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'Clear majority' of shadow cabinet supports PM on Syria

A "clear majority" of the shadow cabinet is in favour of supporting the Prime Minister's plan for the UK to begin air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, a shadow cabinet minister has told ITV News.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship was told, though, that no decision on a vote on airstrikes was taken after the 90 minute meeting and the group will meet again Monday to conclude discussions.

He tweeted:


Russia may impose economic sanctions on Turkey

Russia may impose a series of economic sanctions in retaliation for Turkey shooting down one its warplanes.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered his government to draw up measures that would include freezing some joint investment projects and restrictions on food imports from Turkey.

Other sanctions may include restrictions on the planned TurkSteam gas pipeline, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said.

Commercial flights, tourism and preparations for a free trade zone between the two countries may also be curtailed, Mr Ulyukayev warned.

Police raid in Belgium in connection with Paris attacks

Police in Belgium have carried out a raid in southern Belgium as part of the ongoing investigation into the Paris attacks, The Associated Press reports.

No arrests have been made.


Russia accepts indefinite suspension from athletics

Russia has accpeted the indefinite suspension. Credit: PA

Russia has accepted a full and indefinite suspension from all athletics competitions following a report which highlighted major problems with the country's anti-doping procedures, says world athletics' governing body IAAF.

IAAF Council was today informed that written confirmation had been received yesterday from ARAF accepting their full suspension without requesting a hearing as was their constitutional right.

ARAF confirmed they understood that council would only accept their reinstatement as an IAAF member following the recommendation of the IAAF inspection team who will decide if the verification criteria have been fulfilled. ARAF confirmed they will co-operate fully and actively with the team.

– Official IAAF statement.

2.6 million families '£1,600 a year worse off' after benefit changes

Mr Osborne lays bricks in a high-vis jacket after yesterday's Spending Review Credit: PA

Up to 2.6 million working families could be an average of £1,600 worse off a year as a result of benefit changes announced in Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review, a respected economic think tank has found.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies says the introduction of the new Universal Credit, which consolidates a number of existing benefits, will result in the cut in cash for affected households.

According to The Institute of Fiscal Studies, this means that Chancellor George Osborne's U-turn over cuts to tax credits has effectively only been deferred and will have an impact when the system changes over in April.

But, as ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar points out, the IFS say 1.9 million families are likely to be better off under Universal Credit.

The ditching of tax credit cuts means no family will take an "immediate cash hit", the long-term generosity of the welfare system "will be cut just as much as was ever intended, as new claimants will receive significantly lower benefits than they would have done before the July changes," said IFS director Paul Johnson.

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