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Kerry: 'Real and substantial progress' on Iran nuclear talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry says there has been "real and substantial progress" in coming to an international agreement on Iran's nuclear programme.

He praised the "diligent" approach of his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, but warned there remain "significant points of disagreement" that have to be worked through.

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaking in Vienna. Credit: RTV

Mr Kerry was speaking after the latest round of negotiations in Vienna were adjourned.

He said the talks had been extended for another seven months, with a "very specific goal" of reaching a political agreement within four months.

[The talks] are tough and they've been tough and they're going to stay tough. If it were easier, if views on both sides weren't as deeply held as they are then we'd have reached a final agreement months or even years ago. But in these last days in Vienna we have made real and substantial progress and we have seen new ideas surface.

– John Kerry

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Hagel: 'Immensely proud of what we've accomplished'

Chuck Hagel said he was "immensely proud" of what he and his colleagues had accomplished while he was US Defence Secretary.

I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished during this time.

We have prepared ourselves, as the President has noted, our allies... an Afghan national security force for transition in Afghanistan.

We've bolstered enduring alliances, and strengthened emerging partnerships, while successfully responding to crises around the world.

– US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel: Privilege to 'lead and to serve' US defence

US Defence Secretary has confirmed his resignation adding that it had been a privilege to "lead and to serve" the defence department.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel. Credit: ITV News

I have today submitted my resignation as Secretary of Defence

It has been the greatest privilege of my life, to lead and most important to serve the men and women of the defence department and support their families.

– US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel

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Scientists create 'pain in a dish'

Scientists have created "pain in a dish" by converting skin cells into sensitive neurons that react to pain stimulation.

The laboratory-generated nerve cells respond to physical injury, chronic inflammation and cancer chemotherapy.

Scientists converted skin cells into sensitive neurons to create 'pain in a dish'. Credit: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

In future they could be used to investigate the origins of pain and develop better pain-relieving drugs, researchers said in the journal Nature Neuroscience (£).

"I think the ability to make human pain neurons for the pain field is going to be very important," Dr Clifford Woolf, who led the team at Harvard Medical School, said.

Obama: Chuck Hagel 'no ordinary' Secretary of Defence

Obama: Chuck Hagel 'no ordinary' Secretary of Defence Credit: Reuters

Barack Obama has said that Chuck Hagel has been "no ordinary" Secretary of Defence, adding that he has "been in the dirt and he has been in the mud".

The US President confirmed Mr Hagel will step down, but would remain in position until his successor is decided by the Senate.

Should we leave the European Union altogether?

YouTuber Tom Harwood has a thing or two to say about the EU when he comes face to face with politicians at Leaders Live.

He says the union's founding principles are all well and good, but acknowledges that some feel it is now "more about people we've never voted for, or heard of, making laws that affect our lives".

"Is renegotiation required or are things broadly fine as they are? Should we leave altogether? Is our influence enhanced of diminished in the union?"

Leave your questions below his video on YouTube, of ask your own using the #LeadersLive tag.

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