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Last UK base in Afghanistan handed over

The last U.S. Marines unit and final British combat troops in Afghanistan officially ended their operations on Sunday as they packed up to leave the country and transferred a massive military base to the Afghan military.

The last U.S. Marines unit and final British combat troops in Afghanistan officially ended their operations. Credit: PA

Record number of Brits living on breadline

Credit: PA

Britain has more low paid workers than ever with more than five million currently living on the breadline, a report has revealed.

Low Pay Britain found 5.2 million workers earned less than £7.70 an hour. The current minimum wage is £6.50.

Almost a quarter of minimum wage workers said they had been on that wage for the past five years, and women are still more likely to be paid less than men.

In comparison with other countries, Britons were twice as likely to be paid less than their counterparts in Switzerland and four times less than in Belgium. The UK also fell behind Germany and Australia in the rankings.

Matthew Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation, told The Independent: "It's troubling that the number of low-paid workers across Britain reached a record high last year.

"Being low paid, and getting stuck there for years on end, creates not only immediate financial pressures but can permanently affect people's career prospects."


GPs 'should be on lookout for radicalisation' in children

Credit: PA

GPs should be on the lookout for signs of radicalisation in child patients as well as other "social ills", according to their professional body.

They should also be trained to spot trafficking and cyber-bullying and help identify issues such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and the NSPCC have issued a "toolkit" with the help of police, social workers and government agencies, so doctors are better informed about what to do if they have concerns for a child.

RCGP chairman Maureen Baker said children were faced with "unprecedented pressures" as a result of the internet, which leaves them vulnerable to trolling, "sexting" and revenge porn.

She added: "As GPs we are trained to treat the 'whole person' and that means now taking into account a number of societal, as well as health, factors.

"A consultation with a GP may be the only time that young people can be alone with a trusted adult and we have a number of roles to play in providing understanding, compassion and support."

According to latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), 43,140 children were subject to a child protection plan and 68,110 children were 'looked after' in England in 2013.

Scottish Labour Party set to discuss new leader plans

The Scottish Labour Party are set to have a committee meeting later today to discuss plans for the new leadership after Johann Lamont resigned.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been backed by some MPs to take over the role.

Gordon Brown could step up as leader again after being backed by some MPs. Credit: PA

While East Renfrewshire MP and Better Together campaigner Jim Murphy is also rumoured to be in the frame.

Jim Murphy tirelessly campaigned for the No vote in the Scottish referendum. Credit: PA

But the bookie's favourite is current deputy Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

Deputy Labour leader Anas Sarwar is current favourite to replace Johann Lamont. Credit: PA


'Bike thief' sparks major lock down in Edinburgh

The incident took place near Edinburgh's historic Royal Mile. Credit: PA

A suspected motorbike thief sparked a major lock down in Edinburgh for several hours.

The man hid on a roof in the city's Old Town while more than 50 officers in riot gear and a helicopter circling overhead tried to catch him.

It was originally thought he may have a gun but police later confirmed this was not the case.

A spokesman said: "It was never a firearms incident.

"Police in Edinburgh were in attendance on the Royal Mile on Saturday evening in connection with an earlier incident of a stolen motorbike and the man was reported to be on the roof of a building in the Cockburn Street area.

"A cordon was put in place so there was no risk to the public and no armed police were involved."

They confirmed one man has been detained and is helping police with enquiries while the search for the alleged thief continues.

Cheaper holidays not reason to take children out of school

So far 60,000 fines have been handed out to parents who took their children out of school. Credit: Tero Sivula/STT-Lehtikuva/Press Association Images

Cheaper holidays "don't fit the bill" as a reason for taking children out of school, the leader of the headteachers' union has said.

Russell Hobby said the body would be issuing new guidelines on what constitutes "exceptional circumstances".

Under the new rules, absences for funerals, weddings, religious events and seeing parents return from duty within the Armed Forces will be granted.

Time off will also be allowed for children with disabilities or special needs or those suffering a family crisis.

But Mr Hobby said taking time off to go on holiday "just didn't fit the bill".

Writing in the Sunday Times, he added: "It's not a good enough reason to damage an education. You cannot easily make up the lost learning at home, and falling behind in class can put children at a permanent disadvantage.

"Those who work in schools share your pain. Many are parents themselves and pay these prices, too. We must tackle this. The Government should work with the holiday industry to find a way through."

New York doctor receives blood from Ebola survivor

Dr Craig Spencer.

The New York Ebola doctor Craig Spencer has received blood from an aid worker who previously beat the disease.

Nancy Writebol, who was the second American to contract the virus, said: "I am praying for Dr Spencer's recovery and am happy to donate blood."

Doctors said Spencer, 33, is now entering the next phase of his illness as expected with gastrointestinal symptoms, but he was awake and communicating.

His fiancee has been placed in quarantine in her New York apartment for 21 days.

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