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News Digest: 'My priority is to resolve crippling European debt'

By Staff Reporters

Greece's new Prime Minister says his government's top priorities are negotiating with creditors to resolve the country's debt and dealing with "a humanitarian crisis".

Speaking in the government's first Cabinet meeting, Alexis Tsipras said his four-year fiscal plan would balance the budget. But he said Greece would not meet a bailout requirement to produce surpluses.

The plan also aims to find "realistic proposals" on how to make Greece's huge rescue loans easier to manage.

Mr Tsipras's left-wing Syriza won Sunday's election and teamed up with a right-wing party to form a government. The move raised concerns that Greece will clash with the EU.

Peer likens sub base to Auschwitz

A senior Plaid Cymru peer has apologised after comparing the effects of a Trident submarine base to those of a Nazi death camp.

Lord Wigley had been commenting on reports — denied by the Government — that the nuclear weapons system could move from Scotland to Wales.

Speaking the day after the world marked 70 years since the end of the Holocaust, the peer made clear that Plaid would be “tremendously opposed” to shifting the base from Faslane naval base to Pembrokeshire.

Asked whether the move would have some positive benefits, such as bringing jobs to the area, Lord Wigley replied: “Look, this week we have been remembering what happened in Germany before the war.

“No doubt there were many jobs provided in Auschwitz and places like that but that didn’t justify their existence and neither does nuclear weapons justify having them in Pembrokeshire.”

Challenged as to why he was comparing a Trident base to the notorious death camp, he replied: “The number of people that will be killed by Trident will be infinitely more.”

In a statement released later, he apologised for “any offence that has been caused”.

Islamic killers 'left free to rampage'

Islamic extremists are rampaging through Nigerian villages and no troops have been deployed to protect civilians, according to residents.

They say more than 40 people have been killed this week in seven villages in Adamawa state, with houses and mosques burned down and businesses and homes looted.

State legislator Adamu Kamale said he has appealed in vain to authorities to send troops.

People fleeing militant attacks in neighbouring Borno state report Boko Haram fighters saying they are preparing "a big grave" in Maiduguri, the biggest city in the north east where troops repelled an offensive by hundreds of militants on Sunday.

The extremists are increasing attacks as Nigeria prepares for elections on February 14.

Resident Emmanuel Kwache said: "They don't spare anything, they slaughtered people like rams and they burned down our houses after looting food.

"There's no presence of troops and some residents are hiding on top of hills."

Jordan offers IS a prisoner swap to save pilot's life

Amman: The government is ready to swap a woman it is holding for a Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State (IS) extremists, it emerged yesterday.

Information minister Mohammed al-Momani said "Jordan is ready to release the Iraqi prisoner" if the pilot, Lieutenant Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, is released unharmed. But he made no mention of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who is also being held by IS. Iraqi woman Sajida al-Rishawi was sentenced to death in Jordan for a 2005 terror attack on a hotel that killed 60 people.

New England digs itself out after huge blizzard

New Englanders hit by a snow blizzard have begun digging themselves out - as New Yorkers spared its full fury questioned whether forecasts were overblown.

At least 2ft of snow fell in most of Massachusetts and continued most of yesterday.

In New York, forecasters apologised for their predictions of a possible historic storm, and politicians defended their near-total shutdown on travel.

Forecasters originally warned the storm could bring 3ft of snow and hurricane-force winds.

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