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Excessive salt consumption 'a major killer'

Excessive salt consumption is a "major killer" and not enough is being done to tackle the problem, a senior local government official has said.

A new report from the Local Government Association accuses restaurants and pubs of "dragging their heels" on signing up to reducing the amount of salt in their meals.

Fish and chips were  among the foods cited as containing too much salt.
Fish and chips were among the foods cited as containing too much salt. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Councillor Katie Hall, chairwoman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, said: "The recommended daily target is 6g of salt per person - yet one pub or restaurant meal can take you well over this.

She said the industry was "lagging a long way behind" and needed to "get on board and commit swiftly" to tackle the problem.

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Israeli tank shelling kills 18 Palestinians in single family

Israeli tank shelling has killed 18 Palestinians from the same family, shortly before a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire came into effect, the Gaza health ministry said.

Eighteen members of the Al-Najar family had been trapped inside their house in Khuzaa village since Thursday, a health ministry spokesman said.

The deaths increased the number of Palestinians killed in the violence to 881.

Latest updates: Israel and Hamas start 12-hour pause in fighting

Ports into Nigeria placed on 'red alert' over Ebola

All ports of entry into Nigeria have been placed on "red alert" over the Ebola outbreak, health officials said, after a Liberian man died of the disease in Lagos.

"All ports of entry into Nigeria, including airports, seaports and land borders, are placed on red alert," Nigerian health minister Onyebuchi Chukwusaid said.

"Ministry of health specialists have been positioned in all entry points. Active surveillance has also been stepped up."

Mr Chukwusaid said an investigation was underway to see whether the 40-year-old Liberian national came into contact with anyone else.

Read: Ebola outbreak spreads to Nigeria as death toll rises to over 660

Ebola outbreak spreads to Nigeria as death toll rises

An outbreak of Ebola, which has left more than 660 people dead across west Africa, has now spread to Nigeria.

A Liberian man vomited on board an aeroplane bound for Nigeria and later died upon arrival in the country.

Reuters
Ebola has killed more than 660 people across west Africa. Credit: Reuters

The 40-year-old had recently lost his sister to the disease, reports suggested.

Nigerian health officials said all ports of entry into Nigeria had been placed on "red alert".

The disease has now infected at least 1,093 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and now Nigeria.

Read: Inside the clinic treating the biggest outbreak of Ebola ever recorded

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Restaurants 'must sign up to salt reduction targets'

Restaurants and pubs have been urged to stop "dragging their heels" and sign up to salt reduction targets.

PA Wire
Councils claim some meals in restaurants and pubs contain up to 9g of salt. Credit: PA Wire

Councils said just one restaurant group, Jamie's Italian, and one fast food chain, Subway, had committed to the scheme since its launch five months ago.

The Department of Health voluntary targets aimed at cutting salt from the 10 most popular high street dishes including chips, burgers, pizzas and curries.

The Local Government Association claim some restaurant and pub meals contained up to 9g of salt despite current guidelines recommending adults consume no more than 6g of salt a day.

Support for new homes increasing 'dramatically'

Support for new building new homes is increasing as a result of government planning reforms, a minister has claimed.

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The new planning minister has hailed government reforms for changing attitudes towards house-building. Credit: PA Wire

Planning minister Brandon Lewis said there is "a changing mind-set" when it comes to major housing schemes, hinting that the "Not In My Backyard" attitude (NIMBY) has changed.

Writing for the Telegraph, Mr Flowers said reforms giving local people control over their own local areas has increased support for housebuilding "dramatically".

The minister said support for new homes has risen from 28% in 2010 to 47% last year.

Sixty-eight Palestinians killed in Gaza in last 24 hours

Sixty-eight Palestinians - including 10 children - have been killed or their bodies recovered in the last 24 hours, the United Nations said.

At least 857 Palestinians have now been killed in the conflict, with around 649 of the fatalities reported to be civilians.

A Palestinian woman grieves during the funerals of four children from the same family.
A Palestinian woman grieves during the funerals of four children from the same family. Credit: Reuters

The UN said shelters were becoming increasingly overcrowded with many classrooms holding 80 people at one one time.

Health professions and facilities are becoming overstretched, the organisation claimed, reporting an increase in the number of miscarriages and premature births,

The updated figures come ahead of an agreed 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Read: ITV News witnesses aftermath of school attack in Gaza

Two Israeli soldiers killed during combat in Gaza

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed during fighting in Gaza, Israel's defence force said.

Reuters
Two more Israeli soldiers have died in the conflict. Credit: Reuters

The deaths increase the Israeli death toll to 39, including 37 soldiers and two civilians.

Some 865 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the 19-day conflict.

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire starting from 0800 Israeli time (0500 GMT) today.

Latest updates: Israel and Hamas agree to humanitarian ceasefire

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