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Gunman Kills Five Staff At Maryland Newspaper

Staff at the Capital Gazette have published a Friday edition, after a gunman killed five people and injured more at the local paper’s office.

Chase Cook, a reporter at the Annapolis publication, had tweeted: “We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.”

His post came just hours after the attacker, armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades, shot through a glass door into the newsroom. Police called the shooting a “targeted attack”.

The paper has tweeted the front page of their Friday paper, as well as obituaries for their colleagues.

US media have named a suspect held by police as Jarrod Ramos, who is reported to have unsuccessfully sued the newspaper group in 2012 for defamation. The Anne Arundel Police Department have not, however, yet named the suspect.

A Capital Gazette reporter tweeted that Mr Ramos had been charged with “five counts of first-degree murder”, and would have a bail review on Saturday.

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Three Hospitals In Syria Affected By Air Strikes

Air strikes have reportedly put three hospitals out of service in rebel-held south-western Syria, as pro-government forces press on with a major offensive.

A medical charity and a monitoring group said the facilities in the towns of Saida, Jizah and Musayfira, east of the city of Deraa, were hit overnight.

The strikes came as the army made gains in the region, which borders Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Up to 50,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in the past week.

The provinces of Deraa and Quneitra had been relatively calm for almost a year because of a “de-escalation” agreement brokered by the US and Jordan, which support the opposition, and Russia, a key ally of the government.

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Khalid Ali Found Guilty Of Planning Attack And Bomb Making

Khalid Ali was carrying three knives when he was tackled by armed officers near Downing Street in April 2017 – and was just moments from being able to attack police, politicians or military personnel.

But unknown to him, clues picked up from bomb parts recovered from Afghanistan more than four years earlier meant that police were watching his every move.

Ali was one of seven children born to an Ethiopian mother and Somali father in Saudi Arabia, where the family moved to after escaping civil war in Ethiopia and from where – in 1992 – they came to the UK.

He grew up in Edmonton and trained as a gas engineer and plumber after leaving school, but in his late teens became increasingly absorbed by religion and politics.

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Off Duty Police Officer Tackles Woman With Axe

An off-duty police officer who tackled a “raging” woman wielding an axe has been hailed for his bravery.

PC Ken Morris, 60, intervened in a violent dispute between a couple, which initially spilled onto a bus he was on in Wolverhampton.

The West Midlands Police officer tried to reason with the woman, before confronting her again when she returned with the foot-long weapon on a street.

She was later tasered by other officers and arrested on Tuesday night.

The constable said: “She was really raging. I thought to myself, ‘Oh dear, this could get nasty’.” He added: “I kept myself between her and the man – he couldn’t speak much English but was clearly terrified and kept repeating, ‘Please help me’. “After a bit of a stand-off, the woman walked off down the road still swinging the axe.”

PC Morris, who is part of the force support team, had just finished a late shift when he made the intervention by getting the irate woman off the bus.

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Defence Budget Needs To Rise MP’s Warn

The UK will have to significantly increase defence spending if it is to maintain influence with Washington and Nato allies, MPs have warned.

A Commons Defence Committee report says the defence budget should rise from 2% of GDP (£40bn) to 3% (£60bn).

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has reportedly demanded an extra £20bn for his department – but another minister warned against “unsustainable” rises. The government said it would “continue to exceed” Nato’s 2% spending target.

The committee said the extra money for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) could be spent on increasing the readiness of the armed forces and to bolster Britain’s anti-submarine warfare to counter possible threats from Russia.

The report recommends increasing the defence budget to 3% of GDP, but says a rise to 2.5% would “comfortably fill the ‘black hole’ in the existing MoD budget”. It argued that without such investment the UK armed forces’ usefulness to the US would be diminished. “The government must not let this happen,” the report says.

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