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Main parties feel they are struggling to be heard

The two leaders most likely to be prime minister after the general election, David Cameron and Ed Miliband, have been struggling to get their message across, party insiders have told our Political Editor Tom Bradby.

There are even media reports tonight that Labour has been in behind-the-scenes talks with Sinn Fein to lay the groundwork for a potential coalition agreement.

Sale of 74.5 million iPhones pushes Apple's revenue up nearly 30%

Apple's quarterly results have exceeded expectations Credit: Daniel Bockwoldt/DPA/PA

Apple has seen its quarterly revenue rise by 29.5%, thanks to extremely strong sales of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The company sold 74.5 million iPhones in the quarter ending 27th December.

That helped push up revenue from $57.6 billion in the same period last year to $74.6 billion.

The rise was much higher than expected, with analysts predicting a revenue of $67.69 billion.

Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in the quarter up to 27th December Credit: Roman Vondrous/Czech News Agency/PA

The company's performance in China has had a big impact, with revenue in the country up a staggering 70% this quarter.

It is thought the larger screen size of the new phone has particularly appealed to the market in Asia.

There had been fears that China's slipping economic growth would cause Apple problems, but Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri says the company 'feels good' about its position in China, and added that it has not 'seen a slow down'.

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Fidel Castro appears to approve US talks in letter

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro appears approve his nation's talks with the US in a letter published on the website of Cuba's Communist Party newspaper Granma.

A student reads from the letter attributed to former Cuban leader Fidel Castro Credit: Reuters

The 88-year-old is quoted as saying: "I don't trust the policy of the United States nor have I had an exchange with them, but this does not mean ... a rejection of a peaceful solution to conflicts or the dangers of war."

Cuba's current president Raul Castro has been holding high-level talks with the US government since the two countries announced a rapprochement on 17th December.

Fidel Castro was forced into retirement in 2008 by poor health and was succeeded by his brother Raul, who is now 83.

Stunning images of lightning on earth - captured from space

A lightning storm on earth is captured by astronauts in space Credit: European Space Agency

Astronauts orbiting the International Space Station witnessed the awesome sight of a raging lighting storm on earth.

This timelapse was made from 49 images taken 400 km above Earth by an astronaut travelling at 28,800 km per hour.

The European Space Agency's Nightpod camera made it possible to capture near perfect, crystal-clear images.

They were taken back in 2012, but have only just been released by ESA.

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