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Saudi Arabia insists Syria's Assad will be forced out

Adel al-Jubeir said the SYrian president would eventually be forced out of power Credit: Reuters

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has insisted Bashar al-Assad will not be ruling Syria in the future, and that Russian intervention in Assad's favour is in vain.

Adel al-Jubeir's comments come in an interview with the German newspaper newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, published on Saturday.

"It might take three months, it might take six months or three years - but he [Assad] will no longer carry responsibility for Syria. Period," al-Jubeir said.

Saudi Arabia has long said that the Syrian president must step down if Syria's conflict is to end.


Tens of thousands continue to flee war-torn Syria

The people of Aleppo in Syria are going to take some convincing that a truce will actually happen.

Much of the city is in ruins after five years of fighting and President Bashar al-Assad is making rapid ground with his Russian-backed assault.

Many continue to flee the war-torn country, for whom any ceasefire would come too late.

ITV News Middle East Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports:

462 cases of Zika-linked virus confirmed in Brazil

More than 400 cases of microcephaly, a condition linked to the Zika virus, have been confirmed in Brazil and thousands more are being investigated.

The country said it had 462 confirmed cases of microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby's head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age.

It is investigating a further 3,852 cases of the condition.

UN: Humanitarian aid to Syria could begin with 24 hours

The distribution of humanitarian aid to war-torn Syria could begin as soon as Saturday if aid workers can gain access to besieged areas, UN spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi has said.

World powers agreed to establish a "cessation" of hostilities within a week after marathon talks in Munich, though Russian bombing raids will continue.

Mr Fawzi said representatives of the nations that met in Germany will convene for an afternoon meeting in Geneva to continue to discuss the humanitarian issue, which could speed up action as aid workers await access to begin the distribution.

The UN system has been geared to deliver this aid all along, especially to besieged areas, and that's precisely what's going to be discussed today: how to start, and when to start.

We hope to start as early as (Saturday), immediately after the (Geneva) meeting. Decisions will be taken to roll the aid in, especially to besieged areas that need it.

– UN spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi


Five-storey building among two to collapse in Istanbul

Two buildings - one of which was a five-storey - have collapsed in Istanbul close to the Turkish city's main shopping area.

At this stage there has been no report of casualties.

Local governor Vasip Sahin told CNN Turk no one is believed to have been killed or injured.

The buildings collapsed in a street near Istanbul's busy Istiklal Avenue in the central Taksim area. Credit: APTN
The area around the five-storey building was roped off as firefighter teams inspected the rubble. Credit: APTN
Clouds of brown dust was reported to have swept into the surrounding streets after the collapse. Credit: APTN

Sian Blake murder suspect arrested at Heathrow

Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murdering former Eastenders actress Sian Blake and her children Zachery and Amon.

Arthur Simpson-Kent was arrested at Heathrow Airport this morning after arriving in the UK on a flight from Ghana, the Metropolitan Police said.

He is currently in police custody at a west London police station.

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