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HMS Somerset docks in Cardiff for Poppy Appeal launch

A giant poppy onboard HMS Somerset Credit: ITV Wales
Crew members pose with a giant poppy on HMS Somerset Credit: ITV Wales

HMS Somerset has docked at Britannia Quay in Cardiff Bay for the official launch of the Poppy Appeal in Wales.

The Royal British Legion created the Poppy Appeal to help those returning form the First World War. A century on from the start of that conflict, money raised by the appeal is helping today's Armed Forces families.

Support is given with coping with bereavement, living with disability or finding employment. The money raised through the Poppy Appeal goes directly to The Royal British Legion's welfare work providing through life care to both Serving and ex-Service personnel and their families.

AMs unite over cross-party statement on Ebola

The Ebola virus has already claimed 4,500 lives Credit: PA

Ebola continues to ravage Africa, with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea among the worst affected. Today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has given his backing to Oxfam's appeal for action to tackle the virus.

The number of Ebola cases, and suspected Ebola cases, is almost 9,000, claiming more than 4,500 lives. The number of cases is doubling about every 20 days, and the World Health Organisation is now reporting that there may be 10,000 cases a week by early December without major action.

Many Assembly Members have put their names to a cross-party statement on the crisis.

It says the National Assembly for Wales:

  • Notes the United Nations and WHO's appeal that "the international community has a 60 day window to stop the spread of the Ebola virus from reaching catastrophic levels".
  • Recognises Welsh civil-society's longstanding relationship with the people of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
  • Calls on the people of Wales, as well as other nations, to support the work of NGOs such as Oxfam in their effort to deliver humanitarian aid and undertake preventative measures to stop the spread of Ebola in those communities.

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First Minister backs call for action on Ebola

Training sessions on how to tackle Ebola have been taking place across the world Credit: PA

The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has given his backing to a charity's call to combat Ebola. Oxfam is calling for continued and sustained pressure to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

I am delighted that the First Minister is able to support this appeal. Oxfam and other NGOs are currently working to prevent a crisis from developing into a tragedy.

The situation in West Africa could be turned around but this requires an extraordinary outlay of resources, effort and political will, in recognition of the huge long-term impacts of this crisis, in West Africa and beyond, if the UN plan is met, and the unimaginable consequences if the epidemic is not contained.

– Kirsty Davies, Oxfam Cymru

Royal British Legion launches annual poppy appeal

Money raised from the poppies goes towards caring for serving and ex-serving personnel and their families Credit: Leon Neal / PA Archive

The Royal British Legion launches its annual Poppy Appeal today, almost a century on from when it was first set up.

The appeal was first created to help those returning from the First World War, and now a hundred years later it continues to help today's Armed Forces families.

Money raised through the Poppy Appeal goes directly to The Royal British Legion's welfare work, providing through life care to both serving and ex-service personnel and their families.

The appeal will be officially launched in Wales with the arrival of HMS Somerset into Cardiff Bay.

  1. Nick Powell

Plaid leader claims her party's the only real alternative

Although Plaid Cymru's main focus is normally on winning power in the Assembly, it's holding a very Westminster focused conference in Llangollen over the next two days. The party's leader, Leanne Wood, sees her speech later today as an important opportunity to get her General Election message across, as she gets far fewer opportunities than the leaders of other Westminster parties.

Leanne Wood is looking to provide a positive alternative to her political rivals. Credit: Benjamin Wright/PA Wire

She'll call them "four shades of Westminster grey", a four that includes UKIP, the new rival that out polled Plaid in the European election. Leanne Wood claims that Plaid's mission is to provide a positive alternative to what she calls "the dark side of politics". She says she saw that alternative -the politics of hope- when she campaigned for a yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

The Plaid leader says the party could emerge from the election with five Westminster seats, up from its current three, and form a group with its SNP and English Green allies that could hold the balance of power. They would use that influence to push for a move away from austerity in economic policy and demand that policing, justice and control of natural resources are devolved to the Assembly, together with major tax and borrowing powers.

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