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Human trials of Ebola vaccine to take place in Oxford

The first human trials of a potential Ebola vaccine could begin in the Oxford as early as mid-September.

The candidate vaccine has been being developed by the US National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. Funding from a consortium of British bodies has allowed the UK trials to be fast-tracked.

Medicins Sans Frontieres health workers at an Ebola treatment camp in Monrovia, Liberia Credit: REUTERS/2Tango

Professor Adrian Hill, who will be running the trials at Oxford University, said he was looking for 60 healthy individuals aged 18 to 50 to take part in the study. Volunteers will have to make nine visits over six months and will receive modest compensation for their time.

Unlike with vaccines for some other illnesses, it does not contain any infectious virus material, so it "cannot cause a person who is vaccinated to become infected with Ebola," GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement.

Manufacturers are planning to produce around 10,000 doses of the potential vaccine that will be distributed to "high-risk communities" if the trials prove successful. Other trials are being planned in the US, Gambia and Mali.

Ex-judge: Drunk women holding back rape convictions

A former judge has said that rape conviction rates will not improve "until women stop getting so drunk".

Judge Mary Jane Mowat, who retired this month after serving as a circuit judge for 18 years, told the Oxford Mail:

I'm not saying it's right to rape a drunken woman, I'm not saying for a moment that it's allowable to take advantage of a drunken woman. But a jury in a position where they've got a woman who says 'I was absolutely off my head, I can't really remember what I was doing, I can't remember what I said, I can't remember if I consented or not but I know I wouldn't have done'. I mean when a jury is faced with something like that, how are they supposed to react?

– Judge Mary Jane Mowat

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Woman, 79, dies after being hit by fire engine

A 79-year-old woman died after she was hit by a fire engine in what the rescue services called a "tragic" incident.

The vehicle was responding to an emergency call in Oxford yesterday afternoon when it collided with the pensioner, who died of her injuries yesterday evening.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Our thoughts are with the victim's family following this tragic incident. The Fire and Rescue Service is co-operating fully with the police investigation."

Model lifeboats take to the Thames in rival boat race

A fleet of 250 model lifeboats have made waves in the River Thames as the RNLI held a charity Alternative Boat Race to boost the rescue institution's funds.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution's mini boats took to the water before Oxford and Cambridge's controversy filled men's boat race. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The miniature vessels raced along the tideway just upriver from the official Boat Race with supporters sponsoring the 250 boats. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The novelty effort hoped to raise awareness and funds for the RNLI, which make more than 700 launches along the Thames each year. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Oxford win by biggest margin since 1973

Oxford's crew celebrate after their victory. Credit: Reuters

Oxford's 11-stroke victory over Cambridge in today's BNY Mellon Boat Race was the biggest margin of victory by either side since 1973.

Cambridge's Luke Juckett lost at least five strokes when the two crews clashed near the Harrods Depositary, in the race's decisive moment.

Cambridge protested against the result, but umpire Richard Phelps threw out the complaint from cox Ian Middleton.

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Flooding continues to affect parts of western England

Heavy rainfall is forecast for large parts of Britain from tonight, with parts of the country facing the prospect of further flooding.

Wellies come in handy for a shopper in a flooded Wytham Street in Oxford today. Credit: PA

Around 100 flood warnings, and more than 150 flood alerts were put in place by the Environment Agency this evening, as people in western England continued to battle the aftermath of flooding in their area.

Walkers wade through a flooded Abingdon Road in Oxford today. Credit: PA

A cyclist died after falling off his bike and into floodwater in Oxfordshire and locals have been warned by Thames Valley Police to stay away from floodwater.

A car struggles to drive through Abingdon Road in Oxford today. Credit: PA

Water levels over the railway in Hixckley, near Gloucester, caused major disruption to travel today.

A property surrounded by floodwater near Apperley outside Gloucester today as heavy rain continues to batter the country. Credit: PA

Man dies after his mobility scooter falls into river

Water levels at Osney Lock have risen to record levels in recent years during periods of heavy flooding. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive

A man has died after falling into a river while driving his mobility scooter at Osney Lock in Oxford.

The 47-year-old man was apparently driving along a flooded pathway when the accident happened shortly before 6:30pm yesterday.

He was recovered from the lock but died at the scene.

Thames Valley Police said his death was being treated as unexplained but was not believed to be suspicious and his family had been informed.

Ex-BBC chief 'wants to answer MPs' questions first'

Former BBC director general Mark Thompson has said tonight: "The first questions I want to answer are ones from the MPs and to put Parliament first".

Mr Thompson said he had "made a submission" to the Public Accounts Committee and did not want to make any public statements ahead of his appearance before MPs on Monday.

He has accused BBC Trust boss Lord Patten and trustee Anthony Fry of "fundamentally misleading" the committee in July when they gave evidence on senior staff payouts at the corporation.

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