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American Sniper author Chris Kyle shot dead in Texas

Iraq veteran and ex-US Navy seal Chris Kyle, known as the deadliest sniper in US history, has been shot dead on a Texas shooting range, reports say.

Chris KyleHis body was found at Rough Creek Lodge range on Saturday along with that of his neighbour, Chad Littlefield.

Iraq war veteran Eddie Ray Routh, 25, has been charged with murdering both.
Mr Kyle, 38, wrote the 2012 bestseller American Sniper, about the psychology of a sniper, in which he said that he had killed more than 250 people.
He served four tours of duty in Iraq and was decorated for bravery.

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G4S outsourcing deal with police forces collapses

A plan by three police forces to outsource services to a private firm has collapsed after Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) rejected it.

G4SBedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire forces were looking at contracting G4S to provide joint IT and human resources.

Instead the forces said they would increase their internal collaboration.

G4S said the deal would have saved the three forces more than £100m over about 10 years.
The three PCCs formalised their decision at a meeting earlier, with Hertfordshire’s PCC David Lloyd confirming the three commissioners had “discontinued negotiations” between the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Alliance and G4S.

The forces had considered joining with Lincolnshire, which has a 10-year contract with G4S, as part of outsourcing plans.

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Mali crisis: 330 UK military personnel sent to West Africa

The UK is to deploy about 330 military personnel to Mali and West Africa to support French forces, No 10 has said.

French and Malian ForcesThis includes as many as 40 military advisers who will train soldiers in Mali, and 200 British soldiers to be sent to neighbouring African countries, also to help train the Malian army.

French-led forces are continuing their offensive against Islamist militants who seized northern Mali last year.

International donors have pledged $455.53m (£289m) to tackle militants.

The 330 military personnel comprise 200 soldiers going to West African nations, 40 military advisers to Mali, and 90 support crew for a C-17 transport aircraft and a Sentinel R1 surveillance plane. None will have a combat role.

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Iraqis claim British troops ‘acted with brutality’

Allegations that British troops carried out “terrifying acts of brutality” against Iraqi civilians have been made in the High Court.

Abuse In IraqThey were made by lawyers representing 192 Iraqis asking for a public inquiry into British detention practices between 2003 and 2008.

The court will decide whether alleged mistreatment was “systemic”.

It will also consider whether an inquiry set up by the defence ministry is independent enough to investigate.

The hearing before two judges is expected to last three days.

As well as unlawful killings, there are claims of beatings, hooding, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation including being made to watch pornography.

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Suicide blast by offices of Somalia president and PM

Two security guards have been killed in a suicide attack near the offices of Somalia’s president and prime minister.

Abdi FarahThree other guards were also wounded when the assailant blew himself up at a checkpoint near the compound housing the offices in the capital, Mogadishu. The bomber was an ex-Islamist militant recently sacked from his job in the intelligence services, officials said. Militants aligned to al-Qaeda have lost control of major towns in the last 18 months but still carry out attacks.

The president and prime minister took office following elections last September which were considered the first fair polls in Somalia for 42 years. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, an academic and civic activist, beat the incumbent in a run-off vote by MPs to become president. He then appointed his close associate, former businessman Abdi Farah Shirdon, as prime minister.

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