Barack Obama last night announced he is sending 300 “military advisers” to Iraq and said the US was prepared for “targeted and precise military action", but he insisted he would not send ground troops. In Iraq, Isis rebels are engaged in fierce battles for the Baiji oil refinery and Tal Afar airport.
ENGLAND KNOCKED OUT OF WORLD CUP
England are out of the World Cup after yet another shock in Brazil. Costa Rica's unexpected 1-0 victory over Italy means that England cannot now progress from their group, and also leaves Italy in danger of an early exit. Despite his failure the FA have confirmed that England manager Roy Hodgson will keep his job.
GOVERNMENT MAY BREACH WELFARE CAP
The government could be forced to overspend its self-imposed welfare budget because of the number of people switching from Jobseekers Allowance to sickness and disability benefit. In March, MPs agreed to cap welfare at £119.5bn for 2015-16 but Employment and Support Allowance costs are on the rise with few cost-cutting options available.
TSB VALUED AT £1.3BN IN SHARES SALE
Strong demand for shares in the TSB bank has led owner Lloyds Banking Group to issue more stock than planned, a 35% stake instead of a planned 25%. Shares have been set at 260p each, giving the bank an overall value of £1.3bn for its stock market debut. The shares were 10 times oversubscribed.
SALMAN RUSHDIE WINS PEN PINTER PRIZE
Novelist Sir Salman Rushdie has said it is “very moving” to win the literary prize named after his “friend” the playwright Harold Pinter, given by the writers’ charity Pen. Pen said it had given the award to the 67-year-old for his work supporting writers “unjustly vilified, prosecuted, or forced into exile”.
ANDROID PHONES TO GET ‘KILL SWITCH’
Google and Microsoft have agreed to add a ‘kill switch’ to their Android and Windows smartphones, after urging from governments and police. Apple and Samsung already offer a similar feature - the ability to render the phone useless if stolen - and this is said to have reduced theft.
MH370: SEARCH TO MOVE FURTHER SOUTH
The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is to move hundreds of miles south in the Indian Ocean, say Australian authorities. Areas near the new search sector, 1,100 miles off Perth, were earlier surveyed from the air, but the sea-based search was taken north when sonar ‘pings’ were detected.
REFUGEE NUMBERS AT WW2 LEVELS
The number of people living as refugees is at its highest since the Second World War, according to the UN refugee agency. Figures released by the UNHCR show refugee numbers have risen by six million to 51.2 million in a year. The increase has been fuelled by conflicts in Syria, central Africa and South Sudan. More than six million have been refugees for years.
‘DOZENS’ EXPOSED TO ANTHRAX IN USA
Dozens of laboratory workers may have been accidentally exposed to spores of the deadly anthrax bacteria in a US laboratory in Atlanta, health officials have warned. A blunder meant the anthrax was not properly treated to make it inactivated. Up to 75 staff are being monitored or given antibiotics.
HOT TICKET: ROM-COM CHINESE PUZZLE
French-American rom-com Chinese Puzzle opens in UK cinemas today. The conclusion to the 'Spanish Apartment' trilogy sees Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou star in a tale of a divorced writer whose life becomes complicated when he moves to New York for his children. "Zesty," says Variety.