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THE NEWS SERVICE HEARD BY 26 MILLION LISTENERS TO COMMERCIAL RADIO IN THE UK [READ MORE]

Established in 1973 at the birth of commercial radio in the UK, IRN provides client stations with a continuous service of national and international news. The service comprises a ready to air hourly news bulletin, delivered live 24/7, in addition to a suite of pre-recorded news content in the form of news audio cuts on the main stories, written cues and scripts to help stations produce their own bulletins, plus plenty of extra material within sports news, showbiz and music news, money news and consumer technology news.

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Venezuelan Patients Dying Amid Lack Of Medicine

25 May

Senior cancer specialists at Venezuela's top oncology hospital say half of their patients are needlessly dying because they have no access to the most basic of medicines.

The doctors say rampant corruption and chaotic state organisation means they can barely treat their patients, have almost no working equipment and have no means of alleviating a medical crisis that is sweeping the country.
For the past week, Sky News has secretly filmed in three major hospitals both inside and outside the capital Caracas.
Doctors, nurses and administrative staff risked losing their jobs to show what is happening to the crumbling health service.
The picture was uniformly bleak in all the locations.
Almost no supplies of medicine or medical equipment, bodies left on hospital beds in corridors because the morgues are full and the refrigerators are broken.
Patients lie in filthy wards with no air conditioning and no clean water. There is little running water to clean clogged and filthy toilets and showers, no cleaning products for the staff and barely edible meagre quantities of poor food fed to patients irregularly.
The families of those admitted to the hospital must provide their medicine, bedding, food, water, soap and water.
Without the families, the patients would receive nothing but the expertise of health staff battling to keep people alive who normally would not have life-threatening illnesses.
Despite having the largest known reserves of oil in the world and led by a socialist government founded by Hugo Chavez with a mission to alleviate poverty for the masses, Venezuela is on the brink of a financial and social collapse.
Opposition parties are trying to force through a recall vote of President Nicolas Maduro, the successor to Mr Chavez. So far he has used the courts to block the demands for new presidential elections.
A mixture of socialist price controls, rampant inflation, corruption and a chronic black market have led to food shortages across the country.
Goods designated as "essential" by the government, such as meat, eggs, milk, water, flour, shampoo and toilet rolls, simply disappear from supermarkets as the producers cannot or will not provide them at the low prices set by the government.
The black market is thriving but is simply beyond the spending capacity of the majority of the country who are paid a minimum wage that cannot keep up with inflation.
Enormous queues form outside shops when there is even the slightest hint that food will be delivered.
Sky News watched hundreds of people queue for five hours outside a supermarket before they were allowed to enter and see what was available to buy at the government set price. All they could take were two jars of mayonnaise per person.
The only meat we have seen for sale since arriving here were live chickens at a street market. They soon ran out.
Coca Cola and beer producer Polar have suspended production because they cannot get the raw materials.
Few people working in the public sector are prepared to speak out against the government, but Dr Gabriel Romero, a highly respected oncology consultant, told me he had had enough and decided to go public.
He showed me around his hospital where hundreds wait for treatment they will not receive.
We walked through wards in specialist areas where none of the equipment worked. The only CT scanner he has ever been able to use is now broken and abandoned in a corridor.
Other equipment delivered years ago remains in boxes uninstalled.
"People are dying because we cannot treat them. There is nothing I can do for them," he said.
Visibly angry and emotional, he told me: "We don't get the medicine we need and even if there was a supply they don't ask us what we want. This populist government says it is here to favour the poor, it is a complete lie.
"After spending and looting, this government has destroyed the country and it is drowning in misery and desolation.
The poorest members of society are certainly suffering the most. In Barrio San Blas, a Caracas slum the size of a city, where millions live in self-built houses and shacks, murder, crime and unemployment rates are among the highest in the world.
Elizabeth Chacon has four children. In her corrugated iron and wood home she showed me what her family will eat. It consisted of a broth of Yucca leaves and a single potato. She cannot remember when she last ate meat.
Elizabeth earns a dollar a day as a house cleaner when she can get work, which is rare.
"There is nothing we can do, we have no hope," she told me.

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Ex-General Tells PM To 'Bugger Off' Over Brexit

25 May

A retired former Army general has told David Cameron to "bugger off" over his use of scare tactics in the campaign to keep Britain in the EU.

Major General Tim Cross said he refused to live a life "dominated by fear" and the mud-slinging by both sides in the EU referendum campaign was not helping voters.
He was speaking at the publication of a leaflet by Veterans for Britain which urges serving and former military personnel to back Brexit.
Maj Gen Cross, who commanded UK forces in Iraq, said: "A Prime Minister and others who constantly tell me to be afraid, frankly, speaking soldierly about it, they can bugger off.
"I will not lead my life dominated by fear. I want to look ahead positively to what this nation can be in the world alongside Europe, working alongside Europe in lots of different ways,
"None of us know where we're going to be in 10 or 15 years, but let's at least try to cast a positive vision that is helpful and inspires people, (and) doesn't frighten people."
Maj Gen Cross is among a group of retired senior officers from the Army, Navy and Royal Marines who are calling for a Leave vote in the referendum on 23 June.
They also include Falklands War veteran Major General Julian Thompson and former SAS chief General Sir Michael Rose.
It comes as a leading think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, warned the UK may face two more years of austerity if it quits the European Union.
Maj Gen Thompson, who led 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands, said: "The result of this referendum will determine irrevocably what kind of country we, our children and our grandchildren will live in.
"Either Great Britain will remain in the EU, dominated by people who we do not elect... or we will take back control and return to what we were: an independent country in which our Parliament is elected by us, and answerable to us as the lawmaker."
Gen Rose - who was incorrectly included on a list of top brass backing Remain issued by Downing Street in February - said intrusive European laws had weakened Britain's Armed Forces.
He said: "European law, in my view, has already seriously undermined UK's combat effectiveness... and today our service men and women are in danger of becoming no more than civilians in uniform."
Other retired officers supporting Brexit include Lieutenant General Jonathon Riley, Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham and Rear Admiral Richard Heaslip.
Rear Admiral Heaslip, former commander of the Navy's submarine service, said: "Since its inception the EU has shown minimal interest in defence. The claim that the existence of the EU has saved us from war for 70 years is a myth."
The intervention comes after Mr Cameron used a speech earlier in May to warn that Brexit could put peace and stability on the continent at risk.
Mr Cameron's speech was supported by video messages from four World War Two veterans including former head of the military Field Marshal Lord Bramall.

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Brexit Would Cost UK £40bn, Warns Report

25 May

Respected think-tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies has dismissed claims it is an EU "propaganda arm" after warning that Brexit would cost the UK up to £40bn.

Vote Leave rubbished the IFS report on the effect of Brexit as "biased" saying that the organisation was unlikely to be critical of Britain’s membership because it was funded by the EU.
:: PM Says Tories Can Come Together After EU Row
But IFS director Paul Johnson told Sky News the accusations were "frankly absolutely outrageous" saying the think-tank's 30-year reputation was staked on its independence.
Arriving in Japan for the G7 summit, David Cameron said findings from the IFS were "always held out as the independent gold standard".
The report warned the UK would have to accept two more years of austerity if the UK left the EU and would see public finances take a hit of between £20bn and £40bn.
It also questioned claims by Vote Leave that the UK would save £350m a week from EU contributions, saying it might gain back the £8bn a year given to the EU but would lose out through market uncertainty and trade deals.
:: Quiz The PM Or Gove: Join Our EU Audience
The IFS report states: "Claims that we would have an additional £350m a week to spend are wrong.
"They imply that, following a UK exit, other EU countries would continue to pay a rebate to the UK on contributions it was not making.
"Such claims also imply we would simply stop all existing EU subsidies to farming and poorer regions (such as Cornwall and west Wales)."
Mr Cameron said: "What they are saying about the £350m claim and what they are saying about the effect upon our economy of Brexit, that is very, very powerful and it backs up what the Treasury and others have been saying."
But Vote Leave dismissed the IFS as a "paid-up propaganda arm of the European Commission" - it received around 11% of its funding in 2014 from the European Research Council.
:: Carney Accused Of Brexit Debate Propaganda
The campaign claimed: "The IFS is not a neutral organisation. It would face an £800,000 deficit if we vote Leave."
According to its report, the Government would need to find the equivalent of £5bn in public spending cuts, £5bn worth of savings from social security spending and roll out tax rises worth £5bn if it wants to balance the books by the end of this parliament.
Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to return the UK to a surplus by 2020, with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast stating that the UK would have a budget surplus of £10.4bn in 2019/20 and £11bn the year after.
Mr Johnson, an author of the report, said: "Getting to budget balance from there, as the Government desires, would require an additional year or two of austerity at current rates of spending cuts."
Vote Leave campaigner Andrea Leadsom MP said: "It's no wonder people are being turned off this debate given the continuous campaign to do down the British economy from EU-funded organisations.
"So many of these studies are based on entirely negative assumptions about our economy and the future decisions a UK government outside the EU would make, but ignore the pressing need of EU countries to continue trading with the UK."
:: Sky News is hosting two special programmes before the referendum. David Cameron will face live questions in the first big television event of the campaign, at 8pm on Thursday, 2 June.
And then on Friday, 3 June it will be the turn of "Leave" campaigner, Michael Gove - also at 8pm.

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Highland Gaelic Speaker, 7, Faces Deporation

25 May

A seven-year-old boy from Australia whose first language is Gaelic is facing deportation from Scotland along with his family.

Now the SNP has called on the Chancellor to help stop the deportation of Lachlan Brain and his parents Gregg and Kathryn.
They moved to Scotland under a Scottish Government initiative which was backed by the Home Office, to help repopulate the Highlands.
They have lived in Dingwall for more than four years, but their application for an interim visa has been dismissed.
The SNP's Westminster leader Angus Robertson used Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions - being taken by George Osborne - to quiz the Chancellor on the case.
He said: "Next week, as the Home Secretary is currently briefing him, the Home department plans to deport him and his family despite the fact that he arrived as part of a Scottish Government initiative backed by the Home Office to attract people to live and work in the region.
"This case has been front page news in Scotland and been repeatedly raised in the House. What does the Chancellor have to say to the Brain family and the community who want them to stay?"
In response Mr Osborne said: "Well as I understand it the family don't meet the immigration criteria.
"The Home Secretary says she's very happy to write to him on the details of the specific case."
Mr Robertson was unhappy with the response, saying the Chancellor knows "nothing about it" and described the response as "not good enough".
He said appeals have already been made to Theresa May by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and the family's local MP.
He added: "It is wall to wall across the media of Scotland and the Chancellor of the Exchequer clearly knew nothing about it."
He followed up with a second question, asking: "The problem in the Highlands of Scotland, is not immigration, it has been emigration, so even at this late stage, knowing nothing about it, will the Chancellor speak to the Home Secretary, speak to the Prime Minister and get this sorted out?"
Mr Osborne responded: "Well as I say the Home Secretary will write to him on the details of the case, but can I make a suggestion to the SNP?
"They now have very substantial tax and enterprise powers and if they want to attract people to the Highlands of Scotland why don't they create an entrepreneurial Scotland that people want to move to from the rest of the UK, where they can grow their business and have a successful life."

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Two Bodies Found In Search For Missing Man

25 May

Police searching for a missing man in Torquay have found two bodies on a path along the coast.

David Cauldwell disappeared after leaving a local pub at around midnight on Saturday.
The two bodies were discovered just 200m apart in Petitor Woods in an area where there had recently been a landslide.
The first remains were spotted by officers on Tuesday evening and "are believed to have been there for a considerable amount of time," according to Devon and Cornwall Police.
The second body was found on Wednesday morning and police said it appears to be "completely unrelated" to the first.
Mr Cauldwell's family has been informed of the developments, but neither body has been formally identified.
Items were found with the first body which it is hoped will help identify the victim.

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