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Former milkman found guilty of 1993 schoolgirl murder

A former milkman has been found guilty of murdering schoolgirl Claire Tiltman more than 20 years ago.

Claire Tiltman, aged 16, was murdered in 1993 Credit: PA

Colin Ash-Smith, aged 46, was convicted of murder at Inner London Crown Court today, in what the court heard was a "frenzied and remorseless" attack in 1993.

Sixteen-year-old Claire was stabbed to death as she walked to a friend's house in Horns Cross, Kent.

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Farage clarifies Reckless comments on migrants

Nigel Farage has clarified his party's stance on migrant workers after Ukip candidate Mark Reckless suggested EU migrants who have been in the UK for a number of years could still be forced to return to their native country.

Speaking to ITV News, the Ukip leader said:

"We have never argued at any point in time that the UK should retrospectively change the law.

"To be clear: Anybody who has legally come to Britain is entitled to stay in Britain."

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Nato reports increase in Russian flights in EU airspace

Credit: PA

RAF fighters were scrambled to intercept a pair of Russian long-range bombers over the North Sea yesterday, as Nato marks an "unusual" spike in Russian military flights in European airspace.

Typhoon fighter jets from RAF Lossiemouth were scrambled to track a pair of Tu-95 Bear H bombers through UK airspace when Nato radars picked up several Russian aircraft formations carrying out "significant military manoeuvres" from the Black Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

A statement on the Nato website said.

"These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace."

– Nato statement
A Bear is intercepted by RAF jets on an earlier incursion into UK airspace. Credit: PA/MOD

The two Russian Bears headed towards the UK without filing flight-plans where they were picked up by the RAF Control and Reporting Centre at Boulmer in Northumberland, which scrambled the Typhoons.

"The RAF Typhoon pilots visually identified the Russian aircraft and escorted them through the UK flight information region," the Ministry of Defence said.

The Bears continued on over the Atlantic to the west of Portugal, where they were intercepted by Portuguese Air Force F-16s before turning back.

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Audio: RAF pilot 'confronts Latvian plane'

Aviation enthusiasts EGXWinfo Group have posted an audio clip online, which they claim to be a recording of an RAF pilot trying to make contact with the Latvian plane.

In it, the pilot warns that the plane will be shot down if it does not follow his instructions.

The Ministry of Defence refused to confirm or deny whether the audio was genuine.

Audio from SoundCloud/The EGXWinfo Group

Cargo plane 'checked and cleared to continue journey'

A Latvian cargo plane escorted into Stansted Airport has been checked and can continue its journey to Birmingham, police have said.

Essex Police said military jets were deployed on a precautionary basis when the Latvian-registered cargo plane was diverted to Stansted due to a loss of communication with the aircraft.

The aircraft landed at Stansted at 5.20pm.

All three people on board have been spoken to by officers and it was established everything was in order.

The reason for the short loss of communication was due to a change in airspace jurisdiction, the force said.

A spokesperson said: "Essex Police is not investigating the incident and the aircraft will be able to continue its journey to Birmingham when it is ready."

What would lead to RAF jets being scrambled?

Jets were scrambled to intercept a cargo plane south of London today as part of the RAF's Quick Reaction Alert system, which has been tasked with defending British airspace since 1940.

Two air bases share this duty: RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire generally covers the south, and RAF Leuchars in Fife looks after the north.

The procedure that would lead to Typhoon jets being scrambled is described here by Flight Lieutenant Noel Rees:

At the start of the scaled QRA response, civilian air traffic controllers might see on their screens an aircraft behaving erratically, not responding to their radio calls, or note that it’s transmitting a distress signal through its transponder.

Rather than scramble Typhoons at the first hint of something abnormal, a controller has the option to put them on a higher level of alert, ‘a call to cockpit’. In this scenario the pilot races to the hardened aircraft shelter and does everything short of starting his engines. From this posture a controller can monitor a situation knowing that a scramble can be conducted in moments.

– Flt Lt Rees
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