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Militants threaten to kill captured French hostage

A 55-year-old Frenchman kidnapped by a splinter group from al Qaida's North African branch will be killed unless his homeland halts air strikes against the Islamic State group, his captors say.

In a video that appeared on social media, a masked member of a group calling itself Jund al-Khilafah, or Soldiers of the Caliphate, addressed the threat to President Francois Hollande and said the hostage would be killed unless the air strikes were halted within 24 hours.

The group said it was answering a call by Islamic State (IS) spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani to attack Americans and Europeans.

France's Foreign Ministry said the video was authentic and identified the hostage as mountain guide Herve Gourdel, 55.

US Military conducts airstrikes on extremists in Iraq

US forces have carried out four airstrikes on Islamic State extremist targets in Iraq, military officials have said.

The airstrikes - conducted by a mix of manned and drone aircraft - destroyed armoured vehicles and damaged a Humvee truck southwest of Kirkuk.

US Central Command say that they have now conducted 190 airstrikes across Iraq since the beginning of the operation against extremists in the country.

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Conservatives keep up pressure on 'English votes for English laws'

While the Labour leadership debated the economy today, the Conservative party continued to push English MPs voting on English laws. William Hague said any party that did not link such reforms to more powers for Scotland could pay at the General Election. ITV News Deputy Political Editor, Chris Ship, reports:

Labour to pledge mansion tax to fund extra NHS spending

Ed Miliband will announce tomorrow that the proceeds of a mansion tax on wealthy homeowners will help fund higher NHS spending if Labour win next year's general election.

The Labour leader's conference speech is expected to talk about building a world class country without big spending.

It is thought the proposed tax would apply to properties worth over £2m. ITV News' Political Editor Tom Bradby reports from Manchester.

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