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Fears over 'hostages' held a Texas hosptial

Credit: Google Maps

A man believed to be the father of a patient is thought to have taken at least two people hostage at a hospital in Texas.

It was not immediately clear if the man was armed.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said it believed the man was a distraught parent of a patient and at least two people were being held hostage at the Tomball Regional Medical Centre, near Houston.

A supervisor at the county's emergency dispatch centre said the situation was in the critical care unit and began around 7pm local time.

The hospital is on a 150-acre campus about 30 miles north-west of Houston in the United States.

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Report: Germany 'recorded Kerry's phone conversation'

Germany's foreign intelligence agency recorded at least one phone conversation held by US Secretary of State John Kerry, a German magazine reported.

US Secretary of State John Kerry Credit: PA Wire

Der Spiegel cited unnamed sources as saying Germany security agents had intercepted Kerry's words when he was in the Middle East negotiating between Israelis, Palestinians and Arab states last year.

But the intelligence agency spokeswoman told Reuters Germany was not tapping the phones of allied countries and said the United States was not a target.

Fire crews rescue 24 trapped on top of rollercoaster

Twenty-four people are being rescued by fire crews after getting stuck at the top of a rollercoaster in Maryland in the United States.

Aerial pictures show a cherry-picker at the scene. Credit: Reuters

Local fire officials say the riders are being rescued slowly from the Jokers Jinx ride at the 6 Flags America theme park.

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United States beefs up embassy security in Baghdad

The Chancellery building inside the compound of the US embassy in Baghdad. Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The US State Department said it is increasing security at its embassy in Baghdad and will move some workers out of the Iraqi capital - but said a "substantial majority" of the embassy presence will remain.

"Some additional U.S. government security personnel will be added to the staff in Baghdad; other staff will be temporarily relocated - both to our Consulate Generals in Basra and Arbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman," a State Department statement spokesperson said.

Two police officers shot in Las Vegas pizza restaurant

Two police offers were shot in a pizza restaurant in Las Vegas during a shooting spree that left at least three dead.

According to the Associated Press news agency, police said two suspects shot two officers who were eating lunch, with one shouting: "This is a revolution."

They were then said to have fled to Walmart across the street, where they shot a person before killing themselves.

The condition of the officers is not immediately known, the police spokesman said.

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