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Newcastle fire brought under control after several hours

Firefighters tackle the blaze from on high. Credit: PA

A fire in central Newcastle is now under control, but it remains unclear whether any people are trapped inside.

The building will now be assessed by structural experts, who will check whether it is safe for firefighters to enter, Tyne and Wear Fire Service said.

If deemed safe, they will then enter to check if there are any casualties.

The service earlier said it could not guarantee there were no people inside the building.


Senior military chief outlines benefits of airstrikes in Syria

One of Britain's most senior military leaders has outlined his arguments for why MPs should support plans to join airstrikes in Syria.

Speaking to the government's defence committee, Lt Gen Gordon Messenger, the deputy chief of defence staff, said bombs would help destabilise militants affiliated with the so-called Islamic State.

It's about targeting their vulnerabilities, their command and control, their leadership, their sources of revenue, their training camps - the places where they feel most secure.

The majority of that is inside Syria and is centred on Raqqa.

– Lt General Gordon Messenger, deputy chief of defence staff


Corbyn appeals to members to 'think again' on Syria vote

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pleaded with members of his party to "think again" about whether they support plans for Britain to join airstrikes in Syria.

Jeremy Corbyn urged members to 'think again' Credit: PA

MPs will vote tomorrow on proposals to extend the UK's involvement from Iraq to Syria.

Speaking on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show, Mr Corbyn said there were a number of issues which concerned him.

I think that there will be a large majority of Labour MPs voting against the war. There are a small number who are very die-hard in supporting the war - they probably would have supported the war whether there was a whip or not.

[I appointed members of] the shadow cabinet attempting to reach out to the widest sections of the party. I'm hoping that even now, they will listen very carefully to all the evidence that's coming in about, for example, US arms now finding their way to ISIL and ISIL-affiliated organisations, the leaking of the whole arms bazaar into that area, all those issues - and think very seriously, and think again.

I appeal to them to think again, think of the complications and the implications of what we're doing, and please cast your vote against supporting this government's military endeavors in Syria.

– Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader
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