Scottish News RECAP: Rishi Sunak announces General Election

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has issued a statement outside 10 Downing Street calling a General Election for July 4. 

Don’t miss a moment, keep up with news from across the country right here with The Scotsman’s daily live blog.

Exclusive :'Making a difference': How a new army of support staff could turn the tide in Scotland's school absence crisis

Across much of Scotland, a new army of specialist workers is being recruited to help convince a lost generation of youngsters to return to school.

The council staff, often employed using targeted funding from the Scottish Government, are becoming the frontline in the battle to reverse attendance rates w

Read more here.

Breaking news this morning: Iran's President found dead at helicopter crash site.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the country's foreign minister are among those found dead at the site of a helicopter crash after a search through a foggy, mountainous region of the country's northwest, state media has reported.

Mr Raisi was 63.

The crash comes as the Middle East remains unsettled by the Israel-Hamas war during which Mr Raisi, under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel last month.

Under Mr Raisi, Iran enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels, further escalating tensions with the West as Tehran also supplied bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and armed militia groups across the region.

Meanwhile, Iran has faced years of mass protests against its Shiite theocracy over its ailing economy and women's rights - making the moment that much more sensitive for Tehran and the future of the country.

State TV gave no immediate cause for the crash in Iran's East Azerbaijan province.

Among the dead was Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, 60.

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