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Mexico hospital blast kills seven, including three children

Seven people, including three children, were killed when a gas truck exploded and destroyed a large part of a maternity hospital in the west of Mexico City, emergency services said.

Luis Felipe Puente, the head of the country's civil protection agency, confirmed the seven deaths.

Dozens of people were evacuated, some with injuries from broken glass, while rescue workers scour the area for survivors.

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Police forces 'close to tipping point'

Police forces are close to "tipping point" when it comes to delivering policing services, the President of the Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales has said.

Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis said further cuts could leave it "incredibly difficult" for the police forces to deliver an efficient service to the public, with fewer officers on patrol and people facing longer waits for officers to attend incidents.

Wife of Japanese journalist makes emotional plea for his release

Wife of Japanese journalist makes emotional plea for his release. Credit: PA

The wife of freelance journalist Kenji Goto has made an emotional plea for her husband - who is being held hostage by Islamic State militants - to be released.

My husband and I have two very young daughters. Our baby girl was only three weeks old when Kenji left.

I hope our oldest daughter, who is just two, will get to see her father again. I want them both to grow up knowing their father.?

– Ringko Goto, wife of Kenji

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Forecasters warn of a week of snow and ice ahead

Severe weather warnings for snow and ice have been issued for almost every part of the UK, with forecasters predicting a week of snow and ice as a cold snap continues to grip the country.

Yellow warnings are in place for most of the country today Credit: Met Office

The Met Office has issued the yellow 'be aware' alerts for the rest of today, covering Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as most of England and Wales, with only coastal areas of Wales and the south-west of England escaping.

Up to 15cm of snow - around six inches - is predicted to fall in some highland areas tonight, with some "thundersnow" storms expected in the north.

Yellow warnings of snow are also in force for large swathes of the country over the coming week.

Yellow warnings are place for the next week Credit: Met Office

Member of MoJ staff suspended over missing inquiry files

Mark Duggan, Robert Hamill and Azelle Rodney Credit: PA Wire

A member of staff has been suspended from the Ministry of Justice after files from three major inquiries went missing in the post.

The Ministry of Justice said an independent review had also been set up to find out how the information was lost.

The inquiries centre on Azelle Rodney and Mark Duggan, who were both shot dead by the Met Police, and Robert Hamill, who was beaten to death by a loyalists in Northern Ireland.

In a statement, the Ministry of Justice, said: "Government officials became aware on 8 January that two discs containing documents relating to these inquiries were missing, having been dispatched by post.

"Immediate steps were taken, including intensive searches to locate the discs.

"These searches continue with police assistance. The discs have not, as yet, been found."

Treasury Solicitor’s lawyers said they were reviewing whether any of the lost information posed a risk to anyone if it got into the wrong hands.

The MoJ said individuals will be contacted, where appropriate, to inform them of any personal information relating to them.

Uncle of Jordanian pilot: 'We've received assurances he's still alive'

The uncle of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kesasbeh has said that the family has "received assurances" from Islamic State militants that he is still alive.

The comments appear to conflict with a statement from a Jordanian government spokesman, who said no confirmation of the hostage's welfare had been received.

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