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Man charged over Burnley child abduction

Khan is due to appear at Burnley Magistrates later this morning. Credit: ITV News.

A man has been charged with the abduction of a six-year-old girl in Burnley.

Imran Khan, 33 of Pendle Street, Accrington has been charged with taking a child under the Child Abduction Act, breach of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Lancashire Police launched a manhunt after the girl was taken in a car on Thursday afternoon.

She was then dropped off 30 minutes later, three miles away and police were alerted.

Khan is due to appear at Burnley Magistrates later this morning.

Green Party: People are desperate for a change

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has appealed for the support of voters "sick of business-as-usual politics".

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett Credit: PA

Kicking off formal campaigning, she claimed the Greens are the "only party" offering economic changes that work for "everyone, not just those at the top."

This general election is the closest in a generation.

It's clear that people are sick of business-as-usual politics, and desperate for change.

The Green Party represents a real alternative to the politics and economics espoused by establishment politicians for decades.

– Natalie Bennett

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Nigel Farage: Ukip is more in tune with British public

Ukip has launched its formal campaign with "simple, pragmatic" policies that are "more in tune" with the public than the Westminster parties, Nigel Farage has told ITV News.

"We are the ones talking about our relationship with Europe, when we want a trade deal ... we're the party saying we want an Australian-style points system to manage properly immigration into Britain," he added.

The Ukip leader also explained to ITV News UK Editor Rohit Kacharoo why he thinks the election battle that officially began today "doesn't matter" - yet:

Germanwings captain shouted 'open the damn door!'

People believed to be the family of the Captain Patrick Sondheimer visit the memorial to victims of the Germanwings jet crash Credit: Reuters

The captain of the doomed passenger Germanwings jet shouted to co-pilot Andreas Lubitz to "open the damn door" as he deliberately crashed the aircraft into the French Alps, according to black box transcripts.

In the eight-minute descent, Captain Patrick Sondheimer tried desperately to reopen the door with an axe and shouted "For God's sake, open the door" according to reports.

Lubitz remained silent during the descent but passengers' screams could be heard in the background moments before the fatal crash.

Lubitz locked Mr Sondheimer out of the cockpit after he went to the bathroom and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside killing all 150 people on board.

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Liberal Democrats 'won't play footsie on EU'

Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats will not 'play footsie' over the EU Credit: PA

The Liberal Democrats will never "play footsie" with the possibility of quitting the European Union, Nick Clegg has said.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the Deputy Prime Minister accused the Conservative Party of "chasing after Ukip" as he outlined his hopes for the Lib Dems to represent the "reasoned centre ground."

He said: "What we will never ever do is play footsie with the prospect of actually leaving the EU.

"Which is where large parts of the Conservative Party are and, of course, they are doing so as they are desperately chasing Ukip to the right.

"On this issue, as on so many other issues, there is a real danger of British politics being pulled to the right and the left."

Mr Clegg also outlined key Lib Dem party pledges to:

  • Raise £6 billion from tax rises, including a billion from the banks
  • Introduce a banded high-value property tax, aligning dividend and income tax for additional higher-rate taxpayers and ending reliefs to capital gains tax
  • Make savings from welfare by restricting the uprating of benefits to 1% and paring back universal benefits to the wealthiest pensioners, such as the TV licence and winter fuel payments

Former Israeli PM guilty of accepting bribes

The former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Credit: PA Wire

The former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been found guilty of accepting bribes in a retrial for corruption charges.

Lawyers for Olmert, who hoped to lead the country to a historic peace agreement with Palestine during his premiership, said they would probably appeal over the ruling by the Jerusalem District Court.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

Olmert was acquitted in 2012 of a series of charges that included accepting cash-stuffed envelopes containing hundreds of thousands of dollars from US businessman Morris Talansky before he became Prime Minister.

But Olmert's former office manager Shula Zaken later turned state's witness, offering tape recordings of conversations with Olmert about illicitly receiving cash, leading to a retrial.

Olmert was forced to resign in early 2009 amid the corruption allegations and his departure cleared the way for Benjamin Netanyahu's election.

Labour pledges to 'balance books' and no extra borrowing

Chuka Umunna has said that Labour's election manifesto contains no commitments that involve additional borrowing Credit: PA

Labour's election manifesto contains no commitments that involve additional borrowing, the shadow business secretary has said.

Chuka Umunna told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "Our aim and what we will do is seek to balance the books, to get the current budget into surplus by the end of the next parliament as soon as possible.

"Debt falling as a percentage of GDP and, let me be absolutely clear about this ... there will be no commitments in our manifesto that involve additional borrowing."

He said that he did not accept there would still be a £30 billion deficit in 2020, as forecast by the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

During the course of the first year (of the next parliament), we are going to be carrying out a zero-based review - which is basically a review into every single pound of money that is spent.

...We will have the debt falling year on year.

– Chuka Umunna

Wife and children of Robin Williams set for court battle

The late actor Robin Williams Credit: Reuters

The wife and children of Robin Williams are set for a legal battle today over the late comedian and actor's estate.

Lawyers for both parties are due to appear before a San Francisco probate judge over who should get clothes and other personal items the actor kept at one of his Northern California homes.

In December, papers filed by Williams' wife, Susan, claimed some of the late actor's personal items were taken without her permission.

She has asked the court to set aside the contents of the home she shared with Williams from the items he said the children should have which include jewellery and memorabilia.

Williams' children, Zachary, Zelda and Cody, say Susan Williams is trying to change the trust agreement.

Oscar-winning actor Williams died last August, aged 63, after he hanged himself in his home.

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