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US strikes in Syria 'to disrupt imminent attack'

The US-led strikes against militant targets in Syria last night were designed to disrupt planning of an "imminent" attacks, Obama's deputy national security adviser said.

White House official Ben Rhodes said the attacks were aimed at an al-Qaeda affiliate called the Khorasan group.

For some time now, we've been tracking plots to conduct attacks in the United States or Europe. We believe that attack plotting was imminent and that they had plans to conduct attacks external to Syria.

– Ben Rhodes, deputy US national security adviser

Property experts: South East will shoulder burden of mansion tax

People in the South East will shoulder the burden of Labour's mansion tax proposal for homes worth £2 million-plus, according to property experts.

A row of terraced houses in west London. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Concerns were also raised that the pledge could hit the housing market as it claws its way back to recovery.

Over 108,000 households would be liable for the proposed levy and nearly 85,500 of them are in London while the South East has more than 14,200, according to property website Zoopla.

Scotland has less than 900 homes in this bracket and in Wales, there are an estimated 87 households which would be liable.

The introduction of a mansion tax would disproportionately penalise home owners in London and the South East who are already responsible for the vast majority of property tax take in the UK.

– Lawrence Hall, spokesman for Zoopla


US military 'did not co-ordinate with the Assad regime'

The US military launched airstrikes against two particular targets inside Syria yesterday, in their efforts to "degrade and destory" IS, spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

The Pentagon spokesman denied that the US worked with the Assad regime.

Rear Admiral John Kirby addressing reporters at the Pentagon. Credit: RTV

Rear Admiral Kirby said the strikes were carried out by a coalition that included Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, whilst Qatar played a "supporting role". He continued:

We did not co-ordinate with the Assad regime. The United States did inform the Syrian regime through our United Nations ambassador of our intent to take action, there was no co-ordination and no military-to-military communication.

– Rear Admiral John Kirby

Dave Lee Travis will be sentenced on Friday

Veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis will be sentenced on Friday after being found guilty of one charge of indecent assault.

Defence barrister Sophie Wood told the judge she would "seek to persuade" him that 69-year-old Travis should be given a non-custodial community order sentence.

But Judge Anthony Leonard told the court "all my options remain open in relation to sentencing." Travis left the court with his wife Marianne after being granted bail.

Dave Lee Travis will be sentenced on Friday for indecent assault. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Osborne: 'Extraordinary' Miliband didn't mention deficit

Chancellor George Osborne has tweeted that Ed Miliband "didn't mention the deficit once" in his Labour party conference keynote speech.

UAE's air force 'took part in strikes' on Syria IS targets

The United Arab Emirates air force took part in US-led air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria overnight, the country's official WAM news agency reported.

The operation took place "in coordination with participating forces in the international efforts against Da'esh", the foreign ministry said in a statement, using a widely-used term for Islamic State militants.

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