Islamic militant group Isis has taken more ground in the east of Iraq and is poised to march on Baghdad, having overrun Mosul and Tikrit. Barack Obama has threatened air-strikes and has said the US is considering “all options” including military action. Iraq's most senior Shia cleric has issued a call to arms urging people to fight the Sunni insurgents.
MILIBAND APOLOGISES FOR SUN PICTURE
Labour leader Ed Miliband has been forced to apologise after posing for a photograph with a World Cup-themed copy of The Sun newspaper as part of a marketing campaign. Several Labour MPs attacked their leader for associating himself with the paper, which has long been criticised for its reporting of the Hillsborough disaster.
INTEREST RATE HINT BOOSTS POUND
Economists are predicting a rise in interest rates before the end of the year after Bank of England governor Mark Carney said they would go up "sooner than the markets expect". His comments prompted the pound to rise by 0.32% against the dollar on Friday to $1.698, a five-year high. Interest rates have been at the record low of 0.5% since 2009.
HARRISON FORD HURT ON STAR WARS SET
Actor Harrison Ford suffered a broken ankle yesterday afternoon on the set of the latest Star Wars movie in Pinewood, near London. The 71-year-old star was taken to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford. Some reports said a door of the Millennium Falcon spaceship fell on him; others a garage door.
PROTESTS MAR OPENING DAY OF WORLD CUP
Hosts Brazil yesterday won the first match of the football World Cup, beating Croatia 3-1, thanks in part to a controversial penalty. However, the first day of the tournament was marred by violent and the ITV studio in Rio was pelted with missiles. A re-run of the 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands was the big draw for the second day of the tournament.
RIK MAYALL DIED OF ‘ACUTE CARDIAC EVENT’
The comedian Rik Mayall’s widow, Barbara Robbins, says the 56-year-old died of an “acute cardiac event” after going for his morning run. She thanked the press for their “discretion”. Yesterday, the west London coroner’s office said a post mortem had been inconclusive and further tests were needed.
FULL PRISONS TOLD TO FIND MORE ROOM
The Ministry of Justice has ordered 40 prisons to find room for more inmates, because the jail population is increasing faster than expected, says the BBC. All but six of the prisons told to increase their "operational capacity" are full or overcrowded. They include Wandsworth, Brixton and Pentonville in London and Bedford, Leicester and Leeds.
MH370 FAMILIES TO RECEIVE $50,000
Relatives of the 239 passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have begun to receive their initial compensation payments of $50,000 (£30,000) each. Six Malaysian families, and one Chinese, have been paid so far. Families can claim up to $175,000 each. The plane vanished on 8 March.
MAY WARNED OVER PASSPORT BACKLOG LAST YEAR
Home Secretary Theresa May was told a year ago that closing passport offices in British embassies overseas could lead to 350,000 extra passport applications this summer. The warning came in a report by the Passport Office published last July. May has announced a series of measures to deal with the backlog.
HOT TICKET: PERIOD DRAMA BELLE
British period drama Belle opens in UK cinemas today. Inspired by the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, it stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a mixed race woman raised as an arisitocrat who influences the anti-slavery movement in England. With Tom Wilkinson. "Rousing historical fantasia," says the New Yorker.