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iPhone sales at high after Apple reports record profits

Figures show most iPhone sales were in China. Credit: Reuters

Sales of iPhones are at a record high as the company announced what is believed to be the biggest ever profit by a public company.

In the final three months of 2014 Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones, which was boosted by the latest generation of iPhone - the 6 and 6 Plus.

International sales accounted for 65% of the quarter's revenue.

Apple does not give iPhone sales by country but a report published by research firm Canalys estimated the firm sold more smartphones in China than any other maker.

We'd like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high.

Our revenue grew 30% over last year to 74.6 billion dollars, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.

– Company chief executive Tim Cook

Mother of Japanese hostage makes tearful plea to PM

The mother of a Japanese hostage held by Islamic State has made a tearful plea to Japan's prime minister to save her son after a new online video claimed he may be killed in 24 hours time.

Junko Ishido pictured earlier this week. Credit: Reuters

Junko Ishido, the mother of journalist Kenji Goto, sent a plea to Shinzo Abe to "please save Kenji".

"Kenji has only a little time left," Ms Ishido said.

She called on Mr Abe to work with the Jordanian government to secure her son's release.

Abe had earlier condemned the latest online video as "despicable".

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Much of the UK set for winter sunshine

Rain will move away to the southeast through the day with skies brightening up behind it. Colder air will be introduced to the north, with snow showers and gale force winds here.

Much of the UK set for winter sunshine. Credit: Met Office

Elsewhere we will see some decent winter sunshine with just patchy cloud, and the odd shower of rain. Temperatures will reach highs of 10 degrees Celsius (50 F) early in the day, and it will be turning colder for all through the afternoon.

US forecasters admits 'historic' blizzard error

The US National Weather Service (NSW) has admitted it made an error when it predicted a "potentially historic" storm would hit New York.

Credit: Reuters

Despite severe warnings from forecasters, New York escaped the worst of the storm.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has had to defend himself against claims he overreacted ahead of the storm.

"The result is much less snow than previously predicted," the NSW said on Facebook.

"Rapidly deepening winter storms are very challenging to predict."

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