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Merkel rules out 'debt haircut' for Greece

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out the possibility of offering Greece more debt relief and stated that she doesn't see "a further debt haircut" in the debt-ridden country's future.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany will not offer Greece more debt relief Credit: REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Merkel's comments came as she and her finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble announced that they were rejectingthe new Greek government's demands to write off part of its 320 billion euro ($360 billion) debt.

She told German's daily newspaper Die Welt: "There was already a voluntary waiver by private creditors; Greece has already been exempt from billions by the banks."

US and allies in 27 air strikes against Islamic State

America and its allies carried out 27 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria since early Friday, the Combined Joint Task Force leading the operation reported.

US and allies in 27 air strikes against Islamic State. Credit: PA

Ten of the 17 strikes in Iraq hit near the oil city of Kirkuk, it said. In Syria, Islamic State targets near the border town of Kobani were attacked in eight of the 10 raids, the statement said.


£100k raised for disabled attack victim Alan Barnes

More than £100,000 has been raised to help relocate a visually impaired disabled pensioner who was left too scared to go home after being attacked near his home on Sunday.

An online campaign to raise money for 67-year-old Alan Barnes was set up earlier this week after he spoke out about his fears of returning to his house in Low Fell in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, after he was pushed to the ground and threatened during an attempted robbery.

The Help Alan Barnes online donation page has so far caught the attention of 7,724 donors and raised £100,085 to help with the pensioner's relocation costs.

Help Alan Barnes online donation page Credit: gofundme


Crowds fill Madrid streets as 'march for change' gets underway

Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Madrid to join a 'march for change today' as the far-left Spanish party Podemos encouraged the public to call for politics to "serve the people, not private interests".

Ahead of the march the Podemos party said they were hoping that the outdoor mass rally would attract tens of thousands of supporters to the Spanish capital.

Protesters march in Madrid Credit: Reuters
Podemos rally Credit: Reuters
A mass rally organised by far-left Spanish party, Podemos, has drawn crowds to Madrid Credit: Reuters

Balloonists break world record for flight duration

Two pilots who broke the world distance record for a flight in a helium balloon made history for a second time yesterday by setting a new record for time aloft in a gas balloon.

American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev, who are currently on their 157th hour in the air, smashed the previous air balloon flight duration record of 137 hours, five minutes and 50 seconds at 7:29am local time on Friday.

The balloon's current course plotted on a map Credit:

New Mexico's Albuquerque balloon museum posted news of the pair's record breaking feat on Twitter:

The record setting pair also broke the world distance record for a flight in a helium balloon on Thursday after soaring over the Pacific Ocean as they set a course from their starting point of Saga, Japan to tomorrow's landing site in Mexico.

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