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National security

US defence chief Hagel steps down under pressure

Pentagon chief Hagel is leaving under pressure; are more postelection departures on the way?
Julie Pace And Robert Burns, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Under pressure from President Barack Obama, U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel submitted his resignation Monday amid White House concerns about his effectiveness and broader criticism from outside about the administration's Middle East crisis management.

The president said he and Hagel had determined it was an "appropriate time for him to complete his service."

UK: 'Severe' terror threat requires new powers

Ban on paying ransoms among new UK measures to counter 'greater than ever' terror threat
Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

LONDON - Britain faces its greatest-ever threat from terrorism, the interior minister said Monday, announcing measures to control suspects, strengthen online scrutiny and prevent insurance companies from paying terrorist ransoms.

Home Secretary Theresa May said the advance of the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq had given "energy and a renewed sense of purpose" to Islamic radicals in Britain, creating a threat more serious "than at any time before or since 9-11."

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