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Sturgeon confirms she will form minority SNP government

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed she will not seek to form a coalition with another party.

The SNP (Scottish National Party) fell two seats short of an overall majority - winning 63 of 129 seats available - but with such a "large group of MSPs elected", Ms Sturgeon said she saw no need to seek a "formal arrangement".

Instead, she said, when the Scottish Parliament reconvenes in the coming days, she would ask them to formally re-elect her as First Minister, and she will then form a minority SNP government.

"We won a clear and unequivocal mandate, and I secured the personal mandate I sought to implement the bold and ambitious programme for government that I asked the country to vote for," she said.

On the question of independence, she added, the SNP would make their case " with passion, with patience and with respect", saying their aim was to "persuade, not to divide".

We will always respect the opinion of the people - now and in the future - and we simply ask that other parties do likewise.

To those who voted for me yesterday, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have given me a precious opportunity to change this country for the better and I promise to seize it with both hands.

To those who did not vote for me, I promise I will never stop striving to earn your trust and support.

– Nicola Sturgeon

She said she had a "duty" to "rise above party politics", and to govern in the best interests of all of the country as a whole.

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Fort McMurray wildfire 'a perfect storm'

A Canadian Joint Operations Command aerial photo shows wildfires near Fort McMurray, Alberta Credit: MCpl VanPutten/CF Operations/Reuters

A raging wildfire in Alberta has now spread to 210,000 acres following dry and blustery conditions, coupled with high temperatures and low humidity.

Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA, told CBS: "The flames are moving so fast that they are nearly impossible to fight. In a way, it's a perfect storm."

The Alberta government have confirmed 1,100 firefighters, 145 helicopters and 22 air tankers were currently tackling 49 wildfires across the western and southern parts of the state.

According to local media, over the past 24 hours a further 25,000 people have been evacuated including 8,000 by air.

Spurs midfielder Dembele accepts FA charge

Mousa Dembele faces a ban. Credit: PA

Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele has accepted the Football Association's charge of violent conduct, head coach Mauricio Pochettino has announced.

Dembele appeared to claw his fingers down Diego Costa's cheek during Spurs' 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Monday night.

The Belgian had until 6pm on Thursday to respond but he has not contested the charge and could now face a lengthy suspension.

Cameron and Sturgeon to 'work together constructively'

Prime Minister David Cameron has called Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to congratulate her on the SNP's election success, a Downing Street spokesman said.

David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon Credit: PA

The SNP claimed an historic third successive victory in the Parliamentary elections - though fell just shy of a second overall majority.

In return, Ms Sturgeon congratulated Mr Cameron on the gains made by the Conservatives, who won an all-time high of 31 seats - pushing Labour into third place.

The spokesman said the leaders discussed how they could work together on issues such as those facing the steel industry.

The Prime Minister and Ms Sturgeon agreed that the UK and Scottish Governments must continue to work together constructively, most crucially in the short term on the future of the steel industry.

It was noted that the two governments sharing information and experience could be of benefit to the steel industry across the UK, and they agreed to keep in touch on this issue.

– Downing Street spokesman
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