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US led forces target Islamic State in 16 air strikes

The US military has said that American led forces attacked Islamic State targets with 13 air strikes in Iraq and three in Syria, using fighter, bomber and other aircraft.

A view from Mount Sinjar. Credit: Reuters/Rodi Said

Four of the Iraq strikes were near Sinjar in northern Iraq, which destroyed Islamic State buildings, tactical units and vehicles. Other Iraqi cities targeted included Tal Afar, Ramadi, Mosul and Baiji, according to the Combined Joint Task Force.

The strikes in Syria focused around the contested city of Kobani near the Turkish border, it said in a statement.

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Celebrities post photos from Elton John wedding

Celebrity guests have been posting their congratulations to Elton John and David Furnish, who are getting married today at a service in Windsor.

Among the guests were comedian Jimmy Carr, actress Liz Hurley and the Beckhams.

Union slams 'ridiculous' ambulance proposals

The trade union that represents ambulance staff has dismissed proposals to increase target times for ambulance.

Tony Hughes, the GMB regional officer for the ambulance service in London and East of England, said:

These proposals are ridiculous. They will only serve to bring worse outcomes for patients. The proposals are clearly motivated to the run-up to the general election so that the Tories can show that the ambulance services are meeting their targets which is so far from the truth.

Grayling: 'Duty of care for armed forces in justice system'

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said that as a nation we have a "duty of care" for members of the armed forces who fall foul of the criminal justice system.

I think we have a duty of care for people from the armed forces who end up back in civilian life in our criminal justice system.

Fortunately it's a very small number, but they have served our country, and I want to make sure that they get the right support so that they don't reoffend.

So that when they leave prison they can reintegrate into civilian life without problem.

– Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

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Obama: Vladimir Putin is no 'chess master'

President Obama addressing reporters on Friday. Credit: Reuters

President Obama has rejected the charge that he has been outmanoeuvered by Russian president Vladimir Putin, arguing that the Russian president is presiding over "a huge economic contraction" due to the Ukraine crisis.

Speaking on CNN, he rejected the notion that Putin "is the chess master and outmaneuvering the West and outmanoeuvering Mr. Obama and this and that and the other".

"Right now, he's presiding over the collapse of his currency, a major financial crisis and a huge economic contraction," Obama said in the interview recorded on Friday.

"That doesn't sound like somebody who has rolled me or the United States of America."

Hartlepool: We will not be signing Ched Evans

Hartlepool United have said they will definitely not be signing convicted rapist Ched Evans, following comments from manager Ronnie Moorethat suggested he would be interested in a deal.

A statement from the club said Moore's comments were only meant to be "hypothetical" and there were no plans whatsoever to sign the player.

Hartlepool United do not intend signing Ched Evans and, for the avoidance of doubt, will not be doing so, irrespective of his obvious ability as a football player.

This story has emerged following an unsubstantiated internet rumour which the manager was asked to comment upon. The manager responded hypothetically to the situation by stating "if it could happen I would want it to happen".

This response was based upon the player’s obvious ability as a footballer and as such as then been headlined by the media without asking the Club for their official position.

The Club can fully understand the concerns of supporters and the general public and regrets any misconception portrayed. After a highly positive week at Hartlepool United following the takeover by new owners and the appointment of a new manager, the owners are saddened by this unfortunate turn of events and wish to draw a line under it immediately.

– Hartlepool United statement

Mandelson: Labour must spell out spending cuts plans

Lord Mandelson appearing on the Andrew Marr Show. Credit: BBC/Andrew Marr Show

Labour's shadow cabinet ministers should clearly set out how they will cut spending and the party must remain anchored in the centre ground of British politics, Lord Mandelson has said.

The former Cabinet minister, one of the architects of New Labour, said the party had to position itself in the centre and not be swayed by the rise of "marginal parties" like Ukip.

Lord Mandelson praised Ed Miliband for speaking out on the deficit, but also indicated he would like to see the leader's older brother - and former rival - David return to British politics.

He told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show that the Labour leader and shadow chancellor Ed Balls had set out a "sensible and reasonable" position on reducing the deficit, but the rest of the party needed to back him up.

Read: Cameron: Labour's economic plans 'a massive gamble'

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