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Father who lost son in Iraq war backs air strikes

A father from West Yorkshire who lost his son in the war in Iraq is backing the planned British air strikes on Islamic militants in that country.

Peter Brierley's son Shaun, from Batley, was one of the first soldiers to die when the conflict broke out in 2003.

He has campaigned ever since for the truth about why Britain went to war then to come out.

But now he says the Iraqi government need this country's support:


PM pledges support for Hull man stuck in Iraq

The Prime Minister has promised to help a man who's stuck in Iraq, and fighting to get his passport back so he can return home to Hull.

Kristian Nicholson was involved in a car accident while he worked for a security company in Erbil, and was told he was free to leave the country after appearing in court two weeks ago. But since then the authorities have held his passport.

Hull North MP Diana Johnson brought up his case in parliament this afternoon:

Yazidi Kurds in Sheffield fear for family's safety in Iraq

Yazidi Kurds living in Sheffield have spoken of their anguish, and fears for family and friends in Northern Iraq.

Hundreds of Yazidis and Christians have been killed by Islamic militants. More than thirty thousand others have been forced to flee towns and villages, to escape. The International community is now intervening, as the death toll rises. Tina Gelder reports.


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Open verdict returned at British soldier inquest

The inquest into the death of a British soldier who died in a shooting incident while serving at an air base in Iraq recorded an open verdict.

Lance Corporal David Wilson was found slumped at a desk in the Joint Helicopter Force stores at Basra air base in December 2008 with a gunshot to his head.

He had recently become a father to baby Poppy, was an upbeat character with everything to live for, the inquest heard.

Andrew Tweddle, coroner for South Durham and Darlington, returned an open verdict. He would have to be sure the soldier intended to kill himself to return a suicide verdict he said.

Even on the balance of probabilities, I would struggle to meet that test. The evidence does not fully disclose the circumstances in which David came by his death.

Mr Tweddle found the soldier fired the fatal shot himself, and that the gun did not go off because of a malfunction.

Iraqi health professionals learn skills to rebuild country's cancer care

Iraqi students at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Credit: Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Iraqi physicists are learning ways to rebuild their country's radiotherapy cancer care in a project run by Sheffield Hallam University in partnership with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and sponsored by the Iraq Ministry of Health.

The five-year project will see more than 400 Iraqi healthcare staff stay in the city to learn about British healthcare, during which they will learn how services at Weston Park Hospitaldeliver cancer care.

Each group will be shown how the patient pathway is structured and will be given talks and demonstrations from experienced Weston Park Hospital staff and Sheffield Hallam academics.

The partnership between Sheffield Hallam and the Iraqi Ministry of Health is also training doctors and other healthcare professionals across a number of disciplines. 26 Iraqi nurses studying at the University received healthcare certificates this week after a four-month study programme.

Tractor thefts

Two men are beginning jail sentences for their part in an international crime ring which saw half a million pounds worth of tractors stolen across Lincolnshire and shipped to Iraq.

Terence Frost from Dunsford, near Doncaster, was given six years and one of his accomplices Jabar Asso, from Wakefield, five and a half years for stealing 10 tractors in 2010. Three other men also from Doncaster will be sentenced later.

Almost ten million pounds worth of agricultural equipment and livestock were stolen from the county's farms during that year.