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Turkish president vows war on terror
« Reply #56 on: March 14, 2016, 07:00:49 PM »

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Turkish president vows war on terror

Ankara bombing: President Erdogan vows to bring terror 'to its knees'



   
   

       
  •    
    14 March 2016


  •            
  • From the section Europe



   

                                                                                                   

           

   
Media captionFootage shows the chaotic aftermath of the blast in the Turkish capital, Ankara

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to bring terrorism "to its knees" after an attack in the capital Ankara that killed at least 36 people.

Mr Erdogan said the suicide car bomb would serve only to strengthen the resolve of Turkey's security forces.

The blast in the key transport hub of Guven Park injured more than 100. At least one suspected bomber also died.

Turkish planes bombed targets in Iraq of the Kurdish rebel PKK, which officials suspect is behind the attack.

Eleven warplanes carried out air strikes on 18 targets including ammunition dumps and shelters, the army said.

Meanwhile there are reports of curfews being imposed in areas of south-eastern Turkey as security operations are carried out against Kurdish militants.

No group has admitted carrying out the Ankara attack, but government sources had cast suspicion on the outlawed PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party).

Interior Minister Efkan Ala said an investigation would conclude on Monday and those responsible would be named.

                                                                                                   

How dangerous is Turkey's unrest?

Tears and destruction amid PKK crackdown

Kurdish rebels have carried out a series of attacks on Turkish soil in recent months, and security forces have raided Kurdish areas, after a ceasefire ended last year. The so-called Islamic State group has also targeted Ankara recently.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 AFP
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    The explosion ripped through a busy square in central Ankara
               

           

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against IS and allows coalition planes to use its air base at Incirlik for raids on Iraq and Syria.

It has also been carrying out a campaign of bombardment against Syrian Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units (YPG), which it regards as a extension of the PKK.

'Certain success'

Mr Erdogan said in a statement that terror groups were targeting civilians because they were losing the battle against Turkish security forces.

Calling for national unity, he said Turkey would use its right to self-defence to prevent future attacks.

"Our people should not worry, the struggle against terrorism will for certain end in success and terrorism will be brought to its knees," he said.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Getty Images
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    The transport hub was sealed off as emergency workers attempted to help the wounded
               

           

According to Turkey's state-run news agency, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has postponed a visit to Jordan following the bombing.

The United States condemned the attack. US State Department spokesman John Kirby said: "We reaffirm our strong partnership with our Nato ally Turkey in combating the shared threat of terrorism."

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the attack, saying there was "no justification for such heinous acts of violence".


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Selahattin Sonmez
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    At least 125 people were injured, 19 of them seriously
               

           

Turkey's pro-Kurdish political party issued a statement condemning the attack. The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said it shares "the huge pain felt along with our citizens".

The HDP is frequently accused of being the political wing of the PKK, an accusation it denies, and of not speaking out against PKK violence.

The blast happened at about 18:40 (16:40 GMT) on Sunday and the area was evacuated in case of a second attack.

Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu told a news conference that 30 people were killed at the scene and seven died later in hospital. At least one of the dead is believed to be an attacker.

Mr Muezzinoglu said more than 100 people were being treated at several hospitals in Ankara, of whom at least 15 are in a critical condition.


               
               
               

               
               
           

           
       

Last month, a bomb attack on a military convoy in Ankara killed 28 people and wounded dozens more.

That bombing was claimed by a Kurdish militant group, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK). It said on its website that the attack was in retaliation for the policies of President Erdogan.

Turkey, however, blamed a Syrian national who was a member of the YPG.

Last October, more than 100 people were killed in a double-suicide bombing at a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Istanbul said three attacks in the Turkish capital in less than six months show the multiple threats that Turkey now faces, and there will be serious questions about the government's ability to maintain security.

The country that was the stable corner of the Middle East and the West's crucial ally in a volatile region is now at a dangerous moment, he said.


                                                                                               

Source: Turkish president vows war on terror







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Russia forces begin Syria pullout
« Reply #57 on: March 15, 2016, 07:06:29 PM »
Russia forces begin Syria pullout

Syria conflict: Russia forces begin withdrawal after Putin surprise move



   
   

       
  •    
    15 March 2016


  •            
  • From the section Middle East



   

                                                                                                   

               
                Russian Sukhoi aircraft at Hmeimim baseImage copyright
                 Russian Ministry of Defence
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Many of Russia's Sukhoi aircraft based at Hmeimim are returning home
               

           

Russian forces have started leaving Syria after Monday's surprise withdrawal announcement by President Vladimir Putin.

The first group of aircraft left Hmeimim air base in Syria on Tuesday morning, the Russian defence ministry said (in Russian).

Western officials cautiously welcomed the move, saying it could pressure Syria's government to engage in talks.

Peace talks aimed at resolving the conflict are entering a second day.

Meanwhile, a UN commission will present a report on war crimes in Syria later.

The Russian force reduction was announced during a meeting between Mr Putin and his defence and foreign ministers.

Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his office sought to reject speculation there was a rift between the two countries, saying the move was mutually agreed.


More on the Syria conflict


The Russian air campaign started last September, tipping the balance in favour of the Syrian government and allowing it to recapture territory from rebels.


           

   
Media captionSyrian children explain the civil war

No details have been given on how many planes and troops would be withdrawn from the Hmeimim base, in Latakia province, or a deadline for completing the pullout.

"The first group of Russian planes has flown out of the Hmeimim air base for their permanent bases on the territory of the Russian Federation," the defence ministry statement said.

Russian TV earlier showed aircraft being refuelled and crates being loaded with equipment.

Aircraft from the base would make the flight to Russia - more than 5,000km - in small groups each led by Il-76 or Tu-154 transport planes, the ministry added.

They would then go their separate ways to their own bases after crossing the Russian border, it said.

Su-24 tactical bombers, Su-25 attack fighters, Su-34 strike fighters and helicopters were returning home, the TV said.


               
               
               

               
               
           

           
       

Bigger game: BBC's Lyse Doucet in Damascus


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 AP
               
           

           
       

Russia's military intervention bolstered president Assad's forces on key front lines where they were close to collapse.

Russia now wants to see an end to this war - and it is known to be concerned about the Syrian government's tough line on talks which have just resumed in Geneva, as well as president Assad's recent comments in an interview that he would one day take back, militarily, all the territory he lost.

That is not a war president Mr Putin can afford to be part of.

And he has a bigger game here - his wider relationship with the West and most of all Washington which is also anxious to find a way out of this crisis in Syria - as hard as that is.


               
               
               

               
               
           

           
       

It is not clear how many military personnel Russia has deployed, but US estimates suggest the number ranges from 3,000 to 6,000, AP reports.

Mr Putin, however, said Hmeimim and Russia's Mediterranean naval base at Tartus would continue to operate as normal.

Russia had long insisted its bombing campaign only targeted terrorist groups but Western powers had complained the raids hit political opponents of President Assad.

In a statement, the Syrian government said the plan was agreed between the two countries.


What did Russia achieve in Syria?


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 AP
               
           

           
       
  • Russian aircraft flew more than 9,000 sorties

  • Destroyed 209 oil production and transfer facilities

  • Helped Syrian government troops to retake 400 settlements

  • Helped Damascus to regain control over more than 10,000 sq km (3,860 sq miles) of territory

Source: Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, quoted by Russian media


In Geneva, talks aimed at ending the conflict continue, with the UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura expected to meet the opposition umbrella group, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC).

Mr de Mistura had earlier described the efforts as a "moment of truth", and warned there was no "plan B" should the talks fail, with the only alternative a return to war.

Most participants in the conflict agreed to a cessation of hostilities, which has been largely holding despite reports of some violations on all sides.

Meanwhile, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria will present its report on war crimes committed by all sides in Syria's war to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday in Geneva.

In a phone call, Mr Putin and US President Barack Obama discussed the situation in Syria and the "next steps required to fully implement the cessation of hostilities" agreed last month, the White House said.

The Kremlin said both "called for an intensification of the process for a political settlement" to the conflict.


               
               
               

               
               
           

           
       

The Russian move has received a guarded welcome from Western diplomats and the Syrian opposition.

An unnamed US official quoted by Reuters said Washington was encouraged by the Russian move, but it was too early to say what it means or what was behind it.


                                                                                               

Source: Russia forces begin Syria pullout







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Thunderbirds co-creator Anderson dies
« Reply #58 on: March 16, 2016, 07:01:43 PM »
Thunderbirds co-creator Anderson dies

Sylvia Anderson, voice of Thunderbirds' Lady Penelope, dies



   
   

       


   

                                                                                                   

               
                Gerry Anderson and his wife Sylvia at the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London, with the Television Society Silver medal awarded to Thunderbirds in 1966Image copyright
                 PA
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    The character of Lady Penelope was based on Sylvia Anderson's appearance, and she also provided the voice
               

           

Sylvia Anderson, best known as the voice of Lady Penelope in the TV show Thunderbirds, has died after a short illness, her family has confirmed.

Anderson co-created the hit science-fiction puppet series, which ran from 1965, with her late husband Gerry.

In a career spanning five decades, she also worked on shows Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet, and for US TV network HBO.

She died at her Buckinghamshire home, aged 88. Her daughter described her as "a mother and a legend".

"Her intelligence was phenomenal but her creativity and tenacity unchallenged. She was a force in every way," Dee Anderson said.

Her former husband Gerry Anderson died in 2012 after suffering from Alzheimer's.

Nick Williams, Chairman of Fanderson - a fan club dedicated to the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson - told BBC Breakfast she was a "huge influence" on the entertainment industry.

"She was one of the first really prominent women in the film and TV industry," he said, adding that Anderson leaves behind "an amazing legacy of fantastic television, really groundbreaking entertainment."

                                                                                                   

Rae Earl, writer of the My Mad Fat Diary television series, tweeted: "Sylvia Anderson was responsible for some of my favourite TV."

Puppet pioneers

Born in south London to a boxing promoter and a dressmaker, Sylvia Anderson graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in sociology and political science.

She spent several years in the US and worked as a journalist before returning to the UK and joining a TV production company, where she met her future husband.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Getty Images
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    The Andersons collaborated on many of his programmes, including Captain Scarlet and Stingray. Some puppets from the latter can be seen in this image.
               

           

When he started his own company, AP Films, she joined him, and the couple began making puppet shows.

They developed a production technique using electronic marionette puppets, called Supermarionation, in which the voices were recorded first, and when the puppets were filmed, the electric signal from the taped dialogue was hooked up to sensors in the puppets' heads.

That made the puppets' lips move perfectly in time with the soundtrack.

In 1963, the couple came up with the idea for Thunderbirds, which told the story of the Tracy family who form a secret organisation dedicated to saving human life, set in the future.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Getty Images
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Thunderbirds revolved around a futuristic emergency service called International Rescue, manned by the Tracy family
               

           

               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Getty Images
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    The 1960s series pioneered "supermarionation" - a puppetry technique using thin wires to control marionettes
               

           

As well as co-creating and writing the series, Anderson worked on character development and costume design.

The character of Lady Penelope, a glamorous agent, was modelled on Anderson's own appearance, and she also provided her characteristic aristocratic voice.

The success of Thunderbirds led to two feature films and a toy and merchandise empire.

Three new programmes were made last year to mark the 50th anniversary of the series.

Charity work

Other shows which the couple worked on include Stingray, Fireball XL5 and Secret Service.

However, the partnership ended when they divorced in 1981.

Sylvia went on to work as head of programming for HBO in the UK, and write several books.

Her last public interview was on the Graham Norton Show on BBC Radio 2 with actor David Graham, who also provided voices for Thunderbirds, in December.


           

   
Media captionKeith Doyle looks back at the life of Sylvia Anderson

Her family said she had many famous friends, "but would always find time to take care of people who were suffering or in need of support", and worked with many charities, including Breast Cancer Care.

She had a daughter, Dee Anderson, a singer and songwriter, and a son, Gerry Anderson Junior, an anaesthetist.

She also leaves four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.


                                                                                               

Source: Thunderbirds co-creator Anderson dies







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Kurdish militants claim Ankara attack
« Reply #59 on: March 17, 2016, 07:16:22 PM »
Kurdish militants claim Ankara attack

Ankara blast: Kurdish group TAK claims bombing



   
   

       
  •    
    17 March 2016


  •            
  • From the section Europe



   

                                                                                                   

               
                Turkish police at scene of bomb attack in Ankara. 14 March 2016Image copyright
                 SEDAT SUNA
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Turkey has suffered a series of terror attacks in recent months
               

           

The Kurdish militant group TAK says it carried out Sunday's deadly attack in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

In an online statement it said the attack, which killed 37 people, was in revenge for military operations in the mainly Kurdish south-east.

TAK, an offshoot of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), had already said it was behind another bombing in Ankara last month.

Authorities in Turkey have blamed the latest attack on the PKK.

In a further development, Germany closed its embassy in Ankara and its consulate and a school in Istanbul on Thursday fearing another attack.

The foreign ministry said it had received an "unconfirmed warning".

Sunday's suicide car bombing took place in a busy commercial district and transport hub in the city centre.

Dozens of people wounded in the blast remain in hospital.

                                                                                                   

TAK, which stands for Kurdistan Freedom Hawks, said on its website (in Kurdish) that Sunday's bombing was aimed at security forces and was not intended to kill civilians.

However, it warned that further civilians casualties in its attacks were inevitable.

"On the evening of March 13, a suicide attack was carried out... in the streets of the capital of the fascist Turkish republic. We claim this attack," the group said.

Turkey responded to Sunday's attack by launching air strikes on Kurdish targets in northern Iraq. It said 11 people had been detained in connection with the attack.


                                                                                               

Source: Kurdish militants claim Ankara attack







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EU agrees migrant deal to put to Turkey
« Reply #60 on: March 18, 2016, 07:00:13 PM »
EU agrees migrant deal to put to Turkey

Migrant crisis: EU agrees joint position to put to Turkey



   
   

       
  •    
    18 March 2016


  •            
  • From the section Europe



   

                                                                                                   

           

   
Media captionEU leaders have agreed a proposal on the migrant crisis to put to Turkey, as Frankie McCamley reports

EU leaders have agreed a joint position to put to Turkey in an attempt to reach a deal over the migrant crisis, Luxembourg's prime minister says.

Xavier Bettel said the common EU position would be put to Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday morning.

The proposed deal would see all migrants travelling to Greece from Turkey sent back.

In return it is thought the EU might offer Turkey financial aid and visa-free access to Schengen countries.

As he arrived for the talks in Brussels, Mr Davutoglu said he hoped they could "achieve our goal of helping all the refugees as well as deepening Turkish-EU relations".

The plan suggests that for every Syrian refugee sent back, another Syrian would be resettled in the EU directly from refugee camps in Turkey.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Turkey had to meet international standards of protection for all migrants.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 AP
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he wanted to keep a humanitarian perspective
               

           

She said that the legal resettlement of Syrian refugees could start a few days after the first returns from Greece.

                                                                                                   

However, she added that the EU needed to be ready to start returning migrants from Greece to Turkey rapidly to avoid a "pull factor" creating a surge of migrants before the new system takes effect.


           

   
Media captionIn the last six months, more than 100 migrants have been buried in a cemetery in Izmir

               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 AFP
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Thousands of migrants and refugees have been camped at the Greece-Macedonia border
               

           

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has warned that the plan to return people to Turkey is "on the edge of international law" and difficult to implement.

Mr Davutoglu has said he will not accept Turkey becoming an "open prison" for migrants.

To meet concerns over the plan's legality, the leaders discussed providing assurances that each person claiming asylum will be given a full hearing in Greece, the BBC's Damian Grammaticas reports from Brussels.

French President Francois Hollande warned that "I cannot guarantee that there will be a happy outcome" to the search for a solution.

Since January 2015, a million migrants and refugees have entered the EU by boat from Turkey to Greece. More than 132,000 have arrived this year alone.

Tens of thousands are now stuck in Greece as their route north has been blocked.


               
               
               

               
               
           

           
       

Under initial proposals, the EU had suggested it would double financial aid to Turkey promised last year, make a fresh push on talks over Turkey's eventual membership of the EU and offer visa-free travel to Europe's Schengen states.

However, those proposals have since been watered down, lowering expectation on greater financial help and talks on EU membership and linking visa-free travel to 72 conditions to which Turkey must agree.

A number of EU countries have raised concerns about what is on offer to Turkey amid a clampdown by the Ankara government on academics and journalists.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.


                                                                                               

Source: EU agrees migrant deal to put to Turkey







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http://www.faithwall.co.uk/index.php/10377-eu-agrees-migrant-deal-to-put-to-turkey
http://www.faithwall.co.uk/index.php/groups/faithwall-categories-and-articles/10-general
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/europe
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http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/640/cpsprodpb/921B/production/_88830473_88830472.jpg
https://twitter.com/Xavier_Bettel/status/710605500610711555
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/a30418d5-3efe-415d-b2d2-1480eaf2eb4a/turkey
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35761623
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35819675
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35761089
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34131911
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-24583286
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35714715
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TJ

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Re: News Capture - Todays News
« Reply #61 on: March 19, 2016, 01:35:12 AM »
Am I my brothers keeper ?


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PM 'puzzled' by Duncan Smith resignation
« Reply #62 on: March 19, 2016, 07:05:17 PM »
PM 'puzzled' by Duncan Smith resignation

Iain Duncan Smith quits: David Cameron 'puzzled' by resignation



   
   

       
  •    
    19 March 2016


  •            
  • From the section UK Politics



   

                                                                                                   

               
                David Cameron (l) and Iain Duncan SmithImage copyright
                 PA
               
           

           
       

David Cameron says he is "puzzled and disappointed" after Iain Duncan Smith quit as work and pensions secretary.

Mr Duncan Smith said the latest planned cuts to disability benefits were "not defensible" in a Budget that benefited higher-earning taxpayers.

In response, Mr Cameron said they had "collectively agreed" on the proposals, before deciding on Friday to have a rethink to "get these policies right".

Mr Duncan Smith's replacement is expected to be named later on Saturday.


Analysis


               
               
               

               
               
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                 AFP
               
           

           
       

By Chris Mason, BBC political correspondent

Before he was ousted as Conservative leader in 2003, Iain Duncan Smith was dubbed "the quiet man". But there was nothing subdued or understated about the manner of his departure last night.

Instead, a zinger of a resignation letter, designed to inflict maximum damage on Chancellor George Osborne; a relationship that had long been testy, tested to destruction by this week's Budget.

By questioning, as the Conservatives' critics have long done, the Tory slogan to justify cuts - "We are all in this together" - Mr Duncan Smith knowingly provided the government's opponents with ammunition.

For a man with ambitions to lead his party, these have been difficult days for George Osborne.

                                                                                                   

This morning David Cameron wakes to a vacancy in his cabinet and a wound inflicted on his government.


In his Budget on Wednesday, Chancellor George Osborne had said the government would be spending an extra £1bn on disability but changes to disability benefits announced a few days earlier had suggested the government would save £4.4bn by 2020-21.

They included changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in January 2017, that were expected to save £1.3bn and sparked outcry from opposition parties and some Tory MPs.

On Friday, prior to Mr Duncan Smith's resignation, a government source said the planned changes would be "kicked into the long grass".

'Collectively agreed'

In his reply to Mr Duncan Smith, Mr Cameron said they had all agreed that "the increased resources being spent on disabled people should be properly managed and focused on those who need it most".

"That is why we collectively agreed - you, No 10 and the Treasury - proposals which you and your department then announced a week ago," he said.

"Today we agreed not to proceed with the policies in their current form and instead to work together to get these policies right over the coming months.

"In the light of this, I am puzzled and disappointed that you have chosen to resign."

Mr Cameron's letter also highlighted that they were "on different sides in the vital debate about the future of Britain's relations with Europe".

Sources close to Mr Duncan Smith, who wants the UK to leave the EU, say his resignation was not about Europe.

'A compromise too far'

In his resignation letter, Mr Duncan Smith said that "because of the perilous public finances we inherited from the last Labour administration, difficult cuts have been necessary".

"I have found some of these cuts easier to justify than others but aware of the economic situation and determined to be a team player I have accepted their necessity.

"You are aware that I believe the cuts would have been even fairer to younger families and people of working age if we had been willing to reduce some of the benefits given to better-off pensioners but I have attempted to work within the constraints that you and the chancellor set."

But he went on: "I have for some time and rather reluctantly come to believe that the latest changes to benefits to the disabled and the context in which they've been made are a compromise too far.

"While they are defensible in narrow terms, given the continuing deficit, they are not defensible in the way they were placed within a Budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers."

He added: "I am unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest."

BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said: "Tensions with the chancellor had been simmering for some time, but there was little warning of Friday's explosion.

"What seemed to be at its core were briefings by government sources which placed responsibility for the controversial changes to PIP firmly at Mr Duncan Smith's door, while he had in fact felt some pressure from the Treasury to deliver them."

Mr Duncan Smith was Conservative Party leader and Leader of the Opposition from 2001 to 2003, and had been work and pensions secretary since after the 2010 general election.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat chief Tim Farron have both called for Mr Osborne to resign.

Mr Corbyn said: "The resignation of Iain Duncan Smith reveals a government in disarray and a chancellor who has lost the credibility to manage the economy in the interests of the majority of our people."


                                                                                               

Source: PM 'puzzled' by Duncan Smith resignation







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TJ

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Re: News Capture - Todays News
« Reply #63 on: March 20, 2016, 12:17:59 AM »
It is strange as he is the person who dreamt up the "extra tax"

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