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British military confirms 'extensive air support' in Iraq

Government officials have confirmed British military "extensive air and training support" to Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State insurgents.

They outlined a number of recent airstrikes including:

  • May 19 A Reaper aircraft and two Tornado GR4s patrolling northern Iraq attacked a number of bunkers with Hellfire missiles and Paveway precision bombs
  • May 20 Tornados struck a weapons store, a weapons cache in a tunnel and a camouflaged position (video above)
  • May 22 A Reaper successfully engaged terrorists burying improvised explosive devices next to a road
  • May 24 Islamic State armoured vehicle, buildings and bulldozer packed with explosives destroyed

Iraqi military begin operation to liberate Anbar

Iraq has formally announced the beginning of a military operation to liberate the western province of Anbar from Islamic State insurgents.

US-led coalition officers hand over weapons to the Iraqi Army. Credit: APTN

Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for the Shi'ite paramilitaries known as Hashid Shaabi, which are are taking part, said in a news conference broadcast on the state TV channel that the operation had been named "Labeyk Ya Hussein".

The Iraqi government is scrambling to reverse its biggest military setback in nearly a year, the fall of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province west of Baghdad. Prime Minister Haidar Abadi has vowed to recapture it within days.

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India heatwave kills more than 750

A heatwave in India has now killed more than 750 people.

The death toll from India's heatwave is soaring. Credit: APTN

Most of the deaths have coming in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana where temperatures have hit between 45C and 48C.

An estimated 550 people have died in Andhra Pradesh since May 13, one official said.

People have been advised to stay indoors as much as possible.

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Trial begins for 'greedy' trader accused of fixing Libor rates

A "wholly dishonest, greedy" trader did "everything in his power" to manipulate interbank lending rates in a bid to rake in ever-higher wages, a court heard.

Former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes, aged 35, appeared before a jury at Southwark Crown Court today charged with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud between 2006 and 2010.

The trial of Tom Hayes began today Credit: PA

He stands accused of deliberately rigging the rates, known as the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), to earn more cash.

Mukul Chawla QC, prosecuting, said Hayes had been "motivated by greed".

He was the ringmaster at the very centre, telling others around him what to do and in a number of cases rewarding them for their dishonest assistance.

Mr Hayes's desire was to earn and make as much money as he could. The more that he earned for his employers, the more they would value his services and, inevitably, the more that they would pay him.

All bankers want to maximise their profits, but Mr Hayes did it in a wholly dishonest way, concerned wholly with his profits and wholly unconcerned by the fact that he was cheating those with whom he was trading.

– Mukul Chawla QC

Hayes also managed to fix the rates at banks he did not work at, the court heard, by approaching middlemen known as brokers.

He denies the charges.

The trial continues.

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