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Red Cross staff 'ready to roll with Russian aid convoy'

The International Committee of the Red Cross has sent 35 staff to help smooth the way for a Russian humanitarian convoy, which has arrived at the Ukraine border.

"We are ready to roll with this convoy, there has been a last-minute delay. We are hopeful that it will be resolved shortly," ICRC spokesman Ewan Watson told Reuters.

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Our colleagues were in Lugansk, #Ukraine yesterday to arrange delivery of aid from #Russian and Ukrainian #AidConvoys.

The first Russian aid convoy was allowed into Ukraine earlier.

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South Africa bans travel from Ebola-hit countries

South Africa has closed its borders to all non-citizens travelling from countries hit by Ebola, the government has announced.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said non-South Africans will be denied entry to those travelling from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

South African citizens will be able to enter the country, but will have to go through a stringent screening programme.

Man 'pelted to death with oranges' in South Africa

Two men are suspected of killing a farmworker by pelting him with oranges in South Africa, the Associated press reports.

It is thought the man could have died from
It is thought the man could have died from Credit: Paul Seheult/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

South African Police Lieutenant Moatshe Ngoepe said the suspects allegedly argued with the man before collecting oranges and throwing them at him.

The man had no visible injury but was declared dead at the scene suggesting he may have suffered "blunt force trauma."

Police and prosecutors are now awaiting the results of an autopsy before they can bring any criminal charges.

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BBC 'acted appropriately' over Cliff Richard coverage

The singer's Berkshire home was searched for five hours following sexual assault allegations.
The singer's Berkshire home was searched for five hours following sexual assault allegations. Credit: PA

Director General Tony Hall said BBC journalists "acted appropriately" in their coverage of the police raid on Cliff Richard's flat following sexual assault allegations.

The raid on the pop star's penthouse caused controversy when the corporation broke news of the search, with a film crew reportedly arriving on the scene before the police.

In a letter to Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz MP, Mr Hall said: "I believe that BBC journalists have acted appropriately in pursuing this story. As you rightly say, the media has a right to report on matters of public interest.

"Sir Cliff Richard is one of the most successful British entertainers of all time and has been a prominent public figure for several decades. Investigations into historic sex abuse cases have - and will continue to have - a profound impact on the lives of well-known individuals and the standing of public institutions.

"The disclosure of a sex abuse allegation against Sir Cliff Richard and the police search of his property was clearly a significant story and the BBC was not alone in providing extensive coverage."

Russia closes four McDonald's restaurants in Moscow

One of four temporarily closed McDonald's restaurants in Moscow.
One of four temporarily closed McDonald's restaurants in Moscow. Credit: Reuters

Russia has ordered the temporary closure of four McDonald's restaurants in Moscow over "sanitary violations".

The move comes amid rising US-Russian tensions over Ukraine.

Earlier this month the Kremlin imposed bans on Western food imports after it was hit by a fresh round of economic sanctions from the US and European Union.

One of the closed restaurants, on Moscow's central Pushkin Square, drew crowds of thousands when it first opened in 1990, becoming a symbol of openness with the West.

Jihadist's voice could be matched to terror database

Security services are likely to attempt to match the voice of James Foley's killer to a database of terror suspects' voices, a forensic voice and speech analyst has told ITV News.

Elizebeth McClelland told ITV News experts the first thing investigators would have to do would be to find "reference samples" from a database, before those could be automatically matched against the voice heard in the shocking Islamic State video.

She added that the process could be made "reasonably quick" by analysing the detail of vowel and consonant sounds, rhythm, pitch, intonation and voice quality - though the evidence gained would only be "part of a bigger jigsaw" to identify the suspect.

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