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De la Renta's family 'heartbroken' at loss

The stepdaughter of Osca de la Renta has said the designer died with his family and friends around him on Monday.

Eliza Reed Bolen and her husband Alex Bolen said they were "heartbroken" at the news but that his hard work, intelligence and love of life would remain at the heart of the fashion label.

While our hearts are broken by the idea of life without Oscar, he is still very much us. Oscar's hard work, his intelligence and his love of life are at the heart of our company.

All that we have done, and all that we will do, is informed by his values and his spirit. Through Oscar's example we know the way forward. We will make Oscar very proud of us by continuing in an even stronger way the work that Oscar loved so much.

– Eliza and Alex Bolen

Former US First Lady Laura Bush pays tribute to 'dear friend' de la Renta

Laura Bush pictured with Oscar de la Renta. Credit: Reuters

Former US first lady Laura Bush has paid tribute to "dear friend" designer Oscar de la Renta.

George and I are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend, Oscar de la Renta. We will miss Oscar's generous and warm personality, his charm, and his wonderful talents.

My daughters and I have many fond memories of visits with Oscar, who designed our favorite clothes, including Jenna's wedding dress. We will always remember him as the man who made women look and feel beautiful.

George, Barbara, Jenna, and I send our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to Annette de la Renta, Alex and Eliza Bolen, and all of Oscar's loving family and friends.

– Laura Bush

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Tributes pour in for designer Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta Credit: Reuters

Models, fellow designers and celebrities have begun paying tribute to legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who has died at the age of 82 after a battle with cancer.

He had battled the disease since 2006 and is survived by his wife, Annette Engelhard, and a son, Moises, ABC News reported.

Fashion legend Oscar de la Renta dies aged 82

Oscar de la Renta watches supermodel Karlie Kloss wear one of his designs at his spring/summer 2013 show. Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

One of the leading lights of American fashion, Oscar de la Renta, has passed away at the age of 82, according to ABC News.

The Dominican-born designer broke onto the international fashion stage as one of the designers to dress American first lady Jackie Kennedy.

He worked for renowned fashion houses Balmain and Lanvin during his long career, and his red carpet designs were a favourite among the A list.

His last high profile design was Amal Clooney's wedding dress.

Total CEO De Margerie killed in Moscow plane crash

Christophe de Margerie. Credit: PA Wire

The chief executive of French oil firm Total has been killed in a plane crash in Moscow, airport officials confirmed.

Christophe de Margerie died in an accident at Moscow's Vnukovo airport on Monday night, a spokeswoman for the airport said.

The spokeswoman said: "Tonight, a plane crashed when it collided with a snow-clearing machine.

"Three crew members and a passenger died. I can confirm that the passenger was Total's head de Margerie"

In a statement posted on the Total website, the firm said: "The thoughts of the management and employees of the Group go out to Christophe de Margerie’s wife, children and loved ones as well as to the families of the three other victims."

Lufthansa cancels 1,450 flights due to pilots strike

Lufthansa has warned of disruptions to its services today and tomorrow as a result of industrial action by some of its pilots.

Reuters reports that the German airline has cancelled 1,450 flights.

The strike, organised by the pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit, will begin at 1pm CEST (12 noon UK time) today and last until 11:59pm CEST (10:59pm UK time) on Tuesday.

Lufthansa said it would initially affect short- and medium-haul flights and would be extended to intercontinental services on Tuesday.

The airline advises all passengers to check the status of their flight

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Cameron to use welfare cuts to fund millions of new apprenticeships

Prime Minister David Cameron. Credit: PA Wire

Prime Minister David Cameron is to pledge to end youth unemployment in the next Parliament by using money saved by welfare cuts to fund three million new apprenticeships.

The proposals to be announced today will see the benefits cap lowered from £26,000 to £23,000 and cuts to welfare payments for 18-21-year-olds.

Some 70,000 households will be affected by the plans, around 40,000 of which would be hit for the first time, according to the Conservatives' figures.

The money will be used to fund three million new apprenticeships, with leading businesses including Microsoft, Ford, Airbus and Nestle, by 2020.

Cameron said the plan to invest an extra £1bn in apprenticeships would help young people "make something of themselves".

Half of fire-hit Didcot B power plant still operating

Neil Scott, station manager at Didcot B power plant. Credit: ITV News

The cause of the fire at Didcot B power station is not yet known, the plant's station manager said.

Neil Scott said investigations would be carried out over the next few weeks into what was behind the blaze.

He said they did not yet know the full extent of the damage but that part of the plant is continuing to operate and that there would be no power outages.

"Half of the plant is running normally. Over these next few days and i'm pretty confident by the end of the week we'll have this plant back up and running".

Civil service staff to get equal parental leave pay

Equal parental leave pay for Civil Service staff Credit: PA Wire

Male and female Civil Service staff will be offered equal parental pay and support from 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is to announce this week.

Currently only mothers are offered full pay when a couple choose to share parental leave.

It comes after the Government announced last year that from April 2015 parents will have the choice over how they split parental leave entitlement.

But there was no onus on employers offering occupational maternity schemes above and beyond that to do so on an equal basis.

It is hoped the move at the Civil Service, also to come in next April, will encourage other public and private sector organisations to follow.

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