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Israeli troops 'unlikely to leave Gaza before next week'

A truce involving the withdrawal of Israeli ground forces from Gaza is unlikely before next week, an Israeli cabinet minister said.

Science Minister Yaakov Peri told the Walla news agency the troops needed more time to destroy the network of tunnels used by Hamas militants.

I do not see a ceasefire in the coming days where the IDF leave.

I can say authoritatively that two or three days will not be enough to finish tackling the tunnels.

– Israeli science minister Yaakov Peri

Read: Hamas 'ready to accept truce if Israel siege ends'

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Evidence of missile 'will come from MH17 wreckage'

Evidence of the alleged surface to air missile strike which may have brought down MH17 will come from "the wreckage itself", an air safety expert told Good Morning Britain.

Chair of the UK flight safety committee, Air Commodore Dai Whittingham, said key evidence of a missile strike would be found in the remains of the plane, which was why there was "so much concern about the bits of wreckage that have been moved".

First day of Commonwealth Games gets underway

Athletes will take to the fields, courts, track and pool as the first day of the Commonwealth Games competitions gets under way today.

The men's triathlon, which kicks off at 3pm, will be an early chance to see some medals for the English team, with Olympic winning Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonny going for glory in this gruelling event.

Alistair is the favourite for triathlon gold but Jonny is a strong rival.

Brownlee brothers Jonny, left, and Alistair Brownlee, right, could take early gold for England.
Brownlee brothers Jonny, left, and Alistair, right, could take early gold for England. Credit: PA

Cycling champion Sir Bradley Wiggins will also be going for gold in the men's 4,000m team pursuit at precisely 12.09am.

Sir Bradley Wiggins should be among the favourites for the time trial.
Sir Bradley Wiggins should be among the favourites for the time trial. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA

Read more: Commonwealth Games: Day-by-day events guide

Hamas 'ready to accept truce if Israel siege ends'

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal says he is ready to accept a truce, Reuters reports.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal says he is prepared to negotiate a ceasefire deal.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal says he is prepared to negotiate a ceasefire deal. Credit: Reuters

Speaking at a news conference in Qatar he said: "Everyone wanted us to accept a ceasefire and then negotiate for our rights, we reject this and we reject it again today."

But he said Hamas "will not close the door" to a humanitarian truce if Israel ended its siege of Gaza.

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Typhoon 'caused Taiwan plane crash' which killed 48

A typhoon is suspected of causing a Taiwan TranAsia Airways flight to crash on a small Taiwanese island killing 48 people, The Associated Press reports.

Relatives of a passenger on board the crashed TransAsia Airways plane cries.
Relatives of a passenger on board the crashed TransAsia Airways plane cries. Credit: Reuters

The ATR-72 aircraft was carrying 58 passengers and crew when it crashed into houses on the Penghu island between Taiwan and China last night.

Two of the passengers killed were French citizens and the rest Taiwanese, airline representative Phoebe Lu said.

Ten of the injured survivors of the flight have reportedly gone home. Five local residents were hurt on the ground but have since been released from hospital.

A man wades through a flooded street after the typhoon hit the island of Penghu.
A man wades through a flooded street after the typhoon hit the island of Penghu. Credit: Reuters

Special prayers said in Israel as conflict continues

Special prayers were said last night in Israel as the conflict in Gaza continues to rage.

A Jewish worshipper takes part in a special prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City for the well-being of Israeli soldiers.
A Jewish worshipper takes part in a special prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City for the well-being of Israeli soldiers. Credit: Reuters

Fighting displacing thousands more Palestinians in the battered territory as US Secretary of State John Kerry said efforts to secure a truce between Israel and Hamas had made some progress.

Israel announced that three of its soldiers were killed by explosive devices lifting the army death toll to 32.

The number of Palestinians killed is thought to be around 650.

Flares light up the sky in Gaza where fighting is still raging after 16 days.
Flares light up the sky in Gaza where fighting is still raging after 16 days. Credit: Reuters

Problem debt 'will not evaporate with return to growth'

A return to economic growth is not enough to make the household debts built up before 2008 "simply evaporate", a finance expert warned.

Matthew Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation said:

It would be a serious mistake to think that the legacy of problem debt built up in the pre-crisis years will simply evaporate with a return to economic growth.

The magnitude of the stock of debt is simply too large, given expectations that income growth will be gradual at best.

And while the mortgage market largely remains competitive, tighter lending criteria means that some highly-stretched borrowers face limited choices. There is a pressing need for regulation to respond to this new context.

– Matthew Whittaker

Interest rate rise could force repayments 'up by £400'

Mortgage repayments could jump by at least £400 every year if interest rates rise by 1%, a think tank warned.

The Resolution Foundation gave indications of how changes in mortgage rates could impact on repayments.

  • A rate of 3.2%, which corresponds with current average mortgage rates, means someone with a 25-year mortgage of £150,000 pays £727 a month.
  • But if this rate increases to 3.7%, the monthly cost is £767, amounting to around £480 a year more.
  • If the rate jumps another percentage point, to 4.7%, the monthly cost is £851 and the mortgage holder pays in the region of £1,488 more a year than they would on a rate of 3.2%.
  • Moving the mortgage rate up to 5.7% means the mortgage holder pays £939 a month, or around £2,544 a year more than on a rate of 3.2%.
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