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Obama: US condemns 'brutal' murder of Boris Nemtsov

US President Barack Obama has said that his country condemns the brutal murder of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov.

The White House National Security Council tweeted that the US will call upon Russian authorities to conduct a "prompt and impartial" investigation into the murder.

Russian President condemns killing of Boris Nemtsov

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the killing of Boris Netmsov. Credit: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov and said it may have been a contract killing, according to his spokesman quoted by Russian news agencies.

Dmitry Peskov said the shooting on a street in Moscow could also be a "provocation" - the opposition is planning a big protest in Moscow on Sunday.

He said Mr Putin had been quickly informed of the killing and that the president had expressed his condolences and ordered the security agencies to investigate.

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Russian Interior Ministry: Nemtsov shot in the back

Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was shot and killed in Moscow. Credit: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was shot four times in the back according to an Interior Ministry spokeswoman quoted by Reuters news agency.

Interfax reports that seven shots were fired in total at Nemtsov from a passing car and police have opened a criminal case into the shooting.

Boris Nemtsov was known as a reformer in Russia

ITV News' Europe Editor James Mates says Boris Nemtsov was a leading reformer under former President Boris Yeltsin and was not tainted by corruption.

David Cameron defends MI5's handling of Jihadi John

Prime Minister David Cameron today defended the security services over their handling of Islamic State militant Jihadi John.

The fighter, now known to be Kuwait-born Londoner Mohammed Emwazi, had been on the radar of MI5 for some time before he left for Syria in 2013.

ITV News UK editor Rohit Kachroo reports:

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Longest running Somali pirate hostage drama ends

The multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia has resulted in a massive reduction in piracy Credit: Reuters

Somali pirates have released four Thai hostages, who were captured while fishing in 2010, bringing to an end the longest-running international hostage drama in the Horn of Africa.

The four men were part of a Taiwanese flagged fishing vessel which was seized by pirates almost five years ago.

Of the original 24 person crew six died in captivity, 14 from Myanmar were released in 2011 and the remaining 4 were freed today.

Three of the four Thai nationals released today bringing to a close the longest running Somali hostage drama. Credit: Twiiter/@UNSomlia

Nicholas Kay, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Somalia said he was "grateful to see the longest-held hostages released from Somalia, and thank all those involved who made it happen,"

Somali pirates are still holding 26 crew from a vessel that was captured in 2012.

The incidents of piracy have been severely curtailed since 2010 following the creation of an international task force to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Reports: Ex-Russian Deputy Prime Minister shot dead

Russian politician Boris Nemtsov has been shot dead according to Russian media. Credit: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

Russian opposition politician and former deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov has died after being shot four times on a street in Moscow, according to a statement from the Russian government reported by the Interfax news agency.

Fearne Cotton pregnant and leaving BBC Radio 1

Fearne Cotton is pregnant with her second child and will quit Radio 1. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Fearne Cotton is quitting Radio 1 after telling her fans she is pregnant with her second child.

The DJ, who is married to Ronnie Wood's son Jesse, said leaving the station was the start of a "new chapter".

Writing on her website, she said she had had "the most incredible decade" working on the station.

I feel extremely blessed and happy that Rex will be a big brother, and we get to welcome another Wood into the world.

I would like to thank Radio 1 for being such a great home and most of all to the listeners who have been on this journey with me.

It's such a kick to know you heard a band on my show first, or that the songs I've played have helped you through the day, so thank you."

– Fearne Cotton

Cotton's role presenting the station's Live Lounge will be taken over by Clara Amfo.

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