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Three day Gaza ceasefire is 'precious time,' says Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry.
US Secretary of State John Kerry. Credit: Reuters

The three day ceasefire in Gaza is "precious time" to try and resolve the conflict, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said.

Kerry explained that while the United States is grateful that the violence and bloodshed can stop for more than 24 hours "it is up to the parties, all of them, to take advantage of this moment."

He added: "There are no guarantees. This is a difficult, complicated issue, years and years in the building, and I think everybody knows it has not been easy to get to this point.

"It is imperative people make the best effort to try to find common ground and do so."

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Number of Ebola cases in West Africa top 1,300

The number of cases of Ebola in West Africa have topped 1,300, according to figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Health workers at an Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone.
Health workers at an Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone. Credit: Reuters

Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria were the most affected with 57 new deaths in the past four days.

Sierra Leone president Ernest Bai Koroma has announced a series of emergency measures, to initially last 60 to 90 days.

WHO Director General Margaret Chan said: "The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level, and this will require increased resources."

Series of gas explosions in Taiwan kill 20 and injure 270

A series of underground gas explosions in Taiwan have killed 20 people and injured 270 more.

Flames from an underground gas explosion in the  streets of Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Flames from an underground gas explosion in the streets of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Credit: PA

Five firefighter, who were investigating reports of a gas leak at the time, were among the dead, the National Fire Agency said

Taiwan's premier Jiang Yi-huah said at least five blasts shook the streets of Kaohsiung, a south-western port city of 2.8 million.

The source of the leak had not yet been located but Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chu said several petrochemical companies had pipelines built along the sewage system in Chian-Chen district, which has both factories and residential buildings.

"Our priority is to save people now. We ask citizens living along the pipelines to evacuate," Mr Chen told TVBS television.

Gaza: 'Peace talks could start as early as tomorrow'

Peace talks to resolve the Gaza conflict could start as early as tomorrow, US officials said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the Gaza ceasefire parties will be invited to take part in "serious negotiations" in Cairo.

He added he hoped the 72-hour truce was a "lull of opportunity" for both sides to make an effort to find some common ground.

The US will send a small delegation to attend the talks.

More success for home nations in gymnastics and track

Another successful day for the home nations gymnasts saw England's Max Whitlock win his third gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, after claiming victory in the men's gymnastics floor final.

Max Whitlock holds his third gold medal of the Commonwealth Games.
Max Whitlock holds his third gold medal of the Commonwealth Games. Credit: PA

Not far behind is 16-year-old Claudia Fragapane who claimed her second Commonwealth gold medal in two days, after winning victory in the women's vault final today.

England's Claudia Fragapane with her Gold after victory in the women's vault.
England's Claudia Fragapane with her Gold after victory in the women's vault. Credit: PA

But it was the Scotland's Daniel Keatings who captured the hearts of SECC Precinct winning gold in the men's pommel horse final, leaving England's Max Whitlock claiming silver, and Louis Smith taking Bronze, despite losing his flow and taking a pause in his routine.

There was more success for Scotland on the track with Eilidh Child taking a silver in the 400m hurdles. England's Jodie Williams and Jazmin Sawyers also won silver in the 200m and long jump.

Scotland's Eilidh Child kisses her silver medal.
Scotland's Eilidh Child kisses her silver medal. Credit: PA

The track was also home to the biggest upset of the day as Botswana's Nijel Amos out-sprinted Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha to win a dramatic 800m final.

As a result England sit at the head of the medal table above Australia and Canada, with Scotland in fourth.

Commonwealth Games medal table.
Commonwealth Games medal table. Credit: Commonwealth Games

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English diver, 13, competes in her first Games

At the age of 13, Victoria Vincent scored a creditable 10th-place finish in the 10m diving tonight.

London-born Victoria finished just behind England teammate Sarah Barrow and is now looking forward to a bright future.

At the age of 13 diver Victoria Vincent has competed in her first Commonwealth Games.
At the age of 13 diver Victoria Vincent has competed in her first Commonwealth Games. Credit: PA

"It was close to my PB. I could have dived better but at the end of the day I'm at the Commonwealth Games at the age of 13," she said.

"The Olympics is my dream, but we will just have to wait and see if I can make it that far."

Israeli and Palestinian ceasefire to start Gaza tomorrow

Delegations are to travel to Cairo immediately to negotiate a durable ceasefire. The Gaza ceasefire is to start at 8am, around 6am UK time, on Friday, and is set to last for 72 hours, the US State Department has announced.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry say an unconditional humanitarian truce in Gaza has been agreed by all parties.

Israeli-American relations slump to an historic low

by - Middle East Correspondent

By Middle East correspondent Geraint Vincent

I would say Israeli-American relations are at an historic low right now, but Tel Aviv has had Hamas rockets fired at it this evening, as did several other Israeli cities. Whilst that is happening Israel is not going to worry too much about what a White House spokesman has to say about its policies.

Having said that I think it is clear that a timetable is being worked out here for a ceasefire to happen. Israel's generals are talking about how they are going to have finished destroying all those tunnels some time in the next few days.

When they say that job is done, that will be an opportunity for a pause in the ground operation and a chance for Hamas to consider whether or not there is anything on the table worth talking about. If they decide that there is not though, and they keep firing the rockets, then the war will, I am afraid, go on.

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