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Richard Branson: 'We are all deeply saddened' by crash

A piece of debris is seen near the scene of the crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo near Cantil, California. Credit: Reuters

Virgin Galactic's Sir Richard Branson has written a brief blog post on his way to the SpaceShipTwo crash site, expressing his sadness at the events that unfolded today in the Mohave desert.

Everyone at Virgin Galactic, The Spaceship Company and Scaled Composites is deeply saddened by today’s events.

All our thoughts are with the families of everyone affected by this tragic event, and we are doing everything we can to support them.

We will cooperate fully with all the authorities involved in the investigation, and share more information when possible.

For now, I want to reiterate our thanks to everyone from within the space community and beyond who has sent their overwhelming messages of love and support.

– Sir Richard Branson

Nasa offers 'condolences' over Virgin Galactic crash

Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden has offered condolences on behalf of the "entire Nasa family" to the family and loved ones of the Virgin Galactic pilot who was killed in the crash.

On behalf of the entire NASA family, I offer our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the pilot lost in today’s accident involving Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, and we are praying for a speedy recovery of the other pilot.

While not a NASA mission, the pain of this tragedy will be felt by all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploration. Space flight is incredibly difficult, and we commend the passion of all in the space community who take on risk to push the boundaries of human achievement.

– Charles Bolden, Nasa Administrator

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Cautions overhaul 'removes soft option'

The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said the revamp of court disposals, which at the bottom-end would see offenders writing an apology to victims or repairing damages but could see more serious offences being fined, removes the "soft option".

Three police force areas will trial the new approach over the next 12 months and if successful it will be replicated across the country.

The Justice Secretary said:

Under the new system we are introducing, offenders will face prosecution if they fail to comply with the conditions set by the police, so that no one is allowed to get away with the soft option.

– Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

Peshmerga depart from Turkey to besieged Kobani

urdish Peshmerga fighters wave Kurdish flags atop an army vehicle as they move towards the Syrian town of Kobani from the border town of Suruc. Credit: Reuters

A convoy of Kurdish Peshmerga troops departed from Turkey in a convoy overnight to help bolster Syrian Kurds holding out against self-styled Islamic State militants in the besieged town of Kobani.

Islamic State combatants have been trying to capture Kobani, known as Ayn al-Arab in Arabic, for over a month, pressing their assault despite U.S.-led air strikes on their positions and the deaths of hundreds of their fighters.

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Detective on Manchester murder investigation

Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick said: "This tragic incident is only a few hours old so it is far too early to go into exactly what has happened and why.

"All we can say for certain is that a man has tragically died after being shot and his family are absolutely devastated. Our thoughts are with them and we will be providing them as much support as they need at this very difficult and upsetting time.

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Clashes avoided amid al-Aqsa mosque worshipping ban

Palestinians furious at an Israeli ban on worshipping at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem vowed that today would be a "day of rage".

But the clashes were not as violent as feared, with Muslim men over the age of 50 allowed to pray at the sacred site.

ITV News' Middle East Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports.

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