Live updates



All US military combat roles to be opened to women

US defence secretary Ash Carter is to announce the plan, an official told Reuters. Credit: Reuters

All US military combat roles are to be made open to women, the defence secretary Ash Carter has announced.

Mr Carter unveiled the plan on Thursday as part of a move to break down gender barriers in the US military.

He said the decision was made despite requests for a partial exception for the marine corps.

The decision comes nearly three years after the Pentagon first eliminated its ban on women serving in front-line combat roles and began a process that would let women compete for thousands of additional military jobs.

Osborne insists Britain 'remains hugely influential'

George Osborne insisted Britain remains "hugely influential in the world" after former Nato commander General Sir Richard Shirreff said the Prime Minister has become "a diplomatic irrelevance" over the Ukraine crisis.

Osborne was pressed repeatedly on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show over whether the Ministry of Defence's share of the cuts would mean falling below the commitment of at least 2% of national wealth going to the military

George Osborne on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

"We are currently hitting that target. I am not going to pre-judge our defence review. But people know that we care about our nation's security and defence because we have invested in the latest equipment," Osborne said.

"People know we have met the 2% commitment and are meeting it today."

Load more updates