News

Live news stream

Israel launches air strikes in search for 'missing soldier'

Israel has launched dozens of air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip during a large-scale search for a soldier it suspects was captured by Hamas fighters.

Explosions continued to rage in Gaza overnight.
Explosions continued to rage in Gaza overnight. Credit: RTV

Hamas claim they are not holding 23-year-old Hadar Goldin and said in a statement they believe he was killed during an ambush.

At least another 35 Palestinians died in the bombardment and shelling in and around the city of Rafah, a Palestinian health official said.

The area's main hospital was also evacuated because of the strikes.

Chinese factory blast kills 65 and injures more than 150

An explosion at a factory in China has killed 65 people and injured more than 150 more, Chinese state media have said.

An injured man is helped by a rescue worker after the massive explosion.
An injured man is helped by a rescue worker after the massive explosion. Credit: Reuters

The blast happened at around 7.37am local time inside a polishing workshop in the Kunshan City of east China's Jiangsu Province, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

Initial investigations indicate the explosion might be caused by flames igniting dusts, the Ministry of Public Security said via its official website.

Bystanders look on as injured victims of the blast are taken to hospital.
Bystanders look on as injured victims of the blast are taken to hospital. Credit: Reuters

Advertisement

Usain Bolt and Tom Daley go for gold in Games finals

Usain Bolt and Tom Daley will be going for gold glory on the penultimate day of the Commonwealth Games today.

Usain Bolt after sailing through the qualifying 4 x 100m relay heats on Friday.
Usain Bolt after sailing through the qualifying 4 x 100m relay heats on Friday. Credit: PA

The world's fastest man Bolt will race in the men's 4 x 100m relay after leading Jamaica to victory in the qualifying heats last night.

Diver Tom Daley will also be back in action in the men's 10m final after he was forced to settle for silver following a near-perfect dive with teammate James Denny yesterday.

Tom Daley and James Denny finished second in the synchronised men's finals.
Tom Daley and James Denny finished second in the synchronised men's finals. Credit: PA

PM to jet off on Portugal family holiday- for one day

The Camerons like to holiday in Portugal, Italy and the Spanish island of Ibiza.
The Camerons like to holiday in Portugal, Italy and the Spanish island of Ibiza. Credit: PA

David Cameron is jetting off to Portugal today for his family holiday, Downing Street confirmed.

But the prime minister will not have long to relax before he flies back to the UK on Sunday to attend the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

He will then travel to France and Belgium on Monday to take part in centenary ceremonies commemorating the outbreak of the First World War.

Only then will a probably exhausted Mr Cameron be able to rejoin wife Samantha and children Nancy, Elwen and Florence for the remainder of their sunshine break.

Cornwall, where the Camerons are pictured here, is also a holiday favourite.
Cornwall, where the Camerons are pictured here, is also a holiday favourite. Credit: PA

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who spent last week at the home of wife Miriam's parents in Spain, will be in London during the PM's absence, before returning to Spain later in August.

And Labour leader Ed Miliband revealed that he will be setting off for a holiday in the French countryside in 10 days' time.

US gives £134m to Israel to restock their Iron Dome

The US Congress has rushed through a $225 million (£134m) bill to support Israel's missile defence system.

The money will help restock Israel's Iron Dome, which has been credited with shooting down dozens of incoming rockets fired by Palestinian militants since July 8.

President Barack Obama has said the Iron Dome is a concrete way the US was helping "make sure that Israel is able to protect its citizens".

US Ebola pair to arrive back in America for treatment

Two American aid workers seriously ill with Ebola are due to arrive back in the US for treatment this week.

The Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where the pair will be treated.
The Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where the pair will be treated. Credit: Reuters

One will arrive today in a small private jet outfitted with a special, portable tent designed for transporting patients with highly infectious diseases.

The second is to arrive a few days later, doctors at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital, where they will be treated in a high security isolation unit, said.

It is the first time anyone infected with the disease has been brought into the country but US officials are confident they can be treated without putting the public at risk.

The two Americans have been named as Dr Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol. Both worked for US missionary groups in Liberia that treated Ebola patients.

It has not been revealed which of them will be flown home first.

Advertisement

How much councils have lost in unpaid parking fines:

The Local Government Association claims local councils have been forced to write off millions in unpaid parking fines as they have been unable to trace foreign vehicles.

The LGA wants the government to get tougher on foreign drivers.
The LGA wants the government to get tougher on foreign drivers who are often not registered in the UK. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

LGA economy and transport board chairman Peter Box wants a central database introduced to allow the Government to get tougher on people failing to register their vehicle.

He said: "Drivers of foreign-registered vehicles need to realise they are not above the law in this country.

"Reckless and inconsiderate parking by non-UK registered vehicles puts other drivers and pedestrians at risk.

"The millions of pounds worth of fines written off could also be spent filling potholes, providing bus services and tackling the £12 billion repair backlog to bring our roads up to scratch."

See how different parts of the UK measure up:

  • Brighton & Hove is owed more than £750,000 in unpaid fines
  • Oxfordshire, Southampton and Portsmouth councils are owed £500,000
  • Bournemouth council has written off £57,000 in the past 12 months
  • Maidstone Council in Kent has lost out on £28,455 worth of tickets
  • Leicester City Council has waived £20,000 in fines in the past year
  • Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire is still owed £13,365
  • While Doncaster Council in Yorkshire has ripped up £12,000 worth

PM: Nato and its members 'will not be intimidated'

David Cameron has said Nato and its members "will not be intimidated" by Russia in the wake of its actions in Ukraine.

Speaking ahead of the Nato summit in south Wales next month the prime minister said the gathering marked a "pivotal" moment in Nato's history.

He said: "In 2014, the world is more unpredictable than ever. To the East, Russia has ripped up the rulebook with its illegal annexation of Crimea and aggressive destabilisation of Ukraine.

"To the South, an arc of instability spreads from North Africa and the Sahel, to Syria, Iraq and the wider Middle East.

"So we must use the Summit to agree how Nato should adapt to respond to and deter such threats; and to ensure the continued collective defence of all its members."

The summit near Newport is the first in the UK since Margaret Thatcher hosted the alliance in 1990, as the Cold War was ending and Nato started to chart a course for a new relationship with Russia.

Violence in Libya forces British embassy to shut down

Escalating violence in Libya has prompted the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to shut down its embassy in the country.

Many staff were evacuated earlier this week following intense fighting in Tripoli but now the FCO says it will suspend its consulate once it has assisted the departure of British nationals.

An FCO spokesman said: "The protection of our staff is paramount, and we assess that the current environment in Tripoli does not allow us to operate safely. We have therefore decided temporarily to relocate UK-based staff from the country."

40 extra baggage staff drafted in at Gatwick Airport

Forty extra baggage staff are being drafted in at Gatwick Airport to prevent any repeat of the chaos they experienced last weekend.

Passengers have been advised to pack important items in their hand luggage.
Passengers have been advised to pack important items in their hand luggage. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Staff shortages meant baggage-handling company Swissport was unable to cope with a succession of off-schedule arrivals late last Saturday night.

Arriving travellers were told to go home without their bags or face long delays.

But Swissport, who has apologised for the problems, said it had drafted in 40 extra staff to cope with demand this weekend, which is expected to be one of the airport's busiest.

Gatwick management is also laying on staff to assist with the baggage operation.

They stressed last week's problems only affected incoming flights and said they were expecting a "smooth weekend."

Load more updates