D-Day ‘killing field’ remembered on 70th anniversary

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D-Day veterans are returning to the Normandy “killing field” where many of their comrades died 70 years ago.

Events are taking place ahead of Friday’s major commemoration attended by world leaders in France.

More than 650 UK veterans are expected at the Sword Beach ceremony on Friday, and many will sail on HMS Bulwark from Portsmouth to Normandy on Thursday.

Former troops, cadets and serving members of the armed forces will earlier parade in Portsmouth.

In France, the Prince of Wales is to ...

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Syria conflict: UN restarts aid mission in Homs

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The UN has restarted its aid mission in the besieged rebel-held Old City of Homs after hours of talks aimed at saving a truce between warring parties.

UN vehicles towed trailers of food into the city, and aid agencies prepared buses to transport fleeing civilians.

The current ceasefire deal is due to end late on Wednesday, but the regime has said it will allow an extension.

Hundreds were evacuated from the Old City after a truce was agreed last Friday, but more ...

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Syria accused of torture and 11,000 executions

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25822571

There is clear evidence that Syria has systematically tortured and executed about 11,000 detainees since the start of the uprising, a report by three former war crimes prosecutors says.

The investigators examined thousands of images of dead prisoners reportedly smuggled out of Syria by a defector.

One of the authors told the BBC there was evidence of government involvement. Damascus has denied claims of abuse.

The report comes a day before peace talks are due to begin in Switzerland.

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Afghanistan mission accomplished, says Cameron

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UK troops can come home from Afghanistan knowing it was “mission accomplished”, David Cameron has said as he visited the country.

The prime minister met forces stationed at Camp Bastion in Helmand, a year before the last British combat forces are due to leave the country.

Mr Cameron, who ate breakfast with troops, said a “basic level of security” had been achieved.

They could “come home with their heads held high”, he added.

Senior military figures are braced for increased activity as more ...

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Syria crisis: UN launches record $6.5bn aid appeal

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The United Nations has announced its biggest ever appeal, seeking $6.5bn (£4bn; 4.7bn euros) for humanitarian aid to Syria.

The UN estimates nearly three-quarters of Syria’s 22.4 million population will need humanitarian aid in 2014.

The appeal coincides with a new study by the International Rescue Committee, which warns that starvation is now threatening the Syrian population.

Bread prices have risen by 500% in some areas, according to the report.

Four out of five Syrians said their greatest worry was that food would ...

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Armistice Day: UK remembers

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The anniversary of the World War One armistice – signed 95 years ago – has been marked in the UK with a two-minute silence.

Ceremonies have taken place at military bases, town halls, churches, schools, and at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

The

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Syria crisis: Barack Obama puts military strike on hold

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US President Barack Obama has put military action against Syria on hold and vowed to pursue diplomacy to remove the regime’s chemical weapons.

Damascus has admitted for the first time that it has chemical weapons, and has agreed to abide by a Russian plan to hand over its arsenal.

The US had threatened strikes after a gas attack killed hundreds last month.

 

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The UN prepares to go to war for the first time

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The UN is about to go to war for the first time in its history after the Security Council voted unanimously to intervene to fight rebels in the Congo.

Around 3,000 UN troops wearing the blue insignia, are being deployed to the central African nation which has been wracked by years of civil war and lawlessness.

The UN has led a 14-year-long peacekeeping in a bid to end the ethic

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Syria death toll at least 93,000, says UN

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At least 93,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the conflict, according to latest United Nations figures.

This represents a rise of more than 30,000 since the UN last issued figures covering the period to November 2012.

At least 5,000 people have been dying in Syria every month since last July, the UN’s human rights body says.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22886730

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Afghanistan set to cost every British household £2,000

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The war in Afghanistan will cost every British household £2,000, a foreign policy adviser to the Government said yesterday.

But Frank Ledwidge added that not a single Al Qaeda terrorist who posed a threat to Britain has been killed by Nato forces in Helmand.

And the province is no more stable now than when British troops were deployed there in 2006. 

Latest Ministry of Defence figures show 444 British soldiers have been killed since the start of the Afghan conflict in 2001.

British troops ...

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Syria chemical weapons claims: UK and US tread cautiously

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The US, UK, Israel and others have been collecting evidence to try to determine whether chemical weapons have been used.

The signs so far are that they have been, but politicians are being cautious of over-selling their level of certainty.

This is partly because of the lesson of Iraq when too much was based on too little hard information and all the caveats and cautions surrounding intelligence were lost.

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UK military deaths in Afghanistan

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The UK’s military role in Afghanistan since 2001 has brought with it a heavy human toll. Members of the Army, RAF, Royal Marines and special forces have lost their lives in the fight against the Taliban. Here, the BBC News website offers a look at who they were and how they died.

The number of deaths stands at 441 after L/Cpl Jamie Webb, from 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, died on 26 March in hospital from wounds suffered in combat in ...

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If UK leaves Afghanistan, Taliban will return to launch global jihad

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A senior Afghan commander who has advised the Prime Minister has warned that withdrawing British troops from Afghanistan will spark a ‘global jihad’.

The damaging comments come on the day David Cameron hosts a high-profile summit at Chequers to discuss plans to combat the Taliban and other terrorist threats after American and British troops pull out next year.

But in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, Colonel Amin Jan of the Afghan National Army (ANA) said that removing British forces ...

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Syria crisis: Food aid ‘cannot reach a million people’

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One million Syrians are going hungry and helpless due to the 22-month civil conflict in the country, the UN says. The World Food Program (WFP) says it is helping 1.5 million Syrians, but continued fighting and an inability to use the port of Tartus to deliver food mean many people are not receiving aid. The UN estimates that more than 60,000 people have been killed in the uprising, which began in March 2011.

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More children die in latest Israeli airstrike

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Two children have been killed and several injured in the latest Israeli airstrike as a charity warns hundreds of thousands of youngsters trapped in Gaza face prolonged power cuts and depleting supplies of food and water.  Save the Children has called for an immediate end to the conflict between Israel and Gaza as fears grow that the situation will have a devastating affect on children who make up nearly half the 1.7 million population of the Gaza Strip.

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Britain’s withdrawl from Afghanistan will speed up with plans to bring 4,000 troops home

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Britain will bring home 4,000 troops from Afghanistan next year under plans to speed up the pace of British withdrawal. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond revealed the mass pullout, the first senior minister to put a concrete number on the scale of the drawdown. David Cameron

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US military death toll in Afghanistan reaches 2,000

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A checkpoint shooting in eastern Afghanistan has taken the US military’s death toll in the war past 2,000. A US soldier

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