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UK may expand military support mission in Iraq

British soldiers instruct Kurdish Peshmerga fighters during training at a shooting range in Arbil, October 2014. Credit: Reuters

The UK is preparing to send troops into the more dangerous parts of northern Iraq in support of the US military mission to train local forces to fight so-called Islamic State fighters.

The Times reports that the prospect of expanding the British mission to Iraq from the relative safety of Kurdish held areas has been raised at a meeting of the National Security Council, chaired by David Cameron.

It is understood that the British Army is ready to go ahead, but it is awating political approval from ministers.

The operation would involve the deployment of a specialist team of experts in countering roadside bombs - improvised explosive devices (IEDs) - to work alongside American trainers.

They would be based in the capital Baghdad but could also operate outside the city where the US is conducting training of Iraqi forces preparing to take on IS


US accidentally shipped anthrax to two foreign countries

File photo: Spores from the Sterne strain of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) Credit: Reuters

The US military has discovered more suspected cases of accidental shipments of live anthrax spores than initially thought - including some that were sent overseas.

In a statement, the Pentagon said:

As of now, 24 laboratories in 11 states and two foreign countries are believed to have received suspect samples.

– Pentagon statement.

There was no known risk to the general public and extremely low risk to lab workers, officials said.


Labour leadership hopefuls begin campaigning in earnest

The three candidates hoping to succeed Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour party kicked off their campaigning in earnest today.

With the dust barely settled on the party's general election defeat, there was no time to relax as all three took part in events to try to win support among party members.

But while they are all hoping to stand out, they are pushing a similar message - that major changes are needed to 'Labour thinking'.

ITV News political correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

Blatter faces calls to step down despite re-election

Returning Fifa President Sepp Blatter faces mounting calls to step down after 18 people were arrested in police probes into allegations of kickbacks, bribes and ''rampant'' corruption.

While Blatter is not himself under suspicion of corruption, he may still be questioned by police as part of the US and Swiss investigations.

ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies reports on whether Blatter's image could be tarnished beyond repair:

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