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Student 'cheated' by travel company collapse

A student who was due to climb Mount Everest said she feels "cheated" by the collapse of a travel firm who texted her about their collapse as she waited at the airport.

Rosie Cleere, 19, said she received a text from travel firm Student Adventures on Thursday morning - the day of departure - reminding her to meet at Heathrow Airport at 4:45pm.

But with just 15 minutes to spare at 4:30pm, a text message arrived from the company advising her to check her email.

The email informed the students that the company had ceased trading and said it was "unable to provide any services for you as a customer of ours whilst you are in-country in Nepal."

Cleere who said she spent hundreds of pounds and months training for the trip, said: "I was devastated, I was sobbing. Some of my other friends were sobbing. I was still crying even today when I've been talking about it." She added: "It feels as though we've been completely cheated."

The English Literature student at Newcastle University, added that the company should have informed them before they travelled to the airport.

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Polish PM Donald Tusk chosen as new EU council head

Poland's prime minister Donald Tusk has been chosen by European Union leaders to become the new president of the European Council.

The top official will chair EU summits and mediate between the 28 governments for the next five years.

Polish leader Donald Tusk has been chosen as the new president of the European Council.
Polish leader Donald Tusk has been chosen as the new president of the European Council. Credit: PA

Federica Mogherini, the Italian foreign minister has also replaced Catherine Ashton as the EU's foreign policy chief.

Students stranded in Africa after travel firm collapse

A group of 11 students who are currently climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity has been left stranded after a travel firm went bust.

Students have been left stranded up Mt Kilimanjaro after a travel firm went bust.
Students have been left stranded up Mt Kilimanjaro after a travel firm went bust. Credit: Reuters

The collapse of travel company Student Adventures, run by GBCE Ltd, means that the youngsters will not have accomodation or travel booked for their remaining time in Tanzania, the Practical Action charity has been told.

As a result, the charity - which uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries - has sent representatives from its Kenya and UK offices to offer support and advice, arrange accommodation and transport and ensure the students' safety before they return to the UK.

Wales

Photo released of boy, 12, swept out to sea

North Wales Police have released a photograph of missing 12-year-old Isaac Nash who was swept out to sea yesterday off the coast of Anglesey.

Isaac Nash
Credit: North Wales Police

Isaac, from Huddersfield in Yorkshire was holidaying with his family when he and another young boy got into difficulty in the sea off Aberffraw.

Underwater teams have continued the search today after it was called off last night due to poor conditions.

Isaac's family and local people have joined the police in the search along the shoreline.

Poroshenko: Ukraine on the brink of 'full-scale war'

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has said that he believes the crisis in the east of the country is very close to the point of "full-scale war".

He said that EU leaders agreed to prepare new sanctions against Russia, which could be implemented depending on the progress of his peace plan.

He added that he hopes a meeting with Russian amd EU representatives on Monday can bring about a ceasefire.

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UK pursuing sanctions against those close to Putin

by - Political Correspondent

Downing Street wants to ramp up the sanctions against Russia but that's not going to happen here tonight. The groundwork for new sanctions has not yet been done.

Prime Minister David Cameron speaking to reporters after arriving at the EU summit in Brussels
Prime Minister David Cameron speaking to reporters after arriving at the EU summit in Brussels

The UK government wants the European Union to look at new ways of targeting individuals close to President Putin and the defence, finance and energy sectors.

These are broadly the areas where sanctions are already in place. But are they working? The Russian economy has been hit, the Rouble is at its lowest point since 1998, shares are falling.

Government sources say the Russians have been more willing to negotiate since the latest round of sanctions. But they also admit that the sanctions have yet to change the situation on the ground and that's why more are needed.

Andy Murray 'would represent' independent Scotland

Tennis star Andy Murray has reportedly said he will play for Scotland if the country votes for independence next month.

Andy Murray said he would imagine that he would play for Scotland if it votes for independence.
Andy Murray said he would imagine that he would play for Scotland if it votes for independence. Credit: PA

Britain’s first Wimbledon champion in 77 years said: "If Scotland became independent, then I imagine I would be playing for Scotland."

Speaking after his defeat of Matthias Bachinger at the US Open, he added that he had watched some of the second debate between Scottish first minister Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, who leads the Better Together opposition.

But he did not think that his countrymen would vote for independence, according to The Times (£).

He said: "I haven't thought that much about that yet because I don't think it's looking too likely that it's going to happen."

He added: "If it did happen, then it would be pretty much the first time in my life that I would have ever not been Great Britain - that has been normal to me.”

John Kerry: Airstrikes alone won’t defeat IS militants

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the insurgency by Islamic State militants in northern Iraq and Syria demands a "much fuller response" than just airstrikes.

Writing in the New York Times, he said:

Airstrikes alone won’t defeat this enemy. A much fuller response is demanded from the world. We need to support Iraqi forces and the moderate Syrian opposition, who are facing ISIS on the front lines ... In this battle, there is a role for almost every country. Some will provide military assistance, direct and indirect. Some will provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance for the millions who have been displaced and victimized across the region. Others will help restore not just shattered economies but broken trust among neighbors.

– john kerry, us secretary of state

More than 30 peacekeepers rescued in Golan Heights

Nearly three dozen United Nations peacekeepers who were trapped by militants in the Golan Heights have been successfully extracted, according to UN officials.

Officials in the Philippines have said all 72 of the trapped Filipino peacekeepers were safe.

Another 44 Fijian peacekeepers have been detained by militants nearby since Thursday.

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