News

Live news stream

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to arrive at Games

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will arrive in Glasgow today to watch the fifth day of action at the Commonwealth Games.

PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to arrive in Glasgow today. Credit: PA Wire

The royal couple will watch alongside Prince Harry at a number of events.

Spectators will be able to watch athletics, badminton, boxing, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis and weightlifting.

The equivalent of the entire population of Glasgow passed through the city's main train station during an action-packed weekend at the Games.

Read: Record crowds on 'Super Sunday' at Commonwealth Games

UN Security Council to meet to discuss Gaza crisis

The UN Security Council will meet at midnight to discuss the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Some 1,030 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 46 Israelis have been killed since the violence began nearly three weeks ago.

Reuters
Diplomatic efforts for an effective ceasefire have failed so far. Credit: Reuters

In a draft statement ahead of the meeting, the Security Council called for Israel and Hamas to "accept and fully implement a humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond".

The council expressed "grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties".

US President Barack Obama yesterday called for an "immediate and unconditional ceasefire" in a phone call with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Advertisement

Strike during passport backlog 'will jeopardise holidays'

Industrial action by passport office workers "will jeopardise holidays" as efforts to process the backlog of applications continue, the Government has said.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We are disappointed the PCS leadership has called this strike given that HMPO has been in discussions with the union on their issues of concern.

Holding a strike at this stage is irresponsible and will only inconvenience our customers and jeopardise their holidays.

We strongly urge PCS to reconsider this action which is not in the interests of staff or the general public they are dedicated to serving.

HM Passport Office staff know how important it is to hard-working people and their families to receive their passports in time for their summer holidays.

– Home Office spokesperson

Read: Passport workers to strike as backlog continues

Passport workers to strike as backlog continues

Thousands of passport workers will join a strike in a row over staff shortages as efforts to clear an ongoing backlog continued.

.
Passport Office staff are set to strike today as efforts to clear a huge backlog in applications continues. Credit: PA Wire

The Passport Office said the highest demand for applications in 12 years caused the long delays in processing passports.

Extra staff had to be drafted in to cope, while Home Secretary Theresa May was forced to apologise to those affected.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said poor staffing levels were partly responsible for the backlog of passport applications, claiming numbers had dropped by more than 300 since 2010.

Read: Passport Office 'in blind panic' as scale of 'backlog' is revealed

Fist bump 'more hygienic than shaking hands'

Bumping fists instead of shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, researchers have suggested.

Fist bumps are more hygienic as a result of its speed and smaller contact area, academics at Aberystwth University said.

Fist bumps could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, scientists have claimed.
Fist bumps could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, scientists have claimed. Credit: PA Wire

Researchers used thick rubber gloves and a layer of the bacteria E.coli before exchanging handshakes, high fives and fist bumps to determine which greeting was the cleanest.

High doses of the bug were transferred during a handshake, but that was reduced by more than half during a high five and 90% when bumping fists.

"People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands. But if the general public could be encouraged to fist bump, there is a genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases," Dr Dave Whitworth, senior lecturer at Aberystwyth University, said.

Man dies after Venice Beach lightning strike

A 20-year-old man has died after lightning struck 14 people at Venice Beach in Los Angeles and Catalina Island.

Reuters
Lifeguards bring a victim of the strike to shore on Venice Beach. Credit: Reuters

Twelve other people were injured on the beach, with one still in a critical condition in hospital.

A 57-year-old man was also hit on a golf course on Catalina Island.

A witness earlier described seeing a "big flash of light and a boom" when the lightning struck.

Advertisement

GP system 'brought to its knees by lack of investment'

The GP profession in England has been brought to "its knees" by a lack of investment, doctors' leaders have claimed.

The comments come after the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCPG) predicted patients will be turned away more than 50 million times by GPs in 2015.

Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, RCPG honorary treasurer, said:

No GP wants to turn away a single patient - but surgeries are being faced with no choice because they don't have the resources to cope with the increasing number of older people who need complex care, whilst also meeting the needs of families and people of working age.

The profession has been brought to its knees both by a chronic slump in investment and the fact that there are now simply not enough family doctors to go around.

The Government must urgently move to increase investment in general practice to 11% of the NHS budget by 2017 - and recruit 8,000 family doctors.

– Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard

Read: GP figures 'shocking indictment of service'

Liberia closes border crossings as Ebola concerns grow

Liberia has closed numerous border crossings in a bid to contain the Ebola virus that has killed 660 people across west Africa.

.
The Ebola virus has killed 660 people across west Africa. Credit: Reuters

The measures come as a second American citizen working in the country contracted the deadly virus, which has spread across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

"All borders of Liberia will be closed with the exception of major entry points," Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirlead said.

"At these entry points, preventive and testing centres will be established, and stringent preventive measures to be announced will be scrupulously adhered to."

Read: Police guard Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone after 'cannibalistic' claims

RCGP: GP figures 'shocking indictment of service'

Figures showing the number of patients expected to be turned away by their GPs are a "shocking indictment" of the "overstretched" system, leading doctors have said.

Research by the Royal College of GPs claimed the number of times patients will be unable to see their doctor will pass the 50 million mark for the first time next year.

The RCGP said if current trends continue, then in 2015:

  • Patients in London will be unable to see or speak to a GP or nurse on 10.4 million occasions (increase from 9.3m in 2014)
  • Patients in Birmingham and the Black Country will be unable to see or speak to a GP or nurse on 3.2 million occasions (up from 2.9m)
  • Patients in Greater Manchester, will be unable to see or speak to a GP or nurse on 3.1 million occasions (up from 2.8m)
  • Patients in West Yorkshire will be unable to see or speak to a GP or nurse on 2.3 million occasions (up from 2.2m in 2013/14)
  • Patients in Merseyside will be unable to see or speak to a GP or nurse on 1.5 million occasions (up from 1.3m in 2014)

Read: GPs to 'turn away patients over 50 million times'

Lightning strike 'felt like being punched in the head'

Witnesses have described the aftermath of a lightning strike in California that left 14 people injured, two critically.

Stuart Archer, who was struck while playing volleyball on the beach, said it felt as if someone punched him in the back of the head.

Reuters
Lifeguards searched the waters for anyone hit by the strike on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Credit: Reuters

"We went about our game and then all of a sudden, there was a big flash of light and a boom, and it felt like someone punched me in the back of my head," he told KABC-TV.

"It went down my whole side of my right body, and my calves sort of locked up, and I fell over. And I looked up and everybody else was, you know, falling over."

Jerome Williams said the lightning sounded like a "sonic boom", adding: "The majority of the folks that were on the (volleyball) court all felt a little tingly."

Read: California lightning hits 14 leaving two critical

Load more updates