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Sharp rise in sexual offences on railways in the UK

There has been a big rise in the number of sexual offences on the railways.

There were 1,117 incidents of sexual offences recorded by British Transport Police (BTP) in 2013/14 (the 12 months ending March 2014) - a 20.8% increase on the 925 in 2012/13.

Rise in sexual offences of railways
Rise in sexual offences of railways Credit: PA

Most of the increase was accounted for by incidents of sexual crime against females, which rose from 485 in 2012/13 to 624 in 2013/14.

Sexual crime against males rose from 27 in 2012/13 to 42 in 2013/14 while cases of exposure increased from 141 to 148, with incidents of other sexual crime going up from 272 to 303.

BTP said the increase in sexual offences was slightly higher than that experienced by police forces nationally.

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US attorney general in Ferguson for talks on shootings

US Attorney General Eric Holder met with community members in Ferguson, Missouri, and vowed a thorough civil rights probe into the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager that has set off 11 nights of racially charged unrest.

Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Bri Ehsan, 25
Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Bri Ehsan, 25. Credit: Reuters

Holder met with students and then community leaders at a community college during a visit to Ferguson for a briefing on a Justice Department investigation into the August 9 killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

UK govt and medical charity pledge £6.5m over Ebola

An emergency research call has been launched to help fight the world's worst Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with the British government and the Wellcome Trust medical charity pledging a combined £6.5 million ($10.8 million).

Expert teams from around the world are being invited to submit research proposals by September 8 for initiatives that can rapidly investigate new approaches to treating, preventing and containing the disease.

"The gravity of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa demands an urgent response, and we believe rapid research into humanitarian interventions and therapeutics can have an impact on treatment and containment during the present outbreak," Jeremy Farrar, Wellcome's director, said in a statement.

Some 94% have barbecue habit 'posing risk to health'

Almost all Britons make risky hygiene mistakes at the barbecue, research has found, leading a Government body to suggest they cook the food in the oven first.

Some 94% of people say they have at least one habit at the barbecue that risks the health of them and their guests, while one in five (21%) believe they have been ill due to something they have eaten as a result, a poll for the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found.

Survey finds 19% of barbecue cooks do not keep raw and cooked food on separate plates
Survey finds 19% of barbecue cooks do not keep raw and cooked food on separate plates Credit: Bodo Marks/DPA/Press Association Images

More than half of Britons (54%) are set to take advantage of the approaching Bank Holiday weekend to enjoy what could be the last barbecue of the summer before returning to work or school.

The survey found that just over half (51%) risk cross-contaminating food by using the same tongs for raw and cooked meats.

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US forces 'failed to rescue US hostages in Syria'

The US military has failed in a recent attempt to rescue US hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State, the Pentagon said in a statement, after journalist James Foley was killed by militants.

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.@pentagonpressec: The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by ISIL (1/4)

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.@pentagonpressec: This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL. (2/4)

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.@pentagonpressec: Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location. (3/4)

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.@pentagonpressec: We put the best of the United States military in harms way to try and bring our citizens home. (4/4)

UN 'gravely concerned' over hostilities in Gaza

The UN Security Council expressed "grave concern" at the resumption of hostilities in Gaza between Israel and Palestinians and called upon the parties to resume negotiations to urgently reach a "sustainable and lasting ceasefire."

The 15-member Security Council also "called upon the parties to prevent the situation from escalating and to reach an immediate humanitarian ceasefire," said British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, president of the council for August.

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