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Richard Branson: 'Space is hard, but worth it'

Sir Richard Branson has said he will persevere with his plans for a pioneering space tourism venture following the death of a test pilot killed when a rocket crashed during a test flight in California's Mohave desert yesterday.

'Matching sombreros' for Charles and Camilla

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall don sombreros during a visit to the Museo del Oro Credit: PA Wire

Colombian dignitaries gave the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall some much-needed protection from the blazing sun - his and hers matching sombreros.

Charles and Camilla tried on their gifts and posed for a picture as they toured an exhibition showcasing traditional crafts from across the Latin American country.

The black and white hats, made from woven palm leaves, are called Vueltiao and are worn by peasants and cattle ranchers from the coast.

Charles and Camilla were visiting a gold museum showcasing fabulous treasures from the Latin American nation's early history.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are on a nine-day visit to Colombia and Mexico.


Burkina Faso: Second army officer claims leadership

An anti-government protester films events with his cell phone outside the parliament building in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, October 30, 2014. Credit: Reuters

A second high-ranking army officer in Burkina Faso has announced he his taking charge as head of state, apparently in direct challenge to top military chief General Honore Traore who had already proclaimed himself temporary leader.

According to Reuters, Former presidential guard commander Lieutenant Colonel Issaac Zida has dictated his own set of emergency measures and put his own soliders on the streets.

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore resigned on Friday amid mass street protests at his attempts to extend his 27-year rule, plunging the West African nation into the chaotic situation that now exits in the country.

Richard Branson: 'We are all deeply saddened' by crash

A piece of debris is seen near the scene of the crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo near Cantil, California. Credit: Reuters

Virgin Galactic's Sir Richard Branson has written a brief blog post on his way to the SpaceShipTwo crash site, expressing his sadness at the events that unfolded today in the Mohave desert.

Everyone at Virgin Galactic, The Spaceship Company and Scaled Composites is deeply saddened by today’s events.

All our thoughts are with the families of everyone affected by this tragic event, and we are doing everything we can to support them.

We will cooperate fully with all the authorities involved in the investigation, and share more information when possible.

For now, I want to reiterate our thanks to everyone from within the space community and beyond who has sent their overwhelming messages of love and support.

– Sir Richard Branson


Nasa offers 'condolences' over Virgin Galactic crash

Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden has offered condolences on behalf of the "entire Nasa family" to the family and loved ones of the Virgin Galactic pilot who was killed in the crash.

On behalf of the entire NASA family, I offer our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the pilot lost in today’s accident involving Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, and we are praying for a speedy recovery of the other pilot.

While not a NASA mission, the pain of this tragedy will be felt by all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploration. Space flight is incredibly difficult, and we commend the passion of all in the space community who take on risk to push the boundaries of human achievement.

– Charles Bolden, Nasa Administrator

Cautions overhaul 'removes soft option'

The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said the revamp of court disposals, which at the bottom-end would see offenders writing an apology to victims or repairing damages but could see more serious offences being fined, removes the "soft option".

Three police force areas will trial the new approach over the next 12 months and if successful it will be replicated across the country.

The Justice Secretary said:

Under the new system we are introducing, offenders will face prosecution if they fail to comply with the conditions set by the police, so that no one is allowed to get away with the soft option.

– Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

Peshmerga depart from Turkey to besieged Kobani

urdish Peshmerga fighters wave Kurdish flags atop an army vehicle as they move towards the Syrian town of Kobani from the border town of Suruc. Credit: Reuters

A convoy of Kurdish Peshmerga troops departed from Turkey in a convoy overnight to help bolster Syrian Kurds holding out against self-styled Islamic State militants in the besieged town of Kobani.

Islamic State combatants have been trying to capture Kobani, known as Ayn al-Arab in Arabic, for over a month, pressing their assault despite U.S.-led air strikes on their positions and the deaths of hundreds of their fighters.

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