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Man due in court over attack on female prison officer

A man will appear in court today charged with grievous bodily harm after a woman prison officer was left fighting for her life following an attack at a crown court.

Humphrey Burke, 22, of no fixed abode, will appear in custody at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court, south London, Scotland Yard said.

The woman, believed to be in her 50s, remains in a critical condition in hospital after she was seriously assaulted at Blackfriars Crown Court in London on Monday.

She was attacked as she escorted a prisoner between the court and a waiting van which was parked in the court yard.

Greece's deputy PM hints at referendum U-turn

Greece's Deputy Prime Minister has said the government might be open to calling off Sunday's referendum on a deal proposal by its international creditors, saying it was a political decision.

Greece's Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis Credit: Reuters

Speaking on state television, Yannis Dragasakis said the government decided on the referendum "and it can make a decision on something else."

It was unclear, however, how that would be possible as Parliament has already voted for it to go ahead.

Dragasakis also confirmed that Athens had asked the International Monetary Fund for an extension of the 1.6bn Euros payment due on Tuesday.

The bailout programme Greece has relied on for five years expired at midnight Tuesday and the country failed to repay the loan due to the IMF, deepening fears over whether it will be able to remain in the Eurozone.


Greece mulls possibility of 'suspending' referendum

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has said the government is examining the possibility of suspending its planned referendum on bailout conditions.

The referendum is due on Sunday.

"It's a political matter. The government may decide to do things differently," Varoufakis told state TV channel ERT.

"We called the referendum in order to achieve an agreement."

Greece made last minute overtures to its creditors on Tuesday, but the new proposal came too late, eurogroup ministers said.

Eurozone finance ministers are set to hold a conference call on Greece on Wednesday morning.


Crowds call for Greeks to vote 'yes' in referendum

Crowds of people rallied in front of the Greek parliament building today calling on their fellow Greeks to vote to accept bailout conditions in Greece's planned referendum.

A day earlier there had been a similar demonstration by 'no' campaigners.

The referendum is due on Sunday.

Just hours before an Greece's expected default on a €1.6bn IMF repayment, Fitch, the ratings agency, announced it had downgraded Greece's long-term rating to 'CCC'.

The ratings agency said the breakdown of the negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors has significantly increased the risk that the country will not be able to meet its debt obligations in the next few months.

Eurozone finance ministers are set to hold a conference call on Wednesday morning, by which time Greece is expected to have missed its IMF repayment.

White House to announce plan for Cuban embassy

The White House is to announce the timing for plans of re-establishing a US Embassy in Cuba, US officials told Reuters.

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuba's President Raul Castro earlier this year Credit: Reuters

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will outline the plans for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations on Wednesday, a senior US official told the news agency.

The two embassies will be in Washington DC and Havana respectively.

"We will formally announce tomorrow that the United States and Cuba have reached an agreement to re-establish formal diplomatic relations and open embassies in each other's capitals," the senior US official said.

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