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Icelandic volcanic ash alert raised to red after eruption

New eruptions in Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano system prompted authorities to raise the warning level for the risk of ash to aviation to the highest level of red.

Steam and smoke rise over Bardarbunga volcano system. Credit: Reuters

The area has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the last two weeks and scientists have been on high alert.

In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, in a different region of Iceland, closed much of Europe's air space for six days.


Record 10.6 million tune in to watch X Factor

A record 10.6 million people tuned in last night to watch the return of the hit TV talent-show X Factor.

The 11th series kicked off with a brand new line-up of contestants and judges, beating last year's launch audience by 300,000 viewers.

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini made a return to the judging panel. Credit: ITV/PA Wire

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini- formerly Cheryl Cole - made a return to the judging panel for the first time since 2011.

She sits alongside former Spice Girl Mel B, Simon Cowell and X-Factor stalwart Louis Walsh.

The X Factor was the most watched programme of the night by more than 4 million viewers.

The show continues tonight at 8pm on ITV.

Political punter could make £1m if Scotland votes No

A political punter could make £1 million if Scotland votes No to independence, bookmaker William Hill said.

A political punter could make £1 million
A political punter could make £1 million. Credit: PA

Read: Scottish referendum votes put up for sale on eBay

The customer had already put a record £600,000 on the outcome of the referendum and added a further £200,000 to his wager, meaning he stands to collect £973,333 should the outcome of the poll be a No vote.

This gentleman's stake of £600,000 was already a record for political betting, but his latest 'investment' as he calls it, takes his total wager up to £800,000 - the biggest amount ever gambled on the outcome of a political event.

– William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe

The man, who cannot vote in the referendum, staked his initial bet of £400,000 at odds of 1/4 in June 2014, followed it up with an addition £200,000 at odds of 1/6 at the beginning of August, then added a third instalment on Saturday at odds of 1/5.

Read: Over 40% reject currency union with independent Scotland


Mostly fine before cloud and rain arrives

It will be a mostly fine day for many with light winds and sunny spells which will make it feel quite warm at times.

There will be highs of 20C in the south.
There will be highs of 20C in the south. Credit: Met Office

Cloud and rain will spread into the north-west later, bringing freshening winds.

Tonight will see occasional rain and drizzle with extensive low cloud and hill fog will continue to spread south and east to most parts.

Clearer and drier conditions will follow into the northwest.

Ukraine hands back captured Russian paratroops

Ukraine has handed back Russian paratroops who were captured after crossing the border to Ukraine, Russian media report. Russian forced have returned a group of 63 detained Ukrainian troops who crossed into the Russian territory last week.

Russian troops
A group of Russian servicemen, who are detained by Ukrainian authorities. Credit: Reuters

Russian RIA news agency quoted Russian Major-General Alexei Ragozin as saying the paratroops had been handed back after "very difficult" negotiations.

Paul Gascoigne determined to beat alcohol addiction

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne said he can overcome the demons which saw him admitted to hospital in a drink-fuelled stupor.

Paul Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive

The 46-year-old, whose legacy on the pitch has been overshadowed by alcohol and drug attractions, was treated in a Dorset hospital when he suffered a relapse last week after spending the previous seven months clean.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "I know I can overcome this. I am an alcoholic so I am taking one day at a time, but I will get there."

The former Tottenham Hotspur player said he turned to drink after being served with an eviction notice on his flat in Sandbanks, Poole, and described his latest relapse as a "blip".

He told the newspaper: "Up until a few weeks ago, I was doing great. I have an illness and I had a bad moment. Now I want to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Fifi Geldof reveals battle with depression

The eldest sister of Peaches Geldof has been battling with clinical depression for two decades - keeping it a secret from her rock star father.

Fifi Geldof, 31, said she was first diagnosed with the mental illness at the age of 11, following the break-up of her parents, Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof and television presenter Paula Yates.

Fifi Geldof with her sister Peaches.
Fifi Geldof with her sister Peaches. Credit: PA

"I never expressly told my parents. Dad doesn't know. I wouldn't talk to him about it now. I don't have that relationship with my family," she said.

Geldof family
Bob Geldof with his daughters (left to right) Fifi, Tigerlily, Pixie and Peaches. Credit: PA

Speaking to The Mail On Sunday, Fifi described how she took drugs, drank heavily and began comfort eating following her mother's death, having previously being treated for clinical depression.

Her mother died from a heroin overdose at her London home in September 2000, while sister Peaches died of a heroin overdose in April this year after losing her battle against addiction to the Class A drug.

Read: Bob Geldof on death of Peaches: 'It's intolerable, but you get on with it'

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