BBC News with Jerry Smit.
In their biggest defensive so far against Islamic Statemilitants, Iraqi troops and their Shia militia allianceare gaining the upper hand in the city of Tikirt, muchof which is now in Iraqi government hands as AhmedMaher reports.
“Iraqi army soldiers and their alliance have made it into Tikrit. They are hoisting both thenational flag and the flags of Shia Islam on their Humvees. It took them nearly two weeks toenter the city, they are still held back in the center of Tikirt by roadside bombs and booby-trapped cars. The visit by top army generals on the battlefield is not only a show of force, butalso gives the very troops a big boost and their plan to recapture the entire city.”
BBC News has spoken to some of the British nationals who have traveled to northern Syria tojoin Kurdish forces in their fight against Islamic State militants. Two of the men a former soldierand a city trader fought alongside the exeunt marine Konstandinos Erik Scurfield who was killedlast week. This fighter Jim, a former teacher explains why he is fighting.
“...One of the particular thing for me was seeing the photo of an ISIS fighter holding up ahead of a woman.”
The World Health Organization says the current break of Ebola in west Africa is now known tohave killed more 10,000 people in the three worst affected countries. The organization said thefight against the disease was going in the right direction but warned more needed to be done toend the worst outbreak of Ebola the world has ever witnessed. The virus appears suddenlyentrenched in parts of Guinea and Sierra leone.
The US attorney general Erica Holder has described the recent shooting of two police officers inthe racially-charged town city of Ferguson in Missouri as a heinous and cowardly attack. Theofficers were wounded as protesters rallied outside the police headquarters to celebrate theresignation of Ferguson’s police chief. The unrest in subsequent protests in the city begunafter a white officer shot dead an unarmed black man in last August. Our reporter LauraTrevelyan is there.
“I am standing right outside the police station where the two officers were shot. They havebeen released from the hospital although one has a bullet lodged just behind his ear. The policehave been searching nearby homes for the suspects. They have taken some people intocustody for questioning although no one has yet been arrested. Meanwhile tension’s here inFerguson are all running high. People are anticipating more protests tonight in the wake of thisgazing justice department report which said that there was a culture of racial bias from thepolice towards African American residents here.”Laura Trevelyan.
World News from the BBC.
Sixty two people, including 35 children, are now known to have died in torrential rains in theAngolan port city of Lobito. The State News Agency said that in some places flood water raised3 meters, destroying dozens of houses. Rescuer worker are searching for survivals. Large partsof Angola have been hit by heavy rain since January including the capital Luanda.
Islamic state appears to have accepted the pledge of allegiance from Nigerian militant groupBoko Haram. The group has released an audio statement in which a man who claimed to speakfor its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi welcomed what he called the allegiance of our brothers. Hesaid the aim of establishing a caliph would be expanded to west Africa and described thedevelopment as good news. The message hasn’t been independently verified.
Scientists at NASA say they have further compelling evidences that largest moon in the solarsystem has a salty ocean beneath its icy crust, raising the prospect that life must exist on it.Their conclusions followed an analysis of changes in the Ganymede colorful aurorals recordedby the Hubble space telescope.
The much-loved British author Sir Terry Pratchett has died. He was 66 and been suffering fromAlzheimer’s disease. Nick looks back his life.
“Terry Pratchett’s Discworld filled 40 novels and a dozen other books, a magnificent comiccreation would start as a faction of paperty of fantasy novels and became a vast rambling seton modern life. He was a press officer for central electricity generating board when he wrote thefirst Discworld book in 1983 and by the 1990s he was the UK’s bestselling fiction writer selling3 million copies a year. Then in 2007, he was diagnosed with the rare form of Alzheimer.Alzheimer’s patient gradually lose their sense of themselves. In Terry Pratchett good life diedslowly and very publicly and a special tragedy in a man who was once so brilliant.”
And that’s the BBC News.