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Man shoots dead his daughter and six grandchildren

A grandfather shot dead his daughter and her six children before killing himself at a home in Florida, police said.

Don Spirit is believed to have shot dead his daughter and her children before killing himself. Credit: Reuters

Don Spirit, 51, took his own life after police arrived at his home in Bell, a small town in Florida.

The children ranged in age from three months to 10 years, police said.

Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz said: "There's certain things in life you can explain. There's some things you can't. This is something you can't explain."

Nasa confirms billion-dollar contracts for Boeing and SpaceX

Nasa has announced that manned spacecraft will again launch from the United States after deals with Boeing and SpaceX.

The total potential contract value is $4.2 billion for Boeing and $2.6 billion for SpaceX, with the spacecraft launching from Kennedy Space Center.

It is hoped the new deal will see crews fly to the International Space Station "in just a few years...ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia by 2017," Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden said.

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NASA to announce 'return of manned spaceflights'

NASA is due to make a major announcement regarding the return of human spaceflight launches to the United States.

NASA has been unable to send people to space since the retirement of the space shuttle programme in 2011 and has relied on Russia to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

You can watch the announcement live here:

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NBC has reported that Boeing and SpaceX are expected to win a contract to start transporting astronauts.

US carries out airstrike on IS target near Baghdad

The US carried out an airstrike on an Islamic State (IS) position near Baghdad on Monday, NBC News reports citing unnamed defence officials.

onboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Gulf Credit: REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

There was also an airstrike near Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, where hundreds of minority Yazidis became stranded last month.

President Obama announced last week an intensified phase in the US counter-offensive against IS in Iraq, which could entail strikes inside Syria.

The strike near Baghdad was reportedly not in response to any advance by IS towards the Iraqi capital.

Clinton returns to Iowa amid speculation over 2016 bid

Former Secretaries of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Hillary Clinton returned to Iowa for the first time since her 2008 presidential bid, amid speculation that she is considering another run for the White House.

At a yearly steak fry fundraiser for Senator Tom Harkin, the former secretary of state didn't shy away from the speculation, saying "It's true. I am thinking about it."

However, Clinton was quick to say her focus was on helping Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections, and praised Iowa's democratic candidates, gubernatorial challenger Jack Hatch and Senate hopeful Bruce Braley.

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Man accused of killing ex's dog and feeding it to her

A California man who allegedly kidnapped and killed his ex-girlfriend's dog, before feeding her part of the remains has been arrested, according to NBC News.

Eddy Watenpaugh is accused of killing his ex's dog and feeding it to her. Credit: Redding Police Department.

Redding Police told the station that Eddy Watenpaugh, 34, had taunted the victim via text message about the pomeranian named "Bear."

Sergeant Todd Cogle said the couple had briefly reconciled last month and Watenpaugh had cooked a meal for the victim, before texting her the next day.

Sergeant Todd Cogle said: "The suspect asked her how 'Bear' tasted...obviously referencing the meal he prepared for her."

He added that a pair of severed dog’s paws was later left on her doorstep. Police are testing the remains.

Cogle said Watenpaugh had been charged with domestic violence, stalking, animal cruelty and imprisonment.

Ohio school killer escapes from prison

The convicted killer of three Ohio students has escaped from a prison, police said.

TJ Lane escaped from prison, sparking a huge manhunt. Credit: Reuters

TJ Lane, 19, escaped along with two other inmates from a prison in Lima, prompting an "extensive manhunt".

A search was underway in woods and a residential area near the prison, as police warned the public against approaching the "dangerous" escapees.

Lane pleaded guilty last year to shooting three students in February 2012 at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland.

He was given three life sentences for the shootings.

James Foley family start fund to help US hostages

James Foley fund to 'honour what he stood for'. Credit: James W. Foley Legacy Fund

The family of US journalist James Foley, killed in the hands of Islamic State fighters, has started a fund to help families of American hostages.

In a statement, the Foley family said:

Jim's life challenges us all to love and forgive one another, and to make this world a better place. His bold commitment to bearing witness of the suffering in conflict zones and his extraordinary ability to befriend others drives us to somehow find a way to keep his memory alive.

Let us remember Jim with gratitude and use our grief to bond us together in his memory. We must not allow his death to be in vain. Let’s harness his compassionate spirit to continue his concern for the suffering and disadvantaged.

– Foley family
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