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2.3 million US birds could be infected with bird flu

Initial tests have found probable new cases of the rapidly spreading avian influenza on four commercial poultry sites in Iowa, affecting nearly 2.3 million birds, the state's agriculture department said.

Additional tests are pending to confirm the presence of the highly pathogenic H5N2, agency officials said. Initial positive tests for H5 avian influenza were found in a commercial egg-laying farm with an estimated 1.7 million birds in Sioux County; a 250,000 pullet farm in Osceola County; and in two commercial egg-laying operations in O'Brien County, with a total of 338,000 birds, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said.

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Nepal earthquake: RAF plane loaded with vital aid

An RAF C-17 aircraft has been loaded with aid supplies - including more than 1,100 shelter kits and 1,700 solar lanterns - as the government prepares to send vital aid supplies to Nepal.

The supplies will help homeless families who have been forced to sleep outside in the increasingly wet weather, the Department for International Development said.

Earlier, Justine Greening, the international development secretary, said the UK would play a "leading role" in helping relief efforts in the country following Saturday's earthquake, which has killed more than 4,000 people.

The shelter kit includes items to keep homeless families sheltered. Credit: Steve Lympany/MOD
Workers are seen loading the RAF jet with the aid. Credit: Steve Lympany/MOD
The British government has promised a 'swift and effective' response to the disaster. Credit: Steve Lympany/MOD

Rescue effort to reach stranded Everest mountaineers

There is a race against time to rescue stranded mountaineers on Mount Everest trapped by an avalanche triggered by the Nepalese earthquake.

Around 100 people, some Britons, are stuck high up on the mountainside cut off from base camp. At least 18 people were killed on the mountain.

ITV News reporter Rebecca Barry reports.

Foreign Office: Still no reports of British deaths

The Foreign Office has said it has so far received no reports of any British nationals killed or injured in Nepal following Saturday's massive earthquake.

More than 4,000 people are known to have died in the disaster. Credit: Reuters

A spokesperson said embassy staff have already assisted 200 Britons and had been out "scouring" hospitals, hotels and areas popular with tourists as part of its response.

Officials were "urgently looking" into ways to help get Brits out of Nepal, the spokesperson added.

The Foreign Office reiterated its message that anyone concerned about a loved one should call +44 (0) 207 008 0000.

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Labour hopes for stamp duty break for first time buyers

Labour unveiled what it hopes will be a vote-winning new policy as Ed Miliband announced a three-year stamp duty holiday, for anyone paying up to £300,000 for their first home.

It is a pledge that could be seen as a raid on traditional Tory territory.

ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen is in Stockton on Tees with the Labour Party campaign.

Cameron rolls up his sleeves to answer critics

David Cameron literally rolled up his sleeves in an attempt to inject new passion into the Conservative campaign today after criticism of a lacklustre start.

He had a bullish message about backing British business, saying the election was: "a battle for the backbone of Britain."

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

  1. Emma Murphy

Frustration as rescue workers unable to reach Nepal

UK Aid stranded at Delhi airport Credit: ITV News

There is a frustration but it is a frustration that's borne of a great deal of experience.

Sixty-seven international search and rescue experts are on this plane wanting to get out to Kathmandu and they have all been in this situation before.

They know that the first days after an emergency are always the worse in terms of getting aid through.

It was terribly frustrating this morning though to be flying over Nepal knowing that that's where the work needed to be done and still being told it was impossible to land because there was nowhere to put the plane.

We have been waiting here in Delhi all day.

There is a small hope now that later on this evening, the Spanish military planes might actually get those search teams, the search dogs and all the equipment out to Kathmandu tonight.

'Painfully slow' progress in Nepal earthquake response

Potentially thousands of Nepalese families remain cut off from help as rescue teams battle to reach devastated areas after Saturday's earthquake.

Medical teams have been stuck in long traffic jams as thousands of people attempt to leave Kathmandu.

As ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports, the progress of rescue efforts is "painfully slow":

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