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US Secret Service has 550 staff below 'optimal level'

The US Secret Service is currently 550 employees below its "optimal level" due to budget cuts, director Julia Pierson has told a House of Representatives committee.

She told the committee of US politicians that she had drafted in other special agents from around the country this summer to allow others to take annual leave.

MoD: First Iraq air strikes 'successful'

Air strikes by RAF jets on an armed IS position and a vehicle in Iraq today were thought to have been successful, the MoD said in a statement:

Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft have been in action over Iraq today as part of the international coalition’s operations to support the democratic Iraqi Government in the fight against ISIL.

In the course of an armed reconnaissance mission from RAF Akrotiri, two Tornados were tasked to assist Kurdish troops in north-west Iraq who were under attack from ISIL terrorists.

On arriving overhead, the RAF patrol, using their Litening III targeting pod, identified an ISIL heavy weapon position which was engaging Kurdish ground forces. One Paveway IV guided bomb was used to attack the ISIL position. Following this engagement, the patrol identified an ISIL armed pick-up truck in the same area and conducted an attack on the vehicle using a Brimstone missile.

An initial assessment indicates that both precision strikes were successful.

– MoD statement


Swimming legend Michael Phelps charged with driving offences

Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps has been charged after he was seen driving at almost twice the speed limit in a tunnel, NBC News reports.

Michael Phelps at the 2014 Olympic Games in London Credit: REUTERS/Jorge Silva

The US swimmer was driving a white 2014 Land Rover and was seen crossing lanes illegally before being stopped at a toll booth in Baltimore, Maryland.

After failing a series of sobriety tests, he was charged with driving under the influence and two other driving offences.

Phelps is the most successful Olympic athlete of all time, amassing a total of 22 medals as well as several world records.

US military conducted 11 air strikes in Iraq today

The US military said it has conducted 11 air strikes in Iraq today and has continued its mission against Islamic State militants in Syria:

RAF drops first bombs on IS targets in Iraq

The Royal Air Force has carried out its first air strikes against Islamic State targets in north-western Iraq, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said.

Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft carried out the precision strikes. Credit: PA

An RAF patrol launched two attacks - against an IS heavy weapon position and an armed IS pick-up truck - while assisting Kurdish troops who were under attack from IS militants today.

An initial assessment indicated that both precision strikes were successful, an MoD statement said.

Police arrest 53-year-old man over historical sex claims

A Scotland Yard spokesman has said a 53-year-old man was arrested this morning as part of an investigation into alleged historical sex offences.

Officers from Westminster have this morning arrested a 53-year-old man following allegations of historic sexual assault against two women.

The man remains in custody at a central London police station.

– Met Police
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