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18 killed in bomb attacks across Iraq

Members of the Iraqi security force pose as they guard the site of a suicide attack at Imam al-Kadhim University. Credit: Reuters\Ahmed Saad

A succession of attacks, including an organised assault on a private Shiite college in Baghdad, has killed at least 18 people and wounded 50 across Iraq.

Today's deadliest attack took place outside the southern city of Samawah, where two car bombs exploded simultaneously in a commercial area, killing seven civilians and wounding 17, police said. The Shiite city is located 230 miles south east of Baghdad.

A dramatic attack on a college in Baghdad killed four policemen and wounded another 18 people.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the bombings.

Katherine Jenkins to wed filmmaker partner

Katherine Jenkins holding her OBE with partner Andrew Levitas. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Classical singer Katherine Jenkins has announced that she will marry boyfriend Andrew Levitas.

In response to earlier media reports that she was engaged to boyfriend Andrew Levitas, Jenkins tweeted: "Thank you for all your lovely wishes of congratulations. They mean so much to us. Happy Easter!"

Mr Levitas, 36, is a filmmaker, fine artist and producer, who also teaches at New York University.

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Coren Mitchell wins second European Poker Tour event

British journalist and TV presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell has won her second European Poker Tour Main Event title, becoming the first ever professional player to do so.

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Congratulations to Team Pro @victoriacoren on becoming the first double European Poker Tour champion! http://t.co/4ZCnaACVID

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Coren Mitchell has been playing poker since her teens and has won over $1m during her career, according to her website.

The Only Connect presenter took to Twitter to express her excitement and to thank her friends and fans for their support.

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Sorry for that language on Easter Sunday. But I WON!!!!!! That is at least partly thanks to the amazing support, God bless everyone xxxxxxx

Actor and comedian David Mitchell, her husband, also tweeted his praise.

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My wife just won her second EPT Main Event. Nobody's ever been able to say that before. She's amazing. #resistingexclamationmarks #EPTLive

Eight die in parachute plane crash in Finland

Eight people died when a small plane carrying parachutists crashed to the ground and caught fire in Finland.

Detective Superintendent Petri Kangas said three people survived the accident after they parachuted from the aircraft above Jamijarvi airfield, about 45 miles east of the south western town of Pori.

Jamijarvi airfield is located in southwest Finland. Credit: Google Maps

Mr Kangas said investigators did not know the cause of the accident but that "apparently some parts fell off the plane before it crashed".

Police said the eight victims were found in the badly burned aircraft - a Comp Air 8 kit aircraft, popular among parachutists. The three survivors are being treated for minor injuries.

'A story of struggle': McGuigan tribute to 'Hurricane'

Former professional boxer Barry McGuigan has joined tributes to US boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter calling him an "exceptional fighter."

McGuigan, the 1985 World Boxing Association featherweight Champion, also spoke of the "sadness" felt with the passing of Carter saying it was a "sad day for boxing".

"Boxing is the story of struggle," McGuigan said, "If you think about Carter's life he fought against the elements, he always seemed to be pushing against authority [...] so that struggle in itself epitomises the struggle of a fighter [...] working hard to achieve your goal."

"Eventually he got out [of jail] and he had his success which meant he died a free man."

More: Prosecutors 'used race card' against boxer Carter

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Prosecutors 'used race card' against boxer Carter

A British human rights barrister who tried to overturn the wrongful murder conviction of US boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter has paid tribute to him following his death at the age of 76.

Geoffrey Robertson QC was part of Carter's defence team at his retrial in 1976 after the sportsman had been jailed for a triple murder in Paterson, New Jersey 10 years earlier.

Robertson said Carter was "demonised" by prosecutors using the "inflammatory race card" and he became a "living argument against the death penalty".

"Hurricane" Carter was eventually freed in November 1985. Credit: S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

The barrister said: "Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter's first conviction and his reconviction were miscarriages of justice by prosecutors who had evidence of his innocence and demonised him for his black power activism in front of small town white jurors.

"I'll never forget walking with him down the streets of Paterson, New Jersey, and receiving the stares of raw hatred from white folk of the town."

Carter, who had prostate cancer, died in his sleep at home in Toronto earlier today, according to his long-time friend and carer John Artis.

The wait continues for grief-stricken families

by - Former International Editor
Family members of missing passengers onboard the South Korean ferry Sewol which capsized on Wednesday. Credit: Reuters\Kim Kyung-Hoon

After four days of frustration and failure the pace of the operation has increased. More bodies being brought in, more divers - there are hundreds of them going out to the ship. They are using axes to smash their way into the passenger area and using ropes to bring the bodies out.

For the parents; for some of them it's a relief - they desperately want their children out of the water. Others say "why didn't you do this days ago when children might have been alive?"

South Korean divers operate at the site where the capsized passenger ship Sewol sank. Credit: Reuters

I've been in a gym where those parents are waiting. It's really very hard for them. Every time a body is brought ashore the details are flashed up on a screen: height, hair colour, a general description and the clothes they were wearing.

These tiny details trigger very deep emotions - there are anguished cries from the floor of the gym. One woman told me, "I just want to die because my son is dead, but I have to stay alive for my daughter." Another man said that a lot of the parents have accepted that their children are dead.

Family members of missing passengers who were on the South Korean ferry Sewol. Credit: Reuters

This is no longer a search and rescue operation. This is a recovery operation, a national tragedy and for the parents a long and very painful wait.

More: Ferry transcripts show crew indecision on evacuation

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