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Police: Man 'critical' after being shot in the head

The man was shot in the head at a fast food restaurant in North Belfast. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA

A man is in a critical condition after he was shot in the head at a fast food restaurant in Northern Ireland, police said.

The attack took place on the Oldpark Road in North Belfast at around 5.40pm.

A vehicle matching the description of the suspected getaway car was found on fire a short distance away, according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Inspector James Murphy said: "A report was made to police at around 5.40pm that a man had received a suspected gunshot wound to his head in the vicinity of the fast food takeaway.

"The injured man is currently in hospital being treated for his wounds and has been described as being in a critical condition."

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Nato to set up 'command units' in six eastern EU countries

Nata will set up what it is calling 'command units' in six eastern European countries. It denied that the move should be considered provocative by Russia.

The move comes as the head of Nato said that Russia's 'disturbing actions' in Ukraine had threatened Europe's security environment, and that recent victories by Ukrainian separatists could be directly linked to the shipment of Russian arms.

France's President Hollande called for a political solution in eastern Ukraine - and said sanctions would be maintained until there is one. Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports on the increasing diplomatic pressure on Russia over the conflict.

Islamic State chemical weapons expert 'killed in air strike'

The US says an Islamic State chemical weapons expert was killed in a coalition air strike in northern Iraq last week.

A statement from US Central Command, which controls US military operations in the Middle East, said the death would "temporarily degrade and disrupt the terrorist network".

Abu Malik had been a chemical weapons engineer during the rule of Saddam Hussein and joined al-Qaeda Iraq in 2005, Central Command said.

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Cumberbatch's pardon plea to William and Kate

Benedict Cumberbatch has urged the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to help convince the government to pardon tens of thousands of gay men convicted under outdated indecency laws.

Benedict Cumberbatch has joined the campaign to pardon gay men Credit: Reuters

The film star, who has been nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of gay scientist Alan Turing, added his name to an open letter in The Guardian calling for action. Stephen Fry and gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell are also leading members of the campaign.

Cumberbatch played Turing, the pioneering computer scientist who helped crack the Enigma code, in the film Imitation Game. Turing was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 for being gay, and committed suicide two years later.

Campaigners are calling for the Royal Family to act and convince the Government to pardon 49,000 men who were convicted under the law.

"The UK's homophobic laws made the lives of generations of gay and bisexual men intolerable," the letter reads.

"It is up to young leaders of today including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to acknowledge this mark on our history and not allow it to stand.

"We call upon Her Majesty's Government to begin a discussion about the possibility of a pardoning all the men, alive or deceased, who like Alan Turing, were convicted."

Top diplomat investigated for 'unnatural sexual proclivities,' documents show

A top British diplomat was investigated by the Thatcher Government for "unnatural sexual proclivities," according to previously classified documents.

Sir Peter Hayman served as High Commissioner to Canada in the early 1970s and has been described as being an "operative" for MI6. He died in 1992.

The Cabinet Office released the briefing to the National Archives. Credit: Getty

Documents declassified by the Cabinet Office today reportedly show that he kept a record of his sexual activities and fantasies, some involving children.

The name and code assigned to the documents suggest Hayman was investigated by Margaret Thatcher's government in the early 1980s because his past was seen as a security risk.

According to BBC News, the briefing says there was "no evidence" Hayman had sought to "approach children for sexual purposes".

Wreaths laid in service for Churchill at Westminster Abbey

Two wreaths were laid on the green marble memorial to Sir Winston Churchill in Westminster Abbey in a private service this evening.

A private service in remembrance of Sir Winston Churchill at Westminster Abbey
Three of Churchill's great-great-grandchildren lay a wreath at Westminster Abbey
Wreaths lie on the green marble memorial to Churchill

Haircuts for Rome's homeless at the Vatican

Two homeless women sit on a bench in Rome Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianch

Homeless people in Rome will soon be able to go to St Peter's Square for haircuts, shaves and showers.

The head of Pope Francis' charity office said new facilities will open in mid-February.

It is being reported that barbers and hairdressers will volunteer their services on Mondays, the day their shops are traditionally closed in Italy.

They are said to have already donated chairs, mirrors and scissors.

The Pope's almoner Bishop Konrad Krajewski came up with the idea of building showers in St. Peter's Square last year after a homeless person told him that it was harder to find places to wash than to eat in the city.

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