More than 150,000 Iraqis, including government soldiers, have fled the city of Mosul after it was overrun by fighters from Islamist group Isis. PM Nouri Maliki has declared a state of emergency and asked for special powers of arrest and curfew. Insurgents have now reached Tikrit, north of Baghdad. UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said he was “gravely concerned”.
PHONE HACKING JURY CONSIDERS ITS VERDICTS
The jury in the News of the World phone hacking trial at the Old Bailey has retired to consider its verdicts on the seven defendants, including Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. The trial began in October last year and judge Mr Justice Saunders finished summing up the evidence this afternoon. The accused deny the charges against them.
BRAZIL: WE’RE READY FOR WORLD CUP START
Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff says the country is ready “on and off the pitch” for the football World Cup, which starts tomorrow. Despite continued anger across the country at the cost of hosting the event, she insisted that “the pessimists have been defeated by the determination of the people”.
UK UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN TO 2.2M
Unemployment figures have continued to fall, with 2.2 million now out of work - the lowest for five years - and 1.1 million claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. However, the positive news was offset by data revealing that growth in wages has slowed to 0.7%, down from 1.9% the previous month.
LONDON 'GRIDLOCK' AFTER BLACK CAB PROTEST
Black cab drivers caused "gridlock" in parts of London as they staged a protest over online taxi firm Uber. The cabbies are angry that the Uber service uses an app to work out fares, which they say is tantamount to a taxi metre, yet is unregulated. Drivers blocked off Trafalgar Square for an hour, causing chaos on London's roads.
PASSPORT OFFICE DENIES BACKLOG CLAIMS
The Passport Office has denied there is a backlog of applications, amid claims of delays from those waiting for travel documents. Applications are at a 12-year high and unions claim job cuts are to blame. However, chief executive Paul Pugh said 99% of "straightforward applications" were being processed within four weeks.
NEW STAR WARS FILM TO BE MADE IN UK
George Osborne has announced that a new Star Wars film will be made in the UK next year as he visited the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, currently being shot at Pinewood Studios near London. He said the decision to shoot the eighth film here was “testament to the incredible talent in Britain”.
JK ROWLING OPPOSES SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE
Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, has donated £1m to the pro-UK Better Together campaign ahead of this year's referendum on Scottish independence. She claimed there was a "denial of risks" within the 'Yes' campaign, and said some nationalists wanted to "demonise" those who opposed independence.
LINEKER BACKS DYKE AGAINST BLATTER
Gary Lineker, one of England’s best-known footballers, has supported FA boss Greg Dyke for “standing up” to Sepp Blatter, urging the 78-year-old Fifa head not to stand for re-election. Lineker said if doing so damaged England’s chances of ever hosting the World Cup again, then “so be it”.
HOT TICKET: TWO NEW MONDRIAN SHOWS
Two new exhibitions about abstract master Piet Mondrian have opened in the UK. Mondrian and Colour, Turner Contemporary until 21 September, traces the painter's journey from landscape to abstraction. Mondrian and His Studios, Tate Liverpool until 5 October, looks at the artist's mature work. A "revelation", says The Observer.