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Russell Brand and Simon Pegg add support for Stephen

British film stars Russell Brand and Simon Pegg are the latest big names to show their support for Stephen Sutton - a terminal cancer patient who has raised more than £1 million for charity.

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Help this remarkable young man reach an amazing £2M for the Teenage Cancer Trust. #ThumbsUpForStephen http://t.co/Y8VeJeHxxC

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Kate & William in Canberra told of Mark Shand's death

Royal Editor Tim Ewart reports that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been told of the death of Mark Shand, while on their royal tour of Australia.

Mark Shand - the brother of the Duchess of Cornwall - has died aged 62. Credit: Press Association

From Canberra Tim Ewart said: "It's 7am in the morning here in Canberra. William and Kate have spent the night here with their son Prince George in an official residence. Their public engagements are about to start here in a couple of hours time.

"This tour is winding up and sadly, this event is going to cast a shadow over the last couple of days, of what has been a long and so far very successful and very happy tour.

"Both William and his brother Harry have become very close to the Duchess of Cornwall, despite all the family history and the background of the Diana affair.

"They were a close family and this statement from Clarene House, using the expression 'utterly devastated', applies to all the family.

"But royal duties here will carry on today, as they were going to before."

Bacteria use 'sophisticated language' to communicate

Biochemist Natalia Sandetskaya places bacteria onto a petri dish at the Frauenhof Institute for Cell Therapy, 2013. Credit: PA/Peter Endig

Common bacteria found in water and soil talk to each other using language in much the same way as we do, scientists have discovered.

The bugs display a level of "combinatorial" communication previously thought to be unique to humans and certain other primates, which involves using two signals together to transmit a message that is distinct from them both.

Until now this type of communication had only been observed in humans and their closest relatives. However, the study published in the Public Library Of Science ONE found that the Psuedomonas aeruginosa microbe is similarly capable using chemicals instead of words.

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Celebrities tweet their support for teen cancer patient

Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington and comedian Sarah Millican have become the latest celebrities to show their support for cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton who has raised more than £1m for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Earlier, comic Jason Manford who had been supporting the campaign before it reached the £1m mark, urged people to keep donating to see if they could reach £2m.

The total on Stephen's Just Giving Page had reached nearly £1.5m at the time of writing.

Read: Cancer patient Stephen Sutton hits £1m charity target

PLO and Hamas agree to Palestinian reconciliation

Palestinians hold national flags as they celebrate after an announcement of a reconciliation agreement. Credit: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation have announced a unity pact, President Mahmoud Abbas has said.

The move has widened divisions in US-brokered peace-talks with Israel.

Senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed (L) speaks with head of the Hamas government Ismail Haniyeh. Credit: Reuters

The reconciliation comes after seven years of internal bickering within the Palestinian groups and raises the possibility of a unity government and national elections within six months.

However, Israel has criticised the deal, saying that President Abbas has chosen "Hamas over peace" and cancelled a session of peace talks in Jerusalem.

More: John Kerry joins Middle East peace talks

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