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NHS can deal with Ebola threat to UK says Philip Hammond

The UK’s health services have the experience to deal with the threat posed by the Ebola virus, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said.

Mr Hammond said ministers had discussed what precautionary measures could be taken if any UK nationals in West Africa became infected.

He said the threat to Britain came from someone contracting the disease abroad and becoming unwell back in the UK.

The Ebola virus has killed more than 670 people in West Africa.

Several West African airlines have now stopped flying to Liberia and Sierra Leone amid concerns about the spread of the disease to those countries from Guinea.

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William Hague quits as foreign secretary in cabinet reshuffle

William Hague has stood down as foreign secretary and will stay in the cabinet as Leader of the Commons, Downing Street has said.

Mr Hague is to leave Parliament at the 2015 general election after 26 years as MP for Richmond, North Yorkshire.

As part of a significant ministerial reshuffle, veteran Conservative MP Ken Clarke has also stepped down.

Senior ministers have told the BBC that the current defence secretary, Philip Hammond, will replace Mr Hague.

Labour described the reshuffle as “the massacre of the moderates”.

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Israel’s Gaza campaign in seventh day as rocket fire continues

Israeli air strikes on Gaza and rocket fire on Israel have continued, on the seventh day of Israel’s operation against Palestinian militants.

Palestinian officials say at least 175 people in Gaza have been killed since the offensive began last Tuesday.

Israel says nearly 1,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza in that time. It said it shot down a Palestinian drone near Ashdod on Monday morning.

Thousands of people have fled homes in northern Gaza after an Israeli warning.

Israel has massed thousands of troops on the border, amid speculation of a possible a ground invasion.

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RAC urges government to crackdown on untaxed foreign cars

The government is being urged to clamp down on untaxed foreign vehicles after the RAC warned they were costing the UK millions of pounds a year.

About 60,000 foreign vehicles are registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) every year.

However, the RAC said an estimated 15,000 others are not – the motoring organisation said this amounts to about £3m per year in uncollected tax.

The government said it would shortly announce plans to combat the problem.

The DVLA was unable to verify how many foreign vehicles coming into the UK are not registered, but did not contest the RAC’s figures.

The RAC’s head of external affairs Pete Williams said the situation was “beyond belief”.

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Costa Concordia raised from under-sea platform

The wrecked Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia has been successfully raised from the under-sea platform it has been resting on for the past year, salvage workers say.

The wreck – the target of one of the biggest maritime salvage operations in history – is now floating about 2m (6ft) off the platform.

In all, the refloating operation is expected to take six or seven days.

The ship will then be towed to its home port, Genoa, where it will be scrapped.

The Concordia struck a reef off the Italian island of Giglio in January 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people.

Workers are slowly lifting the vessel by pumping air into tanks attached to the ship. The wreck was hauled upright in September but was still partially submerged, resting on six steel platforms.

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