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American Apparel ad banned for 'sexualising girls'

An advert for clothing chain American Apparel's 'back to school' range has been banned for "inappropriately sexualising" girls and potentially normalising predatory sexual behaviour.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said two ads, both showing a model viewed from behind, imitated voyeuristic "up-skirt" shots taken without the subject's knowledge.

The ASA criticised the company for 'inappropriately sexualising' girls.
The ASA criticised the company for 'inappropriately sexualising' girls. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Two people complained that the ads were offensive and irresponsible because they were overtly sexual and inappropriate for a skirt advertised as schoolwear.

The company said the model in question was 30 years old and the advert was not intended to represent an underage girl.

They added that the images had only appeared briefly on the company's website and Instagram page, having been posted by an inexperienced member of their social media team.

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Obama orders 350 more troops to protect Iraq staff

President Obama has ordered about 350 more US troops to Baghdad to protect the US embassy.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby added that the move would bring the total number of U.S. military personnel responsible for bolstering diplomatic security in Iraq up to about 820.

President Obama has ordered more troops to protect US embassy staff in Iraq.
President Obama has ordered more troops to protect US embassy staff in Iraq. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

The US is also sending its top diplomats, including Secretary of State John Kerry, to the Middle East to help bolster regional efforts to combat Islamic State terrorists.

Read: Video means it may be impossible for US not to act

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US officials head to Middle East to lead anti-IS effort

A group of top US officials including Secretary of State John Kerry and the Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hagel, will travel to the MIddle East to co-ordinate efforts against Islamic State.

John Kerry will be part of the team heading to the Middle East.
John Kerry will be part of the team heading to the Middle East. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

The White House said the trip was aimed at building "a stronger rgional partnership against Islamic State".

Read: Cameron: IS terrorists speak for no religion

Cameron: IS terrorists speak for no religion

David Cameron has insisted the Islamic State "speak for no religion" as he condemned a video appearing to show the murder of US journalist Steven Sotloff.

If verified, this is a despicable and barbaric murder. My thoughts and prayers are with Mr Sotloff's family and friends as they deal with this appalling and tragic situation.

As I have said consistently over the last few weeks, (IS) terrorists speak for no religion.

They threaten Syrians, Iraqis, Americans and British people alike and make no distinction between Muslims, Christians or any other faith.

– David Cameron

Read: Video means it may be impossible for US not to act

UK to sign £3.5bn contract for new armoured vehicles

The Ministry of Defence is set to sign a £3.5bn contract for almost 600 new armoured vehicles.

It comes ahead of a Nato summit in Wales at which Britain will argue for an increase in defence spending from the alliance's 28 member nations.

The order of 589 Scout Specialist Vehicles from a company in south Wales is the largest of its kind for armoured vehicles in over 30 years.

Teachers 'at sea' with English grammar, says top head

Many able teachers are "completely at sea" with aspects of English grammar, a leading headmistress has claimed.

Alice Phillips, who heads St Catherine's private girls' school in Surrey, said teachers educated in the 1990s and 2000s had no formal grounding in grammar.

Ms Phillips said many teachers were not equipped to teach English grammar.
Ms Phillips said many teachers were not equipped to teach English grammar. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Writing in the Times Education Supplement, Ms Phillips said:

Many of our brightest, most enthusiastic teachers have little or no grounding in English language or grammar - through no fault of their own - and are completely at sea with many aspects of proper usage

– Alice Phillips

Ms Phillips, who also head the Girls' School Association, also hit out at English teachers' apparent lack of knowledge of pre-20th century literature.

She said some teachers were "frankly, unversed in much pre-20th century literature" despite the new English curriculum calling for a greater emphasis on this area.

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