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Lingerie chain apologises for 'Isis' underwear range

Lingerie chain Ann Summers says it is "too late" to change a new range of underwear which shares a name with the Islamist militant group Isis.

An Ann Summers branch in Derby pictured last year.
An Ann Summers branch in Derby pictured last year. Credit: PA

The selection of bras and thongs was named after the Egyptian goddess of nature and magic.

The terror group Isis (also known as IS and Isil) is an acronym that stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

"We thought up the name over six months ago," an Ann Summers employee told The Independent.

“It wasn’t until all the PR was done for the portfolio when the name meant something else. It was too late to change it.”

Islamic State (or Isis) militants claimed responsibility for the murder of US journalist James Foley earlier this week.

An official Ann Summers statement said: "We in no way support or condone any act of terrorism or violence. We apologise for any offence caused."

UN warns of 'possible massacre' in besieged Iraqi town

Nikolay Mladenov, the head of the UN assistance mission in Iraq, has warned of a "possible massacre" in an area of Iraq under siege by Islamic State (IS) militants.


BREAKING: Desperate situation in #Amerli, under siege by ISIL, demands urgent action to prevent possible massacre. #Iraq

Maldenov said in a statement:

The town is besieged by ISIL and reports confirm that people are surviving in desperate conditions.

I urge the Iraqi Government to do all it can to relieve the siege and to ensure that the residents receive lifesaving humanitarian assistance or are evacuated in a dignified manner.

Iraq’s allies and the international community should work with the authorities to prevent a human rights tragedy.

– Nikolay Mladenov


Divides deepen in Iraq as condemnation of IS spreads

by - Africa Correspondent

Two attacks help tell the complex picture here in Iraq.

Firstly in Jalula, a city that was taken by Islamic State (IS) just a few days ago. Today, Kurdish and Iraqi forces fought back, regaining territory, helped no doubt by those 93 American air strikes over the last two weeks. IS said that it lost 50 of its militants in the firefight there.

And yet, north-east of Baghdad, a quite different story: A Sunni mosque was stormed there today - 70 worshippers were killed. Sunni politicians blame Shi'ite militiamen. Some of those politicians will now back out of discussions about forming a future government for this country.

It does seem here that sectarianism remains a barrier to political unity, yet abroad there is growing unity. Tonight, Saudi Arabia said it wanted the destruction of IS. The Americans today saying that the group is more deadly, more powerful than it was six months ago.

Sunnis pull out of Iraq talks after mosque attack

Two of Iraq's most influential Sunni politicians have pulled out of talks to form a new government after Shi'ite militia forces opened fire on a Sunni mosque killing 68 people.

Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jibouri have pulled out of talks with the main Shi'ite alliance.

I confirm we have suspended negotiations with the National Alliance because of this crime, until the results of the investigations are announced.

– Raad al-Dahlaki, lawmaker with Jibouri's bloc

US 'hasn't ruled anything in or out' on Syria air strikes

The US Defence Secretary has not ruled anything "in or out" when it comes to conducting air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria, the Pentagon Press Secretary has said.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel speaking at a press conference yesterday.
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel speaking at a press conference yesterday. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Asked whether Chuck Hagel had not ruled out air strikes on Syria, Rear Admiral John Kirby said, "The Secretary didn't rule anything in or out. He said that all options remain available and they do."

"I'm not going to speculate about where that might take this ... and I think you can understand why we wouldn't do that," he added.


US continues air strikes on 'Isil terrorists' in Iraq

The US military has conducted three air strikes near Mosul Dam today in support of Iraqi security forces against "Isil terrorists," the US Central Command announced.

The strikes destroyed two Isil armed vehicles and a machine gun emplacement that was firing on Iraqi forces.

All aircraft exited the strike area safely.

– US Central Command statement

The US has conducted a total of 93 air strikes across Iraq since August 8, they added.

US 'not the only tool' in fight against Islamic State

The US "is not going to be the only tool in the toolbox" that can be used in the fight against Islamic State, the Pentagon press secretary has said.

Speaking at press briefing, Rear Admiral John Kirby stressed that an "international approach" was needed to deal with the Islamist militant group.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby.
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby addresses reporters today. Credit: Pool

But he warned that a "multi-lateral and multi-national approach" to dealing with the threat "will take time to develop."

"I think we all recognise that this group didn't grow up overnight, they didn't get the capabilities that they got overnight - we've been watching them for a while," he added.

Iraqi forces move to retake northern towns from IS

Fighter fires an RPG.
A fighter fires as Iraqi government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters try to retake towns in northern Iraq. Credit: RTV

Iraqi government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have moved in a bid to recapture two towns in the north from Islamic State militants, security sources told Reuters.

Fighters fires a rifle.
Peshmerga forces, backed by US air strikes, retook one district near Jalawla. Credit: RTV

Peshmerga forces, backed by US air strikes, retook one district near the eastern entrance to Jalawla, 70 miles (115 km) northeast of Baghdad, they said.

Tanks move in.
Tanks and armoured vehicles fired towards targets on the outskirts of Jalawla Credit: RTV

Tanks and armoured vehicles fired towards targets on the outskirts of Jalawla after moving in a convoy towards the town overnight, while Iraqi troops advance towards the nearby town of Saadiya.

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