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Rain, wind and fallen leaves cause train disruption

Several rail services have been disrupted across Britain as a result of ex-hurricane Gonzalo today.

People are covered by a breaking wave as they walk along the promenade at New Brighton near Liverpool. Credit: Reuters

Flooding in Wales prompted bus services to replace trains between North Llanrwst and Blaenau Ffestiniog, while broken-down trains prompted delays between London and Luton and in Devon between Taunton and Exeter St Davids.

Network Rail said heavy winds, torrential rain and fallen leaves were "making conditions difficult on the railway today".

Obstructions on the line caused delays on services between Bournemouth and Southampton Central, between London and Epsom and between Sutton and St Albans.

A number of ferry crossings between Holyhead, North Wales and Dublin have also been cancelled, Irish Ferries said.

Pistorius banned from Paralympic events for five years

Oscar Pistorius will be ineligible to compete in any Paralympic events for the duration of his five year prison sentence, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said.

Although Pistorius could be released after 10 months to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest, the IPC says its rules will still prevent him from running for the full five years.

This rules him out of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.

Army medics volunteer to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone

150 British Army medics are joining the UK efforts to defeat Ebola in Sierra Leone, to run a training facility aimed at teaching local healthcare workers how to treat and protect themselves and others from the virus.

The soldiers all volunteered for the mission, their major said.

All of my soldiers have volunteered for this mission. For a lot of them it is their first tour and they are raring to get stuck in and make a difference.

– Major Scott Hempsey


Royal Air Force to fly surveillance drones over Syria

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the RAF will fly surveillance drones over Syria as part of their efforts to defeat Islamic State fighters in the area.

An RAF Reaper. Credit: MoD

The MoD said the missions will be for intelligence gathering.

UK Reaper remotely piloted aircraft systems and Rivet Joint aircraft will be authorised to fly surveillance missions over Syria.

The deployment will see the Royal Air Force aircraft gathering intelligence as the UK ramps up efforts to protect our national interests from the terrorist threat emanating the country.

Reapers are not authorised to use weapons in Syria and, alongside Rivet Joint, will provide vital situational awareness making it an invaluable asset to the coalition allies who are combating ISIL.

– Ministry of Defence

Oscar Pistorius' uncle: We accept this sentence

Oscar Pistorius' uncle has said that he accepts his nephew's sentence, adding that Oscar "will embrace this opportunity to pay back to society".

This has been a incredibly harrowing experience for everyone involved: the Steenkamp family, our family and Oscar. It's been a harrowing 20 months and we are all emotionally drained.

– Arnold pistorius

He added that he hoped Oscar would "begin his own healing process".

"As a family we are ready to help and guide Oscar as he serves his sentence," he said.

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