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First of three 'supermoons' lights up the sky

The "supermoon" rises over houses in Olvera, Spain.
The "supermoon" rises over houses in Olvera, Spain. Credit: Reuters

The first of three anticipated "supermoons" was seen around the world last night.

A super moon is seen next to Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest broadcasting tower.
The "perigree moon" is seen next to Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest broadcasting tower. Credit: Reuters

The "perigree moon" phenomenon - which occurs when the moon reaches the closest point on its elliptical orbit - makes the satellite appear larger and brighter than usual.

A moon is seen over the neighbourhood of Vasco da Gama in Brazil.
A moon is seen over the neighbourhood of Vasco da Gama in Brazil. Credit: Reuters

It is the first of three anticipated in as many months - with the others expected on 10 August and 9 September.

Eye tests an 'initial screen' for Alzheimer's detection

Regular eye tests could "complement" existing procedures as an initial screen in diagnosing Alzheimer's, the Australian science agency the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has said. Shaun Frost, who led one of the studies, added:

If further research shows that our initial findings are correct, it could potentially be delivered as part of an individual's regular eye check-up.

The high resolution level of our images could also allow accurate monitoring of individual retinal plaques as a possible method to follow progression and response to therapy.

Read: New research suggests 'eye tests could detect Alzheimer's'

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Regular eye tests 'could detect early-stage Alzheimer's'

Regular eye tests could in future be used to diagnose early-stage Alzheimer's, new research suggests.

Early trials of two different techniques show that a key Alzheimer's biomarker can be identified in the retina and lens of the eye.

Further work could see such tests used as a first step in identifying individuals with Alzheimer's. Credit: PA

Both methods were able to distinguish between probable Alzheimer's patients and healthy volunteers with a high level of accuracy.

Although the research is still at an early stage, further work could see such tests used as a first step in identifying individuals with Alzheimer's. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's is essential to developing effective treatments that do more than alleviate the condition's symptoms.

Read: Alzheimer's blood test 'could be available in two years'

29 women killed in attack by Iraqi gunmen

The attack took place at a complex in the Zayouna neighborhood, east Baghdad.
The attack took place at a complex in the Zayouna neighborhood, east Baghdad. Credit: APTN

At least 33 people, including 29 women, were killed in a raid by gunmen on a Baghdad housing complex on Saturday night.

A minimum of 18 others were wounded in the attack, police said.

Officials from a local hospital and from the interior ministry confirmed the casualties, the Associated Press said.

The motive behind the killings remains unclear, but Iraqi police say there are suspicions that the buildings were being used as a brothel.

North Gaza attacked as rocket launch site 'hit'

The Israeli force has attacked a site in northern Gaza used to launch long-range rockets, Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said. Militants opened fire, wounding four commandos, but the launch site was hit.

Israeli soldiers from the Nahal Infantry Brigade walk across a field near central Gaza Strip Credit: Reuters

Lt. Col. Lerner told Reuters the forces had "completed their mission" and that the results of the raid "would be the first published ground activity" by naval troops in Gaza, in an offensive that Palestinian officials said has killed more than 149 Palestinians, many of them civilians.

Lerner said Israel would drop leaflets in northern Gaza's Beit Lahiya to urge thousands of residents to evacuate ahead of planned strikes there.

Read: Britain 'on standby' to help end Gaza crisis

Church prepares key vote on women bishops

The Church of England's governing body is preparing for a vote on whether to introduce women bishops at a key meeting.

Read more: Church of England given second chance on women bishops

Jennifer Zarek, Jean Mayland and Christine Holt from WATCH (Women And The Church) Credit: PA

Members of the General Synod will be asked to give final approval to legislation introducing women bishops, paving the way for the first female diocesan bishop in the Church of England by early next year.

The vote comes after the plan was derailed by just six votes cast by lay members in November 2012, causing shock and bitter recriminations within the Church of England and prompting threats of an intervention by Parliament.

Read: Williams: 'Church lost credibility'

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Israel deploys troops inside Gaza for first time

The conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians shows no sign of slowing down.
The conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians shows no sign of slowing down. Credit: Reuters

Israel has deployed ground troops inside Gaza to raid a rocket launching site in the Palestinian territory.

It was the first time that Israeli ground troops are known to have entered Gaza in the current offensive.

But the operation, carried out by special forces, did not appear to be the beginning of a broad ground offensive.

Gaza police HQ demolished in rocket attacks

This is what is left of Gaza's police headquarters following ongoing rocket attacks by Israel.
This is what is left of Gaza's police headquarters following ongoing rocket attacks by Israel. Credit: APTN

Gaza's police headquarters have been completely demolished in the latest rocket attacks by Israel.

Police chief Tayseer Al-Batsh is said to be in a 'critical condition' and 18 members of his family are thought to have died in the blasts.

The police building was completely demolished in the attack by Israel's Defence Forces.
The police building was completely demolished in the attack by Israel's Defence Forces. Credit: APTN
Fire was still burning in the rubble of the building hours after the attack.
Fire was still burning in the rubble of the building hours after the attack. Credit: APTN

Student charged with street stabbing murder

A student has been charged with the murder of a 24-year-old man who was stabbed to death in the street.

Hassan Mohammed, from Camberwell, south east London, was found dead in York Road, Southend, Essex, at about 7pm on Monday.

A post-mortem revealed he died as a result of blood loss from two stab wounds.

Essex Police said Tajwar Alam, 18, of Tottenham, north London, has been charged with his murder.

He will appear before magistrates in Southend later today.

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