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Fresh UK aid flights depart for northern Iraq

More UK aid flights have departed for Iraq today, delivering tents, food and vehicles for humanitarian workers across the north of the country.

UK aid is prepared in Kemble, southern England.
UK aid is prepared in Kemble, southern England. Credit: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Taking off from Dubai today, the flights will deliver the supplies to refugees across the Dohuk region, who have been chased out of their homes after threats and attacks from Islamist extremists.

The first UK aid flight was on August 16, and delivered almost 8,000 kitchen sets allowing people to cook for themselves.

The contents of the latest delivery, bringing to six the total number of flights to date, are aimed at providing shelter for 2,575 people, as well as body armour for aid workers.

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Area evacuated over fears Icelandic volcano could erupt

The area around the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland has been evacuated over fears it could erupt.

A warning sign blocks the road to Bardarbunga volcano.
A warning sign blocks the road to Bardarbunga volcano. Credit: Reuters

Iceland's civil protection agency ordered the evacuation after "increased seismic activity" at the country's largest volcanic system.

A statement from the agency said: "This decision is a safety measure. It cannot be ruled out that the seismic activity in Bardarbunga could lead to a volcanic eruption."

Ash from the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days.

Read more: Earthquakes near Iceland volcano 'biggest felt in years'

Mix of sunshine and showers but feeling cool

There will be highs of 19C in the south but it will still feel chilly.
There will be highs of 19C in the south but it will still feel chilly. Credit: Met Office

It will be a rather chilly start for much of the UK with mainly cloudy conditions across much of the north.

Showery outbreaks of rain will slowly spread south throughout the day, however it will remain largely dry and bright in the south east with sunny spells.

Things will turn brighter in the north later but temperatures remain cool for this time of year with highs of 19C.

Liberia residents clash with police over Ebola quarantine

Liberia security forces dressed in riot gear control a crowd of people in the West Point area.
Liberia security forces dressed in riot gear control a crowd of people in the West Point area. Credit: Reuters

Residents in Liberia have clashed with security forces over the government's attempts to enforce a quarantine on a West Point neighbourhood in the capital Monrovia in a bid to stop the spread of the Ebola virus.

At least four people were injured after police fired live rounds and teargas yesterday.

Liberian security forces stand in front of protesters after clashes at West Point neighbourhood in Monrovia.
Liberian security forces stand in front of protesters after clashes at West Point neighbourhood in Monrovia. Credit: Reuters

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James Foley killer 'a British jihadist named John'

The Islamic State militant shown beheading US journalist James Foley is believed to be from Britain and nicknamed 'John', according to various newspaper reports.

James Foley was kidnapped in Syria in 2012.
James Foley was kidnapped in Syria in 2012. Credit: Facebook/Nicole Tung

The man is thought to be a senior figure in the jihadist group and is a prime target for MI5, MI6 and the SAS, according to the Times.

The paper claims he is linked to a group of British-Pakistani hostage specialists jokingly known as the Beatles - prompting the nickname from a former captive.

The Telegraph reports that US and UK intelligence services are now urgently investigating the claims about the "well-educated" and "intelligent" killer - who is thought to be based in IS-stronghold Raqqa, Syria.

Former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds dies aged 81

Former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds has died at the age of 81, according to Irish media reports.
Former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds has died at the age of 81, according to Irish media reports. Credit: PA

Former Irish prime minister Albert Reynolds has died at the age of 81, according to Irish media reports.

Reynolds served as Taoiseach (prime minister) for just under three years - one of the shortest ever terms - but is credited with making a significant contribution to pushing forward the peace process.

He is survived by his wife Kathleen, two sons and five daughters.

Schools prepare for 'variable' GCSE results

Teenagers are today waking up to their GCSE grades amid indications that some schools are seeing major changes to results.
Teenagers are today waking up to their GCSE grades amid indications that some schools are seeing major changes to results. Credit: PA

Schools preparing to receive their GCSE results today have been told to expect "variable" grades.

There are particular concerns among some headteachers about English and maths grades, according to initial reports.

The potentially unpredictable results are said to be due to significant alterations to the qualifications this year.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, which represents a large proportion of secondary heads, said: "We are getting some individual reports of volatility, but we don't know about overall trends yet.

"Some schools have seen surprises. Some schools have seen results which are lower than expected."

Three top Hamas commanders killed in Israeli strike

Three senior Hamas military commanders have been killed in Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip, the Islamist militant group said.

Hamas named the men as Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum and said they were killed in a bombing of a house in the southern town of Rafah.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment on what would be the killing of the most senior Hamas men since Israel launched its offensive in the Palestinian enclave on July 8.

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