Royal Navy's Trident-class nuclear submarine.

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It's suggested Trident could be moved from Scotland if the country votes for independence. We look at where the nuclear deterrent could go.

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Justice Secretary denies UK prisons in 'crisis'

The Justice Secretary has denied UK prisons are in crisis, despite a rise in assaults by prisoners in England and Wales.

Chris Grayling's comments come as the latest surprise inspection of a facility in London found high levels of violence at the Isis prison with a high population of gang members.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling Credit: PA

Figures released last month by the Ministry of Justice showed a 6% rise in assaults in prisons in the year ending March 2014, up to 15,033 from 14,083 in the previous 12-month period.

Mr Grayling told the BBC: "We're meeting those challenges, we're recruiting more staff. I am absolutely clear there is not a crisis in our prisons".He added that prison violence "is at a lower level today than it was five years ago".

Inspectors raise fears over violence at London prison

Inspectors have raised fears over high levels of violence at a prison with a high population of gang members, inspectors have warned.

In 2013, there were 254 fights and assaults at Isis prison, which holds young men aged 18 to 30, with 120 in the previous six months, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) said.

Prisoners at a maximum security jail in south east London
Prisoners at a maximum security jail in south east London Credit: PA

Many incidents were serious and some involved gangs at the prison in south-east London, HMIP said, with a higher proportion than usual involving weapons.

There were many planned assaults involving a number of inmates against a single prisoner, and some incidents were known to be gang related, inspectors added.

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Troubled families scheme to 'focus on under-fives'

Nursery
Under-fives will be targeted by the extension of the Government's 'troubled families' programme Credit: PA

A Government programme to help troubled families is to be extended, Eric Pickles has announced, with a focus on vulnerable infants.

So far the intensive intervention scheme, set up in the wake of the riots in London and elsewhere in England in 2011, has targeted 120,000 families - now that will be increased to half a million.

The programme will be expanded from working with school age children to include under-fives, and there will also now be a particular focus on improving poor health, which new data highlights is a particular problem in troubled families, with 71% having a physical health problem and 46% a mental health concern.

Work is due to begin in 51 local authorities, ahead of a national five-year programme getting underway from 2015.

Without intervention, troubled families cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds each year.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan agree on 'defeating IS'

David Cameron has talked by telephone to the Emir of Qatar, the King of Saudi Arabia and the King of Jordan to discuss the Iraq and Gaza, Downing Street said. A spokesman said:

On Iraq, the Prime Minister thanked His Majesty for the significant donation made by Saudi Arabia to the UN appeal and both leaders agreed on the importance of the international community coming together to help Iraq tackle the threat posed by these Islamic terrorists who are perverting the Islamic faith as a way of justifying their barbaric ideology.

The Prime Minister and His Majesty agreed that the world must come together to defeat ISIL terrorists. On Gaza, they agreed on the need to maintain the current ceasefire.

– Spokesman, Downing Street

Britain 'still unclear on foreign policy on Iraq'

Britain's foreign policy on Iraq remained unclear tonight despite David Cameron's protests we would not send in ground troops.

ITV's Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship said it had not been spelled out if British policy was to contain the Islamic State fighters so they cannot make any further advances or whether actually it was try and push them back out of Iraq altogether.

Britain 'may have to revisit' its position on Iraq

Britain may have to "revisit" its position on Iraq if the threat to national security becomes too much.

Former Army officer Col Bob Stewart MP told ITV News: "Things happen and circumstances change, and if our country is threatened by people from the Islamic State, our national interest, our people are threatened, we may well have to revisit that situation."

ITV's Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

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Iran were 'very helpful' in getting Maliki to stand down

Former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has said Iran were "very helpful" in getting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to stand down.

Speaking to ITV news, he said: "We are going through a phase when Iran's interest is coinciding with the interests of the rest of the international community.

"It is unusual, but very helpful in getting this particular mess sorted out."

Kurdistan government 'does not want combat support'

The Kurdistan government has insisted it is capable of fighting its own battle and has not requested combat support from the UK, Downing Street said.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at Islamic Militants.
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at Islamic Militants. Credit: Reuters

In a statement following a meeting of the government's national emergency Cobra committee, a No 10 spokesman said: "We remain open to supplying equipment directly and work is under way to identify what we could usefully provide.

"The UK is working hard with allies to make the most of our diplomatic, political, aid and military expertise.

"However as the Prime Minister made clear this morning, this is not about getting dragged into a war in Iraq. We will not be putting combat forces on the ground.

"Further, the Kurdistan Regional Government has not requested our assistance with putting combat forces on the ground.

"They say they are capable of fighting this battle, what they need is equipment which is why we will look at providing weapons to the Kurdish troops."

Pope is 'willing' to go to Iraq in response to crisis

Pope Francis has said he is "willing" to go to Iraq during the crisis but does not think now is the right time.

He told Reuters: "At this moment, it would not be the best thing to do but I am willing to do it."

He also said the international community would be "justified" in stopping Islamist militants in Iraq, but it should not be for a single nation to decide how to act.

But the Pope said it was down to the United Nations to consider the issue.

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