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Police Federation: All officers should be given Tasers

Home Office figures released last October showed the use of Tasers by police had increased every year. Credit: Scott Heppell/PA Wire/PA

All rank-and-file police officers should be armed with a Taser because of the heightened security threat, the head of the Police Federation has said.

Steve White, chairman of the body which represents front-line officers, said acts of terrorism could be carried out anywhere and police needed to be protected.

He cited the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby near Woolwich Barracks in 2013 as an example of how lone wolf-style attacks could be carried out without guns.

He told The Guardian: "The terrorist ideal to get attention no longer relies on an attack being in a place of note. It could be in Cheam high street, in any town, in any part of the UK.

"We know there are more dangerous people out there, preparing to attack police officers and we need to be able to respond to that threat."


Drivers warned of icy roads as big freeze grips UK

Forecasters warn cold conditions across the UK will lead to ice on the roads. Credit: Drivers face difficult conditions

Motorists have been warned to expect difficult driving conditions as icy weather continues to grip the UK.

The Met Office has issued yellow 'be aware' warnings for ice across the entire country and snow across the Midlands, northern England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

With temperatures remaining low overnight, forecasters have warned that ice is likely to form on untreated road surfaces and more snow is expected on high ground, especially across Scotland.

Strong winds of up to 60mph are predicted in north-west Scotland, meaning blizzard conditions are likely, experts say.

There is the potential for disruption throughout this period due to the accumulating snow and ice but also with temporary blizzard conditions leading to very difficult driving conditions."

– Eddie Carroll, Met Office's chief forecaster

The Met Office said sleet and snow showers would affect parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland today, with snow falling to lower levels and extending further south through the day.

Business leaders call for radical tax reforms

Business leaders have called on the Government to merge or scrap taxes raising less than £5 billion for the Treasury.

The Institute of Directors has called for some taxes to be merged or scrapped. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA

The Institute of Directors (IoD) said taxes such as stamp duty on shares, air passenger duty, and capital gains and inheritance tax could be simplified or reduced.

Stephen Herring, head of taxation at the IoD, said: "The basic principles here are that taxes should be focused purely upon the fiscal revenues collected and their wider economic impact. They should not be confiscatory, punishing or unduly complex."

He added: "We continue to support the priority given to reducing the UK's annual fiscal deficit and recognise that this is no easy task. We also support reforms that have improved the UK's competitive ranking as a business friendly country.

"However, we have been disappointed with the pace of tax reform under the Coalition, and a more radical agenda for tax reforms is now needed."


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."

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.

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