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New terror powers 'could endanger our liberties'

Politicians should not act as "cheerleaders" for the intelligence and security services, according to former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown.

Lord Ashdown has criticised new terror powers.
Lord Ashdown has criticised new terror powers. Credit: PA

Writing in The Observer newspaper he said the Conservative Party had used the decision to raise the terror threat level "to tell us how frightened we should be and why this required a range of new powers for them to exercise".

He added that the new range of executive powers "could endanger our liberties."

He said: "Of course, in these circumstances, the police and the security services will lead the clamour for more powers. They are charged by us to maintain our safety."

He added: "But it is the job of politicians to act, not as cheerleaders for those demands, but as jealous protectors of our liberties who measure any demand for their reduction against necessity, supported by evidence."

Militants reinforce siege against UN peacekeepers

Islamist militants have reinforced the siege against 40 Filipino peacekeepers trapped in Syria's Golan Heights, according to diplomatic sources at the United Nations.

More than 20 vehicles carrying armed fighters were seen approaching the region which has been demilitarized and monitored by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force since Israel and Syria signed an armistice in 1974.

Earlier, nearly three dozen peacekeepers who were trapped by militants in the Golan Heights were successfully extracted, according to UN officials.

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More than 30 peacekeepers rescued in Golan Heights

Nearly three dozen United Nations peacekeepers who were trapped by militants in the Golan Heights have been successfully extracted, according to UN officials.

Officials in the Philippines have said all 72 of the trapped Filipino peacekeepers were safe.

Another 44 Fijian peacekeepers have been detained by militants nearby since Thursday.

UN map reveals destination of Syrian refugees

The UN has published a map revealing which countries some three million Syrian refugees have fled to - with many escaping the conflict in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.

The UN refugee agency has said many newly arriving refugees only left Syria as a last resort.

UN map reveals destination of Syrian refugees
UN map reveals destination of Syrian refugees Credit: Twitter/UNHCRUK

A growing number, including more than half of those coming to Lebanon, have moved at least once before fleeing, and one in 10 have moved more than three times.

One woman told UNHCR she had moved 20 times before crossing into Lebanon.

Read: UN - record three million refugees flee Syria crisis

UN: Syrians in 'shocking state, exhausted, scared'

Aid agencies and the UN Refugee agency have said that increasing numbers of families are arriving in a shocking state, exhausted, scared and with their savings depleted after fleeing their homes. Most have been on the run for a year or more, fleeing from village to village before taking the final decision to leave.

There are worrying signs too that the journey out of Syria is becoming tougher, with many people forced to pay bribes at armed checkpoints proliferating along the borders. Refugees crossing the desert into eastern Jordan are being forced to pay smugglers hefty sums - US$100 (£60) a head or more - to take them to safety

– UNHCR statement

Read: UN - record three million refugees flee Syria crisis

More than 3m refugees amid the horror of Syrian crisis

Syria's worsening refugee crisis will pass a record three million people, amid reports of horrifying conditions inside the country, according to the UN refugee agency.

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6.5 million people are displaced within Syria. Over half are children. http://t.co/yX9M9ZEUqj

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Almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives. One in every eight Syrians has fled across the border, fully a million more than a year ago. A further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria. Over half of those uprooted are children.

– UNCR statement

Read: UN - record three million refugees flee Syria crisis

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Children live in unfinished building after fleeing Syria

ITV News Middle East News Editor Lutfi Abu-Aun has spoken to Syrian refugees in Lebanon:

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Khalil, Ali and Hatem Syrian kids posing for photo , they are living in unfinished university building in #Lebanon. http://t.co/6kGKUX072F

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Hadeel, newly arrived Syrian refugee, with her dolls in unfinished university building in #Lebanon @itvnews @refugees http://t.co/L8iq1K7F7t

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James Foley's brother: US needs to do more

The brother of murdered journalist James Foley has urged the US Government and its allies to do more to secure the safety of fellow American journalist and Islamic State hostage Steven Sotloff.

James Foley's brother Michael.
James Foley's brother Michael. Credit: ITV/Good Morning Britain

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Michael Foley said, "I don't have all the answers but what I can say is that I urge the US Government, our partners and our allies to do everything they can and to treat this with the utmost sense of urgency because there [are] things that can be done."

"Certainly we don't have complete control over the situation, but I just want to make sure for Stephen's family and for others that we are doing everything possible."

Record 3 million Syrian refugees in 'biggest-ever crisis'

The total number of refugees created by ongoing fighting in Syria has reached a record three million, United Nations' refugee body says.

Almost half of all Syrians have now been displaced from their homes due to the crisis, with one in every eight fleeing across the border.

More than half of all displaced Syrians are children.
More than half of all displaced Syrians are children. Credit: Reuters

Over half of those uprooted are children, the UNHCR says, adding that most families have been on the run for a year or more.

The vast majority of those that have left Syria are registered refugees in Lebanon (1.14 million), Jordan (608,000) and Turkey (815,000), the agency says.

The organisation adds that its Syria operation has become the largest in its 64-year history.

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