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US urges for calm between Turkey and Russia

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Credit: Reuters

The US Secretary of State has urged for calm between Turkey and Russia after the downing of a Russian warplane near the Syrian border.

John Kerry "stressed the need for both sides not to allow this incident to escalate tensions between their two countries or in Syria".

The downing of the Russian jet earlier this week was one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member and Russia for 50 years.

Americans will be told in event of credible terror threat

President Obama gives a speech at the White House. Credit: Pool

Americans will be informed of any credible terror threat on home soil, the US president has said.

In a speech following a security briefing, Barack Obama advised Americans to go about their business as usual ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays which start tomorrow.

He told reporters at the White House: "We know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland.

"But in the event of a specific credible threat, the public will be informed."


Tory MP: Explaining tax credits u-turn will be 'difficult'

A Conservative MP has welcomed George Osborne's "complete u-turn" on tax-credits, but added that it would be "difficult" to speak to his constituents about the change, having had to defend the reforms originally.

Mark Garnier, a member of the Treasury Select Committee, told ITV News Political Correspondent that while the move "the right thing to do", and said he had previously asked if the Chancellor could "soften the blow" of the measures.

However, he added the issue of money being "recycled through the machinery of government" still didn't "make any sense", and suggested much of the money from tax credits subsidised low pay from employers.


Think Tank: Families will be hit when universal credit introduced

The Treasury's decision to scrap cuts to tax credits means that families will be affected when the planned changeover to universal credits happens, a think tank has warned.

Cross-party think tank Demos "welcomed" the announcement to scrap the unpopular cuts to tax credits but said large portions of the promised savings to the welfare budget now depend on future universal credit figures.

In a statement, Demos said:

The Chancellor’s welcome decision to shelve plans to cut tax credits will protect working families now, at the expense of the Treasury; but over time, the plan is to move from tax credits (and other benefits) to Universal Credit – entitlements we know, from the Summer Budget, will be subject to cuts.

So it is when families make the transition from one system to another that the real savings will be made.

– Demos
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