis levels in 2007, the ONS said.

Gunman detained after disturbance at Turkish party office

Police have detained a gunman who entered the office of Turkey's ruling AK Party in Istanbul after he smashed top floor windows and hung out a flag.

Private Dogan news agency initially reported two armed intruders entered the AK Party office.

The security threat occurred a day after a prosecutor in the city was shot dead as police tried to free him from hostage-takers.

'Security threat' in Istanbul after fatal hostage incident

Police are attending the offices of Turkey's ruling AK Party in Istanbul after two armed people were reportedly seen entering the building, a day after a prosecutor died having been taken hostage in the city.

Reuters, citing the private Dogan news agency, said several police cars were outside the building in the Kartal district with the road sealed off.

Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz yesterday died after being injured in a stand-off at a courthouse in the city.

Two of his captors, who were from a far-left group, were killed after security forces stormed the building.


Hammond hails 'progress' after Iran talks pass deadline

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said progress has been made between Iran and major powers over Tehran's nuclear programme, despite passing Tuesday's midnight deadline, but said "key issues" still need to be resolved.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has warned a nuclear arms race in the Middle East could be triggered unless a deal is reached with Iran. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

"I think we have a broad framework of understanding, but there are still some key issues that have to be worked through," Mr Hammond told the BBC.

"Some of them are quite detailed and technical so there is still quite a lot of work to do but we are on it now and we'll keep going at it."

The so-called P5+1 - the US, UK, France, China, Russia plus Germany - hope to limit Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for relief from sanctions which have left its economy crippled.

Stuart Rose: We should stick with Conservative plans

Former Marks and Spencer chief executive Stuart Rose said he joined other business leaders in writing a letter of support for the Conservatives because he believes it would be wrong to divert from the current Tory plan.

The Conservative peer said: "Because I believe in what it says I think it and so do the other 100 people that signed it with me because I think look the policies we have in place today have worked for us, its taken time to get traction but it is now working. Don't lets divert from the policy lets move forward, lets carry on doing what we're doing."

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