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White House 'strongly condemns' IS after latest video

The US government has said it "strongly condemns" actions by Islamic State militants after a video was posted online appearing to show the execution of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.

In a statement, the White House called for all remaining hostages to be released and said it was working to confirm the authenticity of the video.

We have seen the video purporting to show that Japanese citizen Kenji Goto has been murdered by the terrorist group ISIL.

We are working to confirm its authenticity. The United States strongly condemns ISIL's actions and we call for the immediate release of all remaining hostages. We stand in solidarity with our ally Japan.

– Bernadette Meehan, White House National Security Council spokeswoman

British 'Jihadi John' appears to behead Japanese journalist

The British sounding Islamist fighter who has become known as 'Jihadi John' appears in the latest unverified video from the Islamic State.

The video, which lasts one minute and seven seconds, took the same format at the previous execution videos, with the hostage Kenji Goto kneeling on the ground before the black-clothed fighter.

Speaking in English, he said:

To the Japanese government: You, like your foolish allies in the Satanic coalition, have yet to understand that we, by Allah's grace, are an Islamic Caliphate with authority and power, an entite army thirsty for your blood.

Abe, because of your reckless decision to take part in an unwinnable war, this knife will not only slaughter Kenji, but will also carry on and cause carnage wherever your people are found.

So let the nightmare for Japan begin.

– Islamist fighter.

No mention was made of the Jordanian pilot Mu'adh al-Kasasibah.


Japanese govt trying to authenticate Islamic State video

The Japanese government is attempting to authenticate a video purporting to show the beheading of Kenji Goto, the Islamic State captive.

Kenji Goto. Credit: Press Association

SITE Intelligence group said the video features the same killer as previous videos 'Jihad John', killing the kneeling captive.

Donations for attacked pensioner smash £160k barrier

An online campaign to raise cash for a disabled pensioner has topped £160,000 - smashing the original target of just £500.

The GoFundMepage was set up by Katie Cutler, who took pity on 67-year-old Alan Barnes after hearing of his terror at returning home to Low Fell in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, where he was badly beaten up in an attempted robbery.

The total has now topped £160,000 Credit: GoFundMe

Mr Barnes was born with a number of disabilities, including visual impairments and stunted growth, after his mother contracted German measles during pregnancy.

He was knocked to the ground and threatened in the attack last week, which left him with a broken collar bone.

Ms Cutler set up the page to raise a few hundred pounds to help him in his search for new accommodation - but with donations of up to £1,000 a time flooding in over the past two days, the original target has been beaten many times over.

10% paramedic vacancies 'an underestimation'

Richard Webber from the College of Paramedics said the 10% staff shortage uncovered by Labour across England is an underestimation, as some ambulance chiefs are filling some of the posts with less qualiflied care assistants. In an interview with the Times, he said:

Trusts have run short for a number of reasons: pressure and stress is causing people to leave, and there also more opportunities for paramedics than there used to be.

The public are not getting paramedics out treating them in the numbers they should.

The public are not getting paramedics out treating them in the numbers they should. Paramedics have better assessment skills and a wider range of treatments so people with severe illness may not be getting the best care immediately.

– Richard Webber


Staff shortages hit ambulances services across England

Ambulance services across the country are underperforming due to staff shortages, Labour's shadow health secretary said.

Freedom of Information requests by Labour have revealed that one in ten paramedic posts are empty - in London and East Anglia, this figure rises to one in five. The government says an extra 2,000 paramedics have been recruited since 2010.

Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports.

Whitney Houston's daughter found 'unresponsive' in bathtub

Whitney Houston's daughter has been taken to hospital after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her home.

Bobbi Kristina Brown was discovered this morning by a friend and her husband, who gave her CPR until emergency crews arrived at the house in Atlanta.

Bobbi Kristina Brown was discovered this morning by her husband and a friend Credit: Reuters

A spokeswoman for the Roswell Police Department said she was taken alive to North Fulton Hospital in Roswell.

An investigation has been launched.

TV's Miss Marple dies aged 82

Actress Geraldine McEwan, known for playing Agatha Christie murder mystery expert Miss Marple on television, has died aged 82, her family has said.

The actress, who worked with the likes of Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Williams during her career, retired from the role of consultant detective Jane Marple in 2008 after 12 TV films shown on ITV.

Geraldine McEwan has died Credit: PA

In a statement, her son Greg and daughter Claudia thanked hospital staff who looked after their mother when she suffered a stroke last year.

Following a stroke at the end of October and a period in hospital, Geraldine McEwan passed away peacefully on January 30.

Her family would like to thank the staff at Charing Cross Hospital who cared for her incredibly well.

– Geraldine McEwan's children Gred and Claudia
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