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UN 'concerned' about refugee camp in Damascus

The UN said it is concerned about the residents living in the Yarmouk refugee camp. Credit: Reuters/Stringe

The United Nations said there had been "intensive" conflict between armed groups near the Yarmouk refugee camp for days and it is extremely concerned about the safety and protection of Syrian and Palestinian civilians in the area, Reuters reports.

UN spokesman Farhan Haq said: "Credible information from public sources indicate that a variety of arms groups are engaged in fierce fighting in areas where Yarmouk's 18,000 civilians, including a large number of children, reside".

He said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which operates in Yarmouk, was "anxiously continuing to monitor the situation closely."

Family: Light has been dimmed by murder of couple

Patrick and Gillian Kettyle were killed by Lithuanian builder Viktoras Bruzas. Credit: PA

The family of Patrick and Gillian Kettyle, who were murdered in November last year, has described them as "a wonderful couple" after their killer was sentenced to life with a minimum of 33 years.

Mr and Mrs Kettyle's family said they also "loved each other dearly".

They added: "They were the most fantastic parents - their children feel their loss terribly. It is true to say that the light in our world has been dimmed with their loss."

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Preston said: "This deeply saddening incident has been devastating for the family and friends of Patrick and Gillian and left the close-knit community of Fetcham in shock.

"I welcome today's guilty plea and lengthy custodial sentence which I hope that it will bring some form of closure to the family."


Terror of victims on Germanwings flight 'caught on camera'

A 15-second mobile phone video reportedly captured by one of the passengers killed in the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps reveals the last moments of terror for those on board.

Olivier Royant, editor of Paris Match magazine, is among those who have seen the clip, apparently contained on a SIM card recovered from the wreckage of the plane.

Dismissing claims that it is a fake, Mr Royant told ITV News the clip appears to confirm details released from the cockpit voice recorder - and said it is clear the passengers knew something was wrong.

He described how metallic banging can be heard on the clip - presumably the captain of the plane's attempts to break back in to the cockpit after being locked out by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz.

Balls criticised for 'refusing' to rule out lowering 40p tax rate

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has been criticised by the Tories for his comments on ITV News West Country last night, in which he 'refused' to rule out lowering the 40p tax rate threshold if Labour win the election.

Ed Balls speaking to Ian Axton on Tuesday's ITV News West Country Credit: ITV News

George Osborne today accused his counterpart of proposing to tax middle earners and said: "He has made it pretty clear I think that he wants to drag more people into that 40p rate of tax... I think that is wrong now and the Conservative party has a very clear plan to raise the threshold to £50,000."

Labour said the claims that Balls was effectively leaving the door open to changing the threshold was "Tory nonsense", and stated: "Ed Balls was clear and Labour's position is clear: we want fewer people paying the 40p tax rate. We want to ease burden on working families."

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