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Wright: I stood down in 2010 and learnt from mistakes

South Yorkshire Police Commissioner Shaun Wright rejected calls for his resignation today, reasoning that he already resigned from his role as head of Rotherham's children's services in 2010 following a critical Ofsted report.

Shaun Wright says he would have taken action if he had been aware of the problem in Rotherham.
Shaun Wright says he would have taken action if he had been aware of the problem in Rotherham. Credit: ITV News Calendar

I stood down in 2010 from that particular role and took my responsibility at that time. There has been a period of time between that and then I subsequently became the South Yorkshire Police Commissioner.

With the benefit of hindsight and all the lessons that have been learnt ... there has been a huge amount of learning and I've taken all this and made sure that it's been fully implemented in South Yorkshire Police and it's now making a difference to many young people in South Yorkshire and Rotherham.

...I'm very sorry for any abuse that took place - if I could have prevented it I would.

– Shaun Wright speaking to Sky News

More: Commissioner urged to resign over Rotherham abuse report

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Darling: Nationalist threat to default on debt 'reckless'

Better Together leader Alistair Darling has opened a campaign event with former prime minister Gordon Brown:

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.@togetherdarling - "The nationalist threat to default on our debt is irresponsible and reckless." http://t.co/xQSWYauTgg

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.@togetherdarling opens up in Dundee by saying this is the biggest decision we will ever take in Scotland #indyref http://t.co/cZP6li3Wl1

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Chemical bombs 'used eight times' in one month in Syria

Barrel bombs filled with chemicals were dropped in Syria eight times in April, according to a UN report which points the finger of blame at government helicopters.

UN investigator Carla Del Ponte, who spent months researching the war, said both Islamic State insurgents and the Syrian government were guilty of war crimes in the conflict.

She has now called on world leaders to refer the findings to the international criminal court.

UN investigator Carla Del Ponte called for the war crimes in Syria to be referred to the international criminal court
UN investigator Carla Del Ponte called for the war crimes in Syria to be referred to the international criminal court Credit: Reuters

The report found that chemical agents - most likely chlorine - were dropped on several occasions, with "reasonable grounds" to believe they came from Syrian government helicopters.

It also revealed Islamic State forces had carried out public executions, displayed bodies on crucifixes, and stoned women, and said analysis of 27,000 photographs apparently taken in Syrian jails supported the UN's "longstanding findings of systematic torture and deaths of detainees".

Islamic State is one of several groups fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian soldiers 'cross Ukrainian border in vehicles'

A group of Russian soldiers have crossed the Ukrainian border in armoured vehicles and entered the town of Amvrosiyivka, a Ukrainian military spokesman said.

The report comes amid talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko aimed at trying to end the five-month conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine.

Footage of four men, believed to be Russian paratroopers, saying they crossed the Ukrainian border "by accident" was released by the Ukrainian military yesterday.

Business leaders in Scotland back no vote in open letter

A group of 130 business leaders have insisted that the case for Scottish independence "has not been made," arguing that "by continuing to all work together we can keep Scotland flourishing".

The company chiefs, including Weir Group chief executive Keith Cochrane and Aggreko interim chief executive Angus Cockburn, have signed an open letter highlighting the "uncertainties" that surround leaving the union.

Yes and No campaign signs with Bank of Scotland and Bank of England bank notes
A group of 130 business leaders signed an open letter stating, 'By continuing to all work together we can keep Scotland flourishing'. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The letter states, "Uncertainty surrounds a number of vital issues including currency, regulation, tax, pensions, EU membership and support for our exports around the world; and uncertainty is bad for business."

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Ryanair to launch 'business class' flights

No-frills airline Ryanair is to introduce a ,business class'.
No-frills airline Ryanair is to introduce a ,business class'. Credit: PA

It may be famous for its "no-frills" approach, but low-cost Irish airline Ryanair is set to launch business class flights.

While the 69.99 euro (£56) Business Plus package does not provide roomier seating, it does offer more discerning fliers a range of benefits, including:

  • Flexibility on ticket changes
  • 20kg (44lbs) of checked-in bag allowance
  • Fast-track airport security at selected airports
  • Priority boarding and 'premium' seats

Fliers must select Business Plus services during the booking process or face additional charges for any services added after payment has been made.

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South Yorkshire Police to implement report's recommendations

The force fully intends to implement the recommendations made in the Alexis Jay report, furthermore, where there is evidence that officers failed to properly investigate, or have covered up evidence, then this will be referred to the IPCC.

Clearly many mistakes were made over the period covered by the report, and the acknowledgement that there have been a number of improvements to policing practice and resourcing in the last four years is welcome but will not make anyone complacent about the challenge this dreadful crime represents.

SYP is currently conducting a number of historic investigations which relate to the period covered by the report. They are complex, involving multiple suspects and multiple victims and at this stage it would be inappropriate to give further detail about these inquiries.

– South Yorkshire Police

IMF chief 'under investigation' over negligence claims

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has been placed under formal investigation for negligence relating to a long-running political fraud case, an unnamed source has told Reuters.

Lagarde will appeal the French magistrates' decision to place her under formal investigation, saying the allegation of negligence was unfounded, the source stated.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde has said the allegation of negligence was unfounded. Credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire

The inquiry into French businessman Bernard Tapie has embroiled several of former president Nicolas Sarkozy's cabinet members, including Lagarde, who was finance minister.

Tapie was awarded €403 million (£321 million) in a 2008 arbitration payment under Sarkozy's presidency to settle a dispute with the now-defunct state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over a share sale in 1993.

'Increase terror funding and strip UK jihadis of passports'

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the country's most senior police officer, has urged the Government to increase funding to help the Metropolitan Police catch terrorists and also suggested stripping would-be jihadis of their passports.

Of the estimated 500 or 600 British aspiring terrorists thought to have travelled to Syria, around two-thirds or three quarters are thought to be from London.

Would-be jihadis who go to fight abroad should be stripped of their British passports, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said.
Would-be jihadis who go to fight abroad should be stripped of their British passports, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said. Credit: PA

"I think we're going to have to look at the resourcing of it, within the Met or across the country," he told LBC. "I know the Australians have just invested an awful lot of money in the same problem in their security services."

"This is a matter for Government, but I think we are going to have to look at it," he added.

He also said that British jihadis who travel abroad to fight for Islamic State should forfeit their passports.

"It seems to me it's a privilege to have a passport and be a citizen of this country," he said. "And if you're going to start fighting in another country on behalf of another state, or against another state, it seems to me that you've made a choice about where you what to be."

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