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Nato confirms Aegean Sea patrols

Nato has agreed to start patrols in the Aegean Sea to slow the flow of refugees travelling to Europe and to tackle people smuggling.

"It is important that we now act quickly," Ursula von der Leyen, German defence minister, told reports after a meeting in Brussels.


Google boss tells MPs: I don't know how much I get paid

The UK boss of Google claims he "does not know how much he gets paid" as he was grilled by MPs today.

Matt Brittin said he "understood the anger and frustration" of UK taxpayers over his company's £130 million tax deal with HMRC.

But Public Accounts Committee chair Meg Hillier hit back: "Do you really understand the anger Mr Brittin? What do you get paid?"

Mr Brittin repeatedly dodged the question saying: "I don't have the exact figure" and would provide it to the committee "privately, if it was relevant".

When pressed further, Ms Hillier said: "My point is, taxpayers out there, our constituents, are very angry.

"They live in a different world to you, clearly, if you can't even tell us what you actually get paid. I wonder if you've got tin ears."

Earlier the committee heard Google's Chief Executive was paid £138 million in the last year alone.

Refugee crisis: Nato could launch patrols in Aegean

Nato could launch patrols in the Aegean Sea to deter people-smugglers taking migrants from Turkey to Greece, the US secretary of defence said.

Refugees travelling across the Aegean Sea. Credit: Reuters

Ash Carter said Nato allies were considering the move after a request from Germany, Turkey and Greece to help slow the refugee flows.

"There is now a criminal syndicate that is exploiting these poor people and this is an organised smuggling operation," Carter told a news conference during a meeting of Nato defence ministers in the Belgium capital Brussels.

"Targeting that is the way that the greatest effect can be had in the humanitarian dimension," he said.


Hunt urged to hold review into junior doctors' morale

Junior doctors have held two strikes over proposed new contracts. Credit: PA

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been urged to conduct an urgent independent review into the welfare and morale of trainee doctors.

The recommendation was made by Sir David Dalton - the government's chief negotiator in talks over proposed new junior doctors' contracts - in a letter which also recommended ending efforts to negotiate a deal.

He said that both sides in discussions over contracts had acknowledged acknowledged that there are "underlying issues which, over a number of years, have created the conditions for doctors in training to feel a high level of discontent".

"I wish to confirm my recommendation to you that an urgent Review of these long standing concerns should be established which can make meaningful recommendations to improve the welfare and morale of trainees," he added.

The letter said the review should be commissioned by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Health Education England and NHS Employers, and should "ensure that the voices of junior doctors are directly and personally heard".

Deal with doctors 'not possible', chief negotiator says

Sir David Dalton's appear to clear the way for the government to impose new contracts on junior doctors. Credit: PA

The government's chief negotiator in talks over junior doctors' proposed new contracts has written to health secretary Jeremy Hunt to tell him a deal is "not possible".

Sir David Dalton has told the health secretary to "do what he deems necessary" to put the contract in place after a row that has so far prompted two 24-hour strikes.

The letter could pave the way for Mr Hunt to impose the contracts without reaching an agreement over the remaining dispute - government plans to class Saturdays as normal working days.

In the letter, Sir David - who is also chief executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust - said: "Everyone’s first preference has always been for a negotiated outcome. Unfortunately this no longer seems possible.

"Following consultation with Chief Executives and other leaders in the service, it is clear that the NHS needs certainty on this contract and that a continuation of a dispute, with a stalemate and without any clear ending, would be harmful to service continuity, with adverse consequences to patients," he continued.

"On this basis I therefore advise the government to do whatever it deems necessary to end uncertainty for the service and to make sure that a new contract is in place which is as close as possible to the final position put forward to the BMA yesterday."

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