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Senior British Muslims back fatwa against Islamic State

Several senior British Muslim clerics have added their support to a 'fatwa' against the Islamic State militant group currently wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.

The fatwa, which is a type of Islamic religious decree, calls IS "an oppressive and tyrannical group" and forbids British Muslims from joining.

Part of the fatwa, published in the Sunday Times, reads: "IS is a heretical, extremist organisation and it is religiously prohibited (haram) to support or join it; furthermore, it is an obligation on British Muslims to actively oppose its poisonous ideology, especially when this is promoted within Britain."

An IS fighter holding the militant group's black and white flag.
An IS fighter holding the militant group's black and white flag. Credit: Reuters

The decree was written by Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan, a former imam in east London and now head theologian at the anti-extremist Quilliam Foundation.

Among other supporters are the head imams of Leicester and Manchester Central Mosques.

Read: Brits fighting for IS 'could be banned from UK'

US welcomes proposed EU sanctions on Russia

The White House has offered its support to the European Union's plan to introduce further sanctions against Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine.

"We welcome the European Council's consensus today to show strong support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and to prepare further sanctions for consideration in coming days," White House National Security spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

She added that the US was working with the EU to prepare further sanctions.

Read: PM: Russia will face 'consequences' over Ukraine

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US airstrikes back up humanitarian drops in Iraq

The Pentagon's Press Secretary has tweeted that US aircraft have been conducting airstrikes to support humanitarian air drops in the Iraqi town of Amerli.

The town north of Baghdad has been besieged by Islamic State fighters in recent weeks.

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US military & partners conduct humanitarian airdrops in Amirli, Iraq. US aircraft also conducted airstrikes nearby to support mission.

Read: John Kerry: Airstrikes alone won’t defeat IS militants

Brits fighting for IS 'could be banned from UK'

Britons who have fought for Islamic State could be banned from returning to the UK under tougher new anti-terror measures to be unveiled by the Government on Monday.

The Sunday Express reports a government source saying: “We are looking at stopping ­British citizens re-entering the country if they are suspected of terrorist activity abroad.”

The source also said ministers were looking at making it easier to remove passports from would-be jihadists through temporary seizure powers at the UK's borders.

Government 'absolutely clear' on Rotherham action

The Government is "absolutely clear" about the need to learn from the mistakes that led to the Rotherham abuse scandal, the Crime Prevention Minister has said.

Labour have said they will introduce mandatory reporting of child sex abuse if they are in government after the 2015 general election.

Lib Dem minister Norman Baker said ministers had asked the National Group on Sexual Violence against Children and Vulnerable People to look at introducing mandatory reporting.

Mr Baker added that there was now an independent panel of experts "to consider whether public bodies - and other non-state institutions - have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse".

Read: Labour to make reporting child sex abuse mandatory

Libor fines to help fund veteran accommodation in Wales

The Government has announced £2.26m funding for a project in Wales to help armed services veterans adjust to civilian life.

The cash comes from a £40m fund taken from fines on financial institutions involved in the Libor rate-fixing scandal.

Read: How Libor fine money benefits military charities

It means the First Choice Housing Association's accommodation scheme will be able to help former service personnel who want to settle in Wales and the borders.

The Prime Minister said in a statement: "This Libor funding will help veterans in Wrexham, Ceredigion and Flintshire to make the transition into civilian life, providing assistance as they find new jobs and homes."

Read: £1m cash pledge for Armed Forces Memorial

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£1m cash pledge for Armed Forces Memorial

The Prime Minister has announced an extra £1m funding for an Armed Services Memorial honouring veterans who have served in conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Downing St said the Government was committed to funding the monument, which is at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, until 2020.

Visitors at the Armed Forces Memorial in Staffordshire.
Visitors at the Armed Forces Memorial in Staffordshire. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The memorial commemorates over 16,000 people who have died on duty since the end of World War II.

There will be a dedication service on Monday for the 17 service personnel who died on duty in 2013.

New warning over sunbed cancer risk

Using sunbeds can significantly raise the risk of developing a skin cancer far more common than melonoma, the condition often associated with artificial tanning.

Scientists said by age 55 those using sunbeds regularly were 90% more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) , a more common type of skin cancer than melonoma.

Scientists have issued a fresh warning about the cancer risk associated with using sunbeds.
Scientists have issued a fresh warning about the cancer risk associated with using sunbeds. Credit: DPA DEUTSCHE PRESS-AGENTUR/DPA/Press Association Images

However, users of high intensity UV sunbeds were 180% more likely to develop SCC than those who do not use sunbeds at all.

Labour to make reporting child sex abuse mandatory

A future Labour government would make it mandatory to report allegations of child sex abuse in a bid to prevent a repeat of the scandal in Rotherham.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the move would help change the culture of institutions that had not taken abuse seriously enough in the past.

Yvette Cooper said the move would stop allegations being 'brushed under the carpet'.
Yvette Cooper said the move would stop allegations being 'brushed under the carpet'. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

She told the Observerthe proposal would "challenge the idea that any professional should be tempted to think that things can be solved quietly or privately by brushing them under the carpet".

Read: Police chief: Rotherham report was 'painful reading'

EU 'to decide new Russia sanctions within a week'

The EU will decide on new sanctions against the Russian government within a week, according to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, warned of new sanctions against Russia.
Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, warned of new sanctions against Russia. Credit: Kay Nietfeld/DPA/Press Association Images

She said there would be new measures if the situation on the ground in Ukraine does not change or if it deteriorates.

Read: Ukraine president says country on the brink of 'full-scale war'

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