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    Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world´s leading liberal voice

    • Food Standards Agency launches inquiry into poultry industry
      Agency will investigate whether vets and inspectors have acted correctly, after Guardian uncovered catalogue of hygiene failings

      Revealed: the dirty secret of the UK´s poultry industry
      How chicken spreads campylobacter

      The Food Standards Agency has launched an immediate investigation into standards in the chicken-processing industry, after a Guardian investigation uncovered a catalogue of hygiene failings.

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    • Flight from Burkina Faso to Algeria disappears from radar
      Air Algérie flight AH5017, thought to be carrying 110 passengers and six crew, disappears in early hours of Thursday morning

      An Air Algérie plane with around 120 people on board including French and Spanish nationals went missing Thursday during a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers, company sources and officials said.

      Air navigation services lost track of the Swiftair MD-83 about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, at 1.55am GMT the official Algerian news agency said. That means that flight AH5017 had been missing for hours before the news was made public.

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    • Isis orders all women and girls in Mosul to undergo FGM
      UN says ´fatwa´ issued by militant group in and around Iraqi city could affect 4 million

      The militant group Islamic State (Isis) has ordered all girls and women in and around Iraq´s northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations says.

      The "fatwa" issued by the Sunni Muslim fighters would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Jacqueline Badcock told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Irbil.

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    • Gaza crisis: Palestinian death toll passes 700 - live updates
      • Health officials say 718 Palestinians killed
      • Israel has lost 32 soldiers
      • UN votes to investigate possible war crimes
      • US lifts ban on flights to Tel Aviv

      Peter Beaumont is on his way to a United Nations Refugee Agency school reported to have been hit in an Israeli airstrike. Initial reports of more than 10 dead. More details soon.

      More than 700 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge 17 days ago. According to Palestinian medics 736 Palestinians have now died - more than 165 of these children. Israel has lost 32 soldiers and three civilians.

      Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned a decision by the United Nations Human Rights Council to launch an inquiry into whether war crimes had been committed during Israel´s latest military offensive. He vowed to continue to destroy tunnels created by Hamas.

      Israel´s finance minister Naftali Bennett has given an unapologetic interview to Sky News, accusing Hamas of using their own civilians as human shields, adding that "you fight back - there is now proportionality when you fight terror."

      Asked about growing support for Hamas in the face of increasing bloodshed in Gaza, he called supporters of Hamas "immoral", adding:

      We want to live side by side, it´s them who are running after us. We handed them the land and they turned it into a fortress of terror.

      Audrey Landmann, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical coordinator in Gaza has told Sky News that the situation in Gaza is deteriorating rapidly. Medical supplies are stuck at the border and rescue teams are unable to operate safely in Gaza.

      She said the situation was worsening daily, adding that at the last count more than 150,000 were now gathered in shelters, many more trying to find safety in their homes. Some medical supplies had passed over the border yesterday, but others were stuck, she said.

      The hospitals are overstretched because the health system was already fragile..now its putting lot of pressure on the system.

      The main problem is not availability of food and water, the main problem is the security. There is no way to move safety for humanitaitan aid workers to provide this help because of the constant shelling.

      The Palestinian news agency Ma´an is reporting that Hamas have killed eight Israeli soldiers in northeastern Gaza City.

      The Hamas-affiliated al-Qassam Brigades said on Thursday that they had killed eight Israeli soldiers in northeastern Gaza City in what was potentially the deadliest attack on the military since the ground invasion began last week.

      Al-Qassam Brigades said that they infiltrated into the eastern part of al-Tuffah neighborhood earlier on Thursday and launched an attack on Israeli soldiers deployed there.

      Earlier today the UN under secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Baroness Amos, described the plight of Gazan civilians who were trapped in increasingly desperate conditions. She told the BBC:

      We are extremely concerned with the deteriorating humanitarian situation," she told the BBC.

      We have over 118,000 people now who are sheltering in UN schools. People are running out of food. Water is also a serious concern.

      In a joint press conference with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem this morning foreign secretary Philip Hammond called for a swift ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

      Hammond put the blame for the latest outbreak of fighting firmly on Hamas while reiterating Britain´s support for Israel´s right to defend itself. He said:

      Britain has also been very clear that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens but we are gravely concerned by the ongoing heavy level of civilian casualties. We want to see a ceasefire quickly agreed.

      We welcomed the earlier ceasefire proposal by Egypt. We are disappointed that Hamas has once again apparently rejected ceasefire proposals.

      I thank you for keeping your moral focus and your moral clarity. We shall need it in the days ahead.

      It is a travesty of justice, it is a travesty of fairness, it is travesty of common sense, it is a travesty of truth.

      It will not prevent us from continuing to defend our people, to protect them against rocket attacks and to dismantle the vast terror tunnel network that we have seen that is geared to penetrate our territory.

      Our data team have produced this map which shows where residents are trapped in the village of Khuzaar in Gaza, and places where International Red Cross ambulances went in yesterday to rescue the wounded.

      A school in Gaza which was sheltering 1500 people has been hit by Israeli fire, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

      The organisation says it is the third time that a school has been hit by Israeli weapons.

      "This is the second time in three days that an UNRWA school has taken a direct hit from Israeli shelling and we again condemn this in the strongest possible terms."

      "They were inside investigating, during a coordinated window in which the Israeli Army said the UN could move freely in a marked vehicle"

      "We call on all sides to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and refrain from any action that endangers the lives of humanitarian workers."

      Middle East expert at Chatham House Nadim Shehadi has said that Israel is likely to resist a cease fire, in order not to hand a significant political victory to Hamas.

      "If Hamas can achieve any results from the violence and from what they call the resistance it will be a victory for Hamas and a message that only violence can achieve results and not negotiation," he said, in an interview on Sky News.

      An astonishing photograph from astronaut Alexander Gerst - which shows explosions and rockets flying over Gaza and Israel - has gone viral.

      The German flight engineer, geophysicist and volcanologist called the it his "saddest photo yet".

      My saddest photo yet. From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza & #Israel pic.twitter.com/jNGWxHilSy

      In an interview with Sky News this morning British foreign secretary Philip Hammond has reiterated the view that Israel has a legitimate right to defend itself but warned that international sympathy was running out.

      On a visit to the region, he told Sky News that his clear message to Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu was "as the campaign goes on and civilian casualties mount, western public opinion is becoming more and more concerned and less sympathetic to Israel".

      We are appealing to Israel [to consider] their western values and do everything they can to exercise their legitimately right to self defence while minimising the damage caused.

      I think that is a clear message as the campaign goes on and civilian casualties mount, western public opinion is becoming more and more concerned and less sympathetic to Israel. That is simply a fact.

      It is also the case that the longer the campaign goes on the stronger Hamas becomines politically.

      The leader of Islamist militant group Hamas said yesterday that there could be no ceasefire to ease the conflict in Gaza unless there was an end to Israel´s blockade.

      Khaled Meshaal said Hamas would continue to reject a ceasefire until its conditions were met.

      We will not accept any initiative that does not lift the blockade on our people and that does not respect their sacrifices.

      The Red Cross has said that it is struggling to evacuate wounded civilians in Gaza, with rubble and power lines strewn across roads and sporadic intense fighting.

      LISTEN - Red Cross ´struggling to evacuate wounded civilians´ in Gaza http://t.co/3mHwYd6mlj #r4today

      UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has arrived in the region where he held late-night talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

      In other breaking news US airlines have lifted a flight ban to Israel this morning,

      The ban was lifted hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry concluded talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah and returned to Cairo to continue pushing regional efforts for a ceasefire.

      After 17 days of bloodshed in Gaza, the Palestinian death toll has reached 718.

      The Israeli army has said that three more soldiers were killed in combat inside Gaza on Wednesday, raising the total number of soldiers killed since the start of a ground operation on July 17 to 32.

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    • Ex-NoW journalist Dan Evans gets suspended sentence over hacking
      Feature writer at now-defunct tabloid gets suspended sentence in recognition for cooperation with police and prosecutors

      A former journalist at the News of the World who told a court hacking was so widespread at his paper "the office cat" knew about it has been given a suspended prison sentence of 10 months as recognition for his cooperation with police and prosecutors.

      Dan Evans, a feature writer at the now-defunct tabloid, who was a prosecution witness in the trial of Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and others, was sentenced at the Old Bailey after admitting the routine and industrial-scale interception of voicemail messages.

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