There have been reports of clashes between Iraqi government troops and Sunni fighters on the roads to Baghdad. They came after parts of Baquba, a city less than 40m from Baghdad, were briefly seized by Isis insurgents. Barack Obama is to send up to 275 "military personnel" to Baghdad to protect the US embassy and is also considering the deployment of special forces.
UK TO REOPEN EMBASSY IN IRAN
Britain is to re-open its embassy in Iran. Foreign Secretary William Hague said the "circumstances were right" and called it an "important step forward" in relations with Tehran. The embassy was closed after protesters stormed the building in 2011. The election of president Hassan Rouhani and a deal over Iran's nuclear programme have bolstered relations.
INFLATION IS LOWEST FOR FIVE YEARS
Inflation has fallen to its lowest level since 2009, thanks to a reduced airfares and a supermarket price war that has led to the sharpest fall in food prices for a decade. Official statistics show that the Consumer Prices Index fell to 1.5% in May compared with 1.8% in April. It is the sixth consecutive month that inflation has been below the Bank of England's 2% target.
PRIVACY CONCERN OVER SATELLITE IMAGES
The BBC says lawyers are braced for “repercussions” from people worried about privacy after the US government lifts restrictions on the quality of satellite images available for commercial use, meaning aerial views on services like Google Maps will become more detailed, showing things as small as 31cm.
MH370 SEARCH HAS ‘NOT YET HIT HOTSPOT’
UK satellite firm Inmarsat says the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has not yet tried the area it considers to be the most likely crash site. Ships were ‘distracted’ en route to the area by a sonar ‘ping’ which turned out to be a dead end. The search is currently on hold while maps are made of the ocean floor.
SURVEY: ‘TRUE BRITS MUST SPEAK ENGLISH’
The number of people who think you must speak English to be “truly British” has increased by 9% over the past 10 years to reach 95%, according to the British Social Attitudes report. It also found 74% believe you must be born in the UK. A similar number said immigrants mostly come to the UK for benefits.
YOUTUBE: RIGHTS ROW ARTISTS FACE BLOCK
Artists including Adele and the Artic Monkeys could be banned from YouTube in a row over the video sharing website's new music service. The paid-for product allows users to watch or listen to music without adverts on any device. But independent record labels have accused YouTube of offering unfair contracts and have appealed to the European Commission.
HILLSBOROUGH: CIVIL SERVANT FIRED FOR HACK
A civil servant who used a government computer to add offensive comments to a Wikipedia page about the Hillsnborough disaster has been sacked. The 24-year-old administrator, who lives in Liverpool, has been dismissed for gross misconduct. In one entry he changed the Liverpool anthem from You'll Never Walk Alone to You'll Never Walk Again.
D-DAY RUNAWAY GETS 2,500 BIRTHDAY CARDS
A war veteran who made headlines by ‘absconding’ from his old folks' home to visit D-Day commemorations after he was told it was too late to go on the official coach has celebrated his 90th birthday with 2,500 cards from well-wishers. Bernard Jordan said: “Anyone would think I defeated Hitler on my own!”
HOT TICKET: MARINA ABRAMOVIC SHOW
New-York based performance artist Marina Abramovic's new work, 512 Hours has opened at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Abramovic moves around the gallery space interacting with the audience, who must leave all bags and electronic devices in lockers. "Akin to being hypnotised," says The Independent. Until 25 August.