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Egypt urges resumption of Gaza ceasefire talks

Egypt has called on Israel and the Palestinians to halt fire and resume ceasefire talks.

Violence continued unabated with Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip and Hamas militants firing rockets at the Jewish state.

A senior Egyptian diplomat said Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas had informed Sisi that Hamas was prepared to come to Cairo for further talks, but Hamas has not immediately confirmed the report.

Gaza health officials said five people, including two children, were killed in an Israeli strike on a house in central Gaza.

Four more Palestinians were killed in other strikes.

The Israeli military said Gaza militants had fired more than 40 rockets at Israel and no Israeli casualties were reported.

Shakhtar Donetsk stadium damaged by shelling

Donbass Arena
Two explosions hit the stadium this morning. Credit: Shakhtar Donetsk FC

Donbass Arena, the home of Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk, has been damaged by shelling.

Donbass Arena
The stadium is one of Ukraine's top sporting venues. Credit: Shakhtar Donetsk FC

The club said two "powerful explosions" had rocked the stadium early this morning, but there are no casualties among stadium staff.

 Donbass Arena
England faced Ukraine at the Donbass Arena in 2012. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The ground hosted England's match with Ukraine in the 2012 European Championships.


Lorry drivers remanded in custody over Tilbury death

Two lorry drivers have been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged in connection with the death of a man found in a container at Tilbury Docks.

Stephen McLaughlin, 34, and Timothy Murphy, 33, are accused of conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK.

The men, both from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, spoke only to confirm their names and personal details when they appeared during separate hearings at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court in Essex.

They are charged with conspiring with each other and "with other persons unknown" to "clandestinely convey 35 Afghan nationals by sea in to an English port which facilitated the commission of a breach of immigration law".

The men sat quietly in the dock as they were each remanded in custody until a hearing at Basildon Crown Court on a date to be set during the week beginning November 17.

Angela Merkel: Ukraine peace plans are on the table

German Chancellor Angel Merkel urged Russia to engage in peace talks with Kiev on her first visit to Ukraine since the crisis erupted there early this year.

There must be two sides to be successful. You cannot achieve peace on your own.

I hope the talks with Russia will lead to success.

The plans are on the table... now actions must follow

– Angela Merkel

BBC could run TV drama of Shannon Matthews hoax

The BBC are in talks to run a TV drama about the hoax kidnap of schoolgirl Shannon Matthews, whose mother was jailed for what the judge described as a "truly despicable" plot.

Sheridan Smith could be in line to play Shannon Matthews' mother.
Sheridan Smith could be in line to play Shannon Matthews' mother. Credit: PA

Writer Jeff Pope, who was behind hit blockbuster Philomena, told the Guardian that award-winning actress Sheridan Smith is set to play the role of Shannon's mother Karen.

Shannon was nine when she disappeared from her home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire, in February 2008, sparking a massive police investigation.

Karen Matthews pictured outside court in 2008.
Karen Matthews pictured outside court in 2008. Credit: PA

But she was discovered 24 days later at the home of her stepfather's uncle, Michael Donovan, less than a mile away, where she had been imprisoned as part of a plan he and Matthews hatched to claim a £50,000 reward offered by a national newspaper.

Matthews and Donovan were both jailed for eight years but were released after serving half their sentence.


Merkel: Both sides must engage for peace in Ukraine

Angela Merkel
Merkel has called for an improvement to border monitoring. Credit: Michael Kappeler/dpa

Angela Merkel has called on both sides to engage in order to bring peace to Ukraine as she pledged €500 million to help rebuild the war-shattered eastern regions.

She said new sanctions against Russia were not her main consideration, despite Moscow sending aid trucks into Ukraine without permission.

Peace will not be possible until there are better border controls between the countries, the German Chancellor added.

Man fakes kidnap to stay out partying and avoid partner

A man has been fined for wasting police time after he told his girlfriend he had been kidnapped when in fact he he had been out all night partying at a friend's house in Bolton.

Police said the man's girlfriend was
Police said the man's girlfriend was Credit: PA

Greater Manchester Police said in a statement:

At about 6.30pm on Friday 22 August 2014, a woman called her boyfriend, a 32-year-old man, and was told by the person who answered that he would not be allowed home until he had paid a £50 debt.

A short time later she received a text that said he would be home shortly and when she spoke to him again not long after he said he was being held against his will.

– Greater Manchester Police

The following day police located the man, who told officers it was a "wind up" and was promptly issued with a fixed penalty notice.

One man had even been arrested on suspicion of kidnap.

“Considerable resources and time then went into finding this man, who it transpires made the entire thing up so he could stay out and party," detective inspector Jo Clawson said.

Ivory Coast shuts borders over Ebola threat

Ivory Coast has closed its borders with Liberia and Guinea due to fears over the spread of Ebola, the government has announced.

More than 1,400 people have died since outbreak of the disease in west Africa, although the World Health Organisation has warned that many more deaths had not been recorded.

Faced with new outbreak sites and the reactivation of old sites ... the Ivorian government decides to close its land borders with sister republics Guinea and Liberia.

– Government statement

Lingerie chain apologises for 'Isis' underwear range

Lingerie chain Ann Summers says it is "too late" to change a new range of underwear which shares a name with the Islamist militant group Isis.

An Ann Summers branch in Derby pictured last year.
An Ann Summers branch in Derby pictured last year. Credit: PA

The selection of bras and thongs was named after the Egyptian goddess of nature and magic.

The terror group Isis (also known as IS and Isil) is an acronym that stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

"We thought up the name over six months ago," an Ann Summers employee told The Independent.

“It wasn’t until all the PR was done for the portfolio when the name meant something else. It was too late to change it.”

Islamic State (or Isis) militants claimed responsibility for the murder of US journalist James Foley earlier this week.

An official Ann Summers statement said: "We in no way support or condone any act of terrorism or violence. We apologise for any offence caused."

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