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Balloonists break world record for flight duration

Two pilots who broke the world distance record for a flight in a helium balloon made history for a second time yesterday by setting a new record for time aloft in a gas balloon.

American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev, who are currently on their 157th hour in the air, smashed the previous air balloon flight duration record of 137 hours, five minutes and 50 seconds at 7:29am local time on Friday.

The balloon's current course plotted on a map Credit: pacificballoon.com

New Mexico's Albuquerque balloon museum posted news of the pair's record breaking feat on Twitter:

The record setting pair also broke the world distance record for a flight in a helium balloon on Thursday after soaring over the Pacific Ocean as they set a course from their starting point of Saga, Japan to tomorrow's landing site in Mexico.

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Medic was exposed to Ebola in a 'frontline care setting'

The British healthcare worker who has been flown home for Ebola testing following a needle-stick injury in Sierra Leone was exposed to the virus in a "frontline care setting" according to Public Health England.

The patient, who arrived back in the UK today on an RAF flight, will be monitored for the remainder of their 21-day incubation period at London's Royal Free Hospital.

Yorkshire police issue warning over driving in heavy snow

Yorkshire police officers have issued warning over driving in heavy snow, posting images on Twitter.

British medic flown home for Ebola testing

Public Health England have confirmed that a British healthcare worker has been flown home from Sierra Leone and admitted to London's Royal Free Hospital for Ebola testing.

The specially-designed tent at the Royal Free hospital within which patients are kept in isolation Credit: Royal Free London

Professor Paul Cosford, PHE’s director for health protection and medical director, said: “Our thoughts are with this person, who has been courageous in helping those affected in West Africa, and in preventing the wider spread of Ebola.

“We have strict, well-tested protocols in place for this eventuality and we are confident that all appropriate actions have been taken to support the healthcare worker concerned and to protect the health of other people.”

The hospital said the individual is likely to have been exposed to the Ebola virus but has not been diagnosed with the disease and does not have symptoms.

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Snow falls across the south

The Met Office has issued a warning for the south and south east of England to prepare for ice with further wintry showers.

Outbreaks of rain and sleet are expected today with possible snow on hills where a slight covering is possible.

More wintry showers will affect Kent overnight where some snow may settle on the North Downs.

The snow settles in Havant in Hampshire this morning Credit: Annette White
Snow settles in Botley in Oxfordshire Credit: Rachel Trafford
The outlook in Basingstoke in Hampshire this morning Credit: Vanessa West
A light dusting of snow in Tunbridge Wells in Kent Credit: Fiona Rich
Snow falls in Haslemere in Surrey Credit: Gaynor Ann Williams

Amnesty International: 'Will Tasers actually deter terrorists?'

Amnesty International has questioned whether proposals to give all frontline police officers Tasers is an effective way to deal with the current terror threat.

Commenting on the proposals the charity's arms programme director Oliver Sprague said he believed the defensive weapon "can have a part to play in policing operations" but that they "should be used sparingly and only by highly-trained officers."

He added: "We'd ask the question: where's the evidence that a terrorist will be deterred by the knowledge that police officers have Tasers at their disposal?

"And who on earth thinks that if there's a real instance of terrorist activity that Tasers would ever actually be sufficient for our law-enforcement officers?"

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