UK weather: Met Office forecasts SIZZLING 28C highs in mini heatwave – latest charts

The UK is in the midst of a spell of warm, dry weather. Last week parts of the UK saw thundery showers and some strong winds, with a few Met Office weather warnings issued. However this week most of the UK will be basking in glorious heat and sunshine, according to the latest forecast.

Many Brits were greeted by sunny skies over the bank holiday weekend.

But in case you were wondering if the blissful conditions were just a blip, the Met Office predicts the warm weather is here to stay for at least the next week.

Met Office spokesperson Nicola Maxey told Express.co.uk the UK will continue to see “warm and sunny” weather, with temperatures potentially creeping up over the course of the week.

For today’s forecast, Ms Maxey said: “We’re going to see dry sunny spells, warm particularly in the south and the south-east.

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“Quite a lot of sunshine around, some isolated showers in the far north, northwest, but really apart from that everybody is going to see a fairly warm dry sunny day.

“Today London could see temperatures of around 27C, Birmingham between 21 and 22C, and Edinburgh will maybe see 18C, Aberdeen 19C.”

The warm weather pattern looks likely to continue throughout the rest of the week and into the weekend.

Ms Maxey said: “It’s similar tomorrow (Wednesday), as we go through this week and into the weekend we’re going to see warm dry weather for most with temperatures improving slightly as we go through the week.

“By Friday we’re certainly looking at temperatures getting up into the mid-teens for Scotland and London seeing widely around 23 to 24C, but an isolated chance of seeing 27C.”

The warm weather will be spread across most of the UK over the coming days, with some parts of the UK forecast to see highs of 28C.

Ms Maxey said: “Quite widely across the country will see these high temperatures.

“Nottingham may see isolated highs of 27C, Norwich 26C, Birmingham quite widely 24C but an isolated chance of 28C.

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“The warmth is across the whole of the country really. We’re going to see this weather into the rest of the week and into the weekend.”

According to the Met Office, the recent warm spell of weather is due to a high-pressure system dominating UK weather patterns.

The arrival of a low-pressure system brought strong winds and thundery downpours for some regions of the country.

But the current high-pressure system is causing clear skies, allowing temperatures to build up and sunny spells to shine through.

Although confidence is lower for the weeks to come, the Met Office is predicting the good weather could also bleed into the start of next week.

The Met Office long-range forecast for Saturday, May 30 until Monday, June 8 reads: “Much of central and southeast England should see a good deal of dry and settled weather next weekend with plenty of sunshine, though a little breezy.

“Temperatures will generally be very warm, but there is the risk of some thunderstorms breaking out at times.

“Cloud and outbreaks of rain seem most likely for Scotland and some other northern and western areas, where it will probably feel cooler.”

Further on in the period, the Met Office forecast a “shift to a more unsettled regime at first”.

The Met Office added: “Cloud and spells of rain may spread to most parts of the UK, but will predominately remain in the northwest.

“Temperatures should return to around average and may go slightly below in places.”

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Hot weather could have affected initial coronavirus spread in Wuhan

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The report, published by researchers at Chengdu University on Information Technology in China, studied the monthly average temperature, humidity and downward short-wave ultraviolet radiation in the different provinces in China during the outbreak’s early stages. The research is the latest in a series of studies conducted in recent months that explain how weather conditions might change the contagion of the coronavirus.

The team of researchers said the function of the results they retrieved were incomplete, but they suggest that several meteorological factors may have contributed to forming the ideal breeding ground for the virus.

Analysing figures from the European Center for Long-Term Weather Forecast (ECMWF), the researchers compared the weather conditions with a number of confirmed infections from each region in China in January and February.

The results showed there are three key weather conditions in which the pathogen can thrive more.

Temperature is one of the conditions cited by the researchers who said the report “showed that COVID-19 cases were concentrated in the provinces with temperatures in [the] range of 0–10 degrees Celsius.”

Increased humidity and UV light from the sun are the other two key factors named by the researchers.

They also said that the strength of solar radiation may change how the virus spreads.

Places with a lower solar radiation saw a higher number of infections, according to the research.

Higher-elevation areas, which experience more powerful UV radiation due to their altitude, saw less contagion.

Regions with drier climates, and therefore fewer clods interfering with solar rays, also experienced less transmission.

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“The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has a high altitude (approximately 4,000 m) and is subjected to strong solar radiation, resulting in a higher amount of UV-B radiation reaching the surface,” the researchers wrote about a large region of 965,000 square miles in southwest China.

“The weather in the arid region of the Northwest is clear with fewer clouds, and the radiation received on the surface is higher than in other parts of China,” the researchers stated in the report.

“As a result, it may be difficult for COVID-19 to spread in the plateau or the arid area in the northwest due to high UV-B radiation.”

AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Steinberg said there are diverse factors that condition how much UV radiation reaches the Earth and seasonality is key to it.

Mr Steinberg said: ”UV radiation is emitted by the sun in a near-constant amount, but the amount that reaches the Earth varies.

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“It is partially blocked by the ozone layer and some kinds of clouds, especially thick ones, and influenced to a lesser degree by pressure, surface elevation, humidity, and several other factors.

“But the most important factors are the latitude, time of day, and time of year – these three determine the maximum possible level of UV – the actual amount is then determined by the other factors.”

The researchers’ findings, as well as earlier studies on the transmission of seasonal influenza, reveal that even just a month of favourable meteorological variation can greatly decrease infection.

“A further understanding of the environmental factors that are prevalent in the development of COVID-19 will help predict the potential risks of the global spread of this disease, and provide support for the prevention and surveillance of countries around the world,” they wrote.

When observing the summer in the United Stated, Mr Steinberg said humidity levels, temperature and radiation will be notably higher than in the winter, when the outbreak flared up.

“The amount of water vapour in the air (absolute humidity) and the specific humidity are typically much higher in the summer season, because the hotter air can hold more water vapour,” Mr Steinberg said.

“When the relative humidity (which is what weather reports usually present) is 100% in the winter at a temperature of 30 F, there is only about half as much actual water vapour in the air as in the summer when the relative humidity is 25% but the temperature is 84 F.”

As well as an increment in humidity, the strength of solar radiation also rises substantially in the US during summer season, Mr Steinber said.

“The seasonal variation is much greater at higher latitudes,” he said, “but on average across the United States, the daily high UV Index level might be 8-9 in the summer and 2-3 in the winter.”

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‘Beyond audacious!’ UK accused of ‘fanciful demands’ in EU talks – trade deal at risk

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Boris Johnson successfully signed a withdrawal agreement with the European Union towards the end of last year, with the inclusion of small amendments to the Irish backstop, an issue that was a thorn in the attempts of predecessor Theresa May to get her deal voted through the UK parliament. But the Prime Minister had no such problems, using the Conservative Party’s huge 80-seat majority gained when crushing political rivals in December’s general election to get his amended withdrawal agreement voted through by MPs and deliver on his promise to “get Brexit done” on January 31. The UK and EU quickly got trade talks underway, with Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost taking a team to Brussels to meet one led by Brussels counterpart Michel Barnier.

But already both sides have traded vicious insults over each other’s respective negotiating stances in talks, with huge cracks widening from bitter disagreements over a number of crucial demands being made in the post-Brexit agreement.

Alistair Jones, Associate Politics Professor, De Montfort University in Leicester, said the EU has offered no surprises with its negotiating strategy in trade talks, adding “there was never going to be much room for improvement”.

But he is critical of the UK’s approach in expecting the EU to bow down to a number of its demands, some of which he describes as “beyond audacious”.

Mr Jones told Express.co.uk: “The EU has been its usual legalistic self. Noting the need to aggregate the position of 27 countries into a common negotiating position, there was never going to be much room for flexibility.

“The UK’s position has been the typical British exceptionalism, where Frost has adopted the Johnson approach of expecting the EU to bow down to the UK demands.

“As an example, the UK wants to have input into any future application by a third party to join the EU, and for the EU to take into consideration UK interests in any such negotiations. This goes beyond audacious.

“The UK has refused point blank to let the ECJ (European Court of Justice) have any role in the UK post-Brexit, but expects the EU to bow down to such fanciful demands.”

Mr Johnson’s insistence on a trade deal being signed with the EU before the end of the transition period on December 31 and his refusal to ask for an extension to this deadline appears to be adding increasing tension to proceedings.

The move has infuriated the EU, with Brussels warning the tight deadline leaves no time to get a comprehensive deal in place.

Following the latest round of negotiations, Mr Frost warned the EU and his counterpart Mr Barnier to change their stance in a number of areas before the next round of talks on June 1.

But Professor Alex de Ruyter, Director of the Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, has issued a chilling warning to the Prime Minister and his negotiating team.

He told this website: “Will the EU change its current position? This presupposes that both sides have equal bargaining power. They don’t.

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“The UK is a middle-sized economy with about 65 million people. The EU is a trade bloc with a population of about 450 million. So no, I don’t expect the EU to change their stance.

“If we look at the key areas of disagreement; fisheries and so-called ‘level playing field’ provisions.

“Fishing (whilst a totemic issue for the UK, despite its trivial economic contribution at about 0.01 percent of our GDP) is also equally totemic for EU countries with equally strong maritime traditions; the Netherlands, France, Spain, Denmark, for example.

“Regarding the EU insisting on the UK abiding by level playing field provisions around, for example, labour laws, state aid, and environmental standards etc.

“This is an existential issue for the EU in that an ex-member state cannot be seen to extract favourable concessions on Single Market access, least other EU countries such as Poland and Hungary kick-off and start demanding similar treatment.

“At that point, the whole Single Market really could unravel.”

Tim Bale, Deputy Director of the UK in a Changing Europe think tank and Professor of Politics at the Queen Mary University of London, said the EU could relent on some aspects of the post-Brexit trade deal, but warned it will not start handing out favourable terms to a country that is no longer one of the bloc’s member states.

He said: “This is a negotiation – the EU will make concessions in some areas, maybe even on something contentious like fishing.

“But what it won’t compromise on is the principle that you don’t get to enjoy most of the benefits of belonging to the EU once you’re no longer a member state.”

Mr Jones added: “The EU have been very clear that they are sticking to the documentation, such as the political declaration, signed off by the UK and the EU.

“That cannot be changed, despite British requests to do so.”

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Kim Jong-un makes first appearance at military meeting – promises to improve nuclear arms

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State news outlet KCNA announced the “crucial measures” were taken at the meeting “for considerably increasing the firepower strike ability of the artillery pieces of the Korean People’s Army”. The news agency added: “Set forth at the meeting were new policies for further increasing the nuclear war deterrence of the country.” The Central Military Commission meeting centred on “putting the strategic armed forces on a high alert operation”.

Kim Jong un’s belligerent strategy was put in place for the “development of the armed forces of the country”.

The effort and resources funnelled into developing North Korea’s military take on a stark new meaning when considering the millions of malnourished citizens of the country.

Last month the head of the UN World Food Programme called for the White House and other western donors to put children’s lives before politics and fund a major injection of aid to North Korea.

Due to flooding and a heatwave last year, North Korea is facing a shortfall of 1.4m tonnes in food production this year.

The shortfall includes wheat, rice, potatoes, and soybean.

An estimated 11 million people, or 40 percent of the population, are already undernourished.

One in five children are stunted due to chronic malnutrition.

The World Food Programme’s executive director David Beasley told the Guardian: “This is a serious issue and children are going to be severely impacted if we do not do something by the time the lean season truly kicks in by June.

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“Russia has responded and is sending in 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat.

“China is doing something too.

“Western donors are still hoping that the breaking of the political impasse will take place so that everyone can come in together.”

North Korea has struggled to feed its people for more than two decades.

A famine in the 1990s left as many as one million dead.

This was about five percent of the population at the time.

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Eid Mubarak prayers: How to perform Eid-ul-Adha prayer

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Eid ul Adha falls on July 30 this year, and will see Muslims around the world celebrate the “festival of sacrifice”, the holiest of the two Islamic festivals. People will commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command.

How do you perform an Eid al Adha prayer?

Muslim prayer, like most religions, is one of the most important aspects of worship but it gains a new significance during Eid al Adha.

Eid al Adha necessitates a specific type of prayer name Eid Salat, the Eid congregational prayer.

Eid Salat consists of two ‘Rakats’ (prescribed movements and words during prayer) and six ‘Takbirs’ (praising god).

First, Muslims will make the Niyyah (intention) which involves reciting: “I intend to do two Rakat behind the Imam for Eid prayer along with six additional Takbirs”.

Then Muslims will follow the Imam by raising both hands put to the ears, and stating “Allahu Akbar”, completing the first Takbir to enter in the Salat.

Reciting “Subhanaka” will then commence as those gathered say “Allahu Akbar” with the imam, three times and letting their hands down twice, then clasping the hands.

Then, they will listen to the imam reciting the Fatiha and a surah (chapter of the Koran), after which worshippers will say “Ameen”.

Following this, participants are to bow into Ruku and say ”Subahaana Rabbiyal Azeem”.

Then, everyone involved will stand up straight as the imam states “Sami Allahu liman Hamidah”, and say “Rabbana lakal Hamd” in a low voice.

Muslims will then enter into the first Sajdah (bowing towards the direction of Mecca) and say “Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa’la”.

Sitting up from the first Sajdah in jalsa position (sitting position between the two Sajdahs) entry into the second Sajdah will take place.

Then, Muslims will say “Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa’la”.

Muslims will rise up as they progress into the second Rakat.

For this second part, the imam will first recite Surah Fatiha and some other surah.

Muslims will recite takbir again, stating “Allahu Akbar” with the imam three times, then let the hands down each time.

On the fourth, Muslims will go into Ruku again, and say ”Subahaana Rabbiyal Azeem” after the fourth takbir (Without removing the hands).

As the imam says “Sami Allahu liman Hamidah”, the response is “Rabbana lakal Hamd” in a low voice.

Going into first Sajdah, “Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa’la” is said before sitting up in jalsa position (Sitting position between the two Sajdahs).

Progression into the second Sajdah means saying “Subahaana Rabbiyal Aa’la” and sitting for the complete Tashshahud (testimony of faith): Muslims recite At-tahiyyat, Allah-umma salli, Allah-umma Barik and Rabbana.

Finally, Muslims will turn to face their right first, saying “Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah” and then to the left and doing the same.

When does Eid ul Adha end? 

Eid Ul Adha officially lasts for four days. 

The celebration falls between the 10th day of Dhū al-Hijjah and lasts until the 14th on the Islamic calendar. 

On the Gregorian calendar, this is July 30 to August 3. 

 

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EU on brink: Leading economist warns eurozone will collapse within a year – Italy to LEAVE

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French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have this week proposed a £447billion (€500bn) bailout for member states hit hardest by COVID-19, but experts have warned the funds may not be enough to prevent the economic turmoil in nations including Italy, Spain and Greece. The fund which is yet to be approved by all 27 EU member states, comes amid deep divisions within Europe, after Germany’s top court ruled the European Central Bank’s (ECB) plan for mass bond-buying to stabilise the eurozone partly violates the German constitution.

On the EU bailout, US economist Nouriel Roubini, lecturer New York University’s Stern School of Business, told German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche: “The fund is smaller than Italy, Spain and Greece had hoped.

“Perhaps that will be compensated for if most of the disbursements become subsidies instead of loans.”

The European Commission has forecast Italy’s economy will contract by as much as 9.5 percent this year, while the public debt is expected to jump to 158.9 percent of GDP – rising to 170 percent in 2021.

Mr Roubini has warned “the danger comes from Italy” if the ECB is unable to help surface the county’s debt through bonds.

The economist warns the consequences are fatal if a financial solution cannot be found, he said: “Otherwise the eurozone will collapse within a year.”

He added: “Even if the ECB helps, Italy has to restructure the bonds.

“Remember, Italy is a problem ten times bigger than Greece.”

A bond is debt-based investment, where funds are loaned to a Government for an agreed rate of interest.

Mr Roubini indicated Italy may not be able to keep up with repayments if Europe’s single currency has a sudden economic bounce back.

He said: “If the value of the euro does not fall enough, Italy’s only option is to leave the eurozone.”

Ms Merkel and Mr Macron published a proposal to help the EU and borrow €500bn as a common debt shared out between member states.

The funds would be transferred to regions and industries hit hardest and increase the EU’s 2021-2027 budget which is already close to €1 trillion.

The French President said: “That’s a real change in philosophy, I believe this is a very deep transformation and that’s what the European Union and the single market needed to remain coherent.

“It’s what the euro zone needs to remain united.”

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The plan to share debt across the EU has called divisions with the so-called frugal northern countries of bloc, such as the Netherlands, Finland and Austria – as the vast majority of the borrowed funds will go to other nations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the financial package should be paid back over a long period and that Berlin would shoulder roughly 27 percent of the funds, as it already does for the regular EU budget.

Ms Merkel said: “We must act in a European way so that we get out of the crisis well and strengthened.”

The European Commission will present its own proposal for a Recovery Fund linked to the EU’s next long-term budget on May 27.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “It acknowledges the scope and the size of the economic challenge that Europe faces, and rightly puts the emphasis on the need to work on a solution with the European budget at its core.

“This goes in the direction of the proposal the Commission is working on which will also take into account the views of all member States and the European Parliament.”

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What’s going on? North Korea cracks down on ‘grasshopper markets’ – hint at internal chaos

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And the situation has become so bad at one point police used weapons on residents protesting at the situation, an insider has claimed. Officially, the Hermit State – led by Kim Jong-un – has no cases of the disease – but the knock-on impact on the country’s economy is proving a worry in itself.

Major marketplaces across the region have already been closed down, piling pressure on people who earn most of their income from side businesses selling a range of everyday goods such as clothes, cooking oil, meat and other food, because they struggle to live on government-assigned jobs which pay a monthly salary averaging barely £4 a month.

As a result, so-called grasshopper markets, named after merchants who grab their goods and flee at the first sign of trouble, have become increasingly common – prompting the authorities to launch a crackdown on these as well.

A resident of Ryanggang, who requested anonymity to speak freely, told RFA’s Korean Service Sunday: “Authorities shut down marketplaces in the province starting May 15 as part of their coronavirus measures.

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“The authorities are stepping up their crackdown to prevent us from starting up grasshopper markets.”

Hyesan, the province’s capital had three official markets, in Hyesin, Wiyon and Ryonbong markets, all open for three hours a day.

However, the source added: “But now these have been closed and the authorities are now starting to crack down on businesses that try to defy the closure.

“As most of the residents make their living in marketplaces, residents are getting angry that the government is shutting them down.

“Authorities aren’t paying attention to the livelihood of residents that have become more difficult due to the coronavirus crisis.”

The source said: “When Wiyon market shut down, some of the merchants opened a grasshopper market in the alley, but the cops showed up and kicked them out.”

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“They made even grasshopper markets unavailable, so now there is friction between groups of inspectors and residents.”

Residents are also becoming suspicious of the government’s motives, the insider said.

They added: “Is it really due to the coronavirus or is it a trick to drive residents to rural mobilisation?”

Another resident of Ryanggang told a similar story.

They said: “Residents protest fiercely when the cops come in and shut down grasshopper markets.

“Some of the merchants who have to close down when the police come by end up getting in shouting matches and physical fights in the grasshopper market.

“Most of the residents are living from hand to mouth.

“And they became even more desperate when authorities made the decision to shut down the markets.

“There was even a small disturbance in which residents protested in groups against the police, who tried to suppress them by actually using weapons against them.”

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UK lightning MAP: Is YOUR area at risk of thunderstorms today? Latest Met Office forecast

The sunny weather will be shortlived for those living in the southeast of England, as thunderstorms, showers and some lightening may hit the area. Paul Gundersen, Met Office chief meteorologist, said: “Thursday will be another warm day with hazy sunshine although there is the potential for thunderstorms to develop across England, Wales and southeast Scotland.

“It is across east and southeast England where these are most likely, with frequent lightning, hail and torrential downpours of up to 40mm in a few hours all possible.”

The Met Office forecast for the whole country reads: “Bands of showers, perhaps with some thunder, moving northeastwards, clearing the majority of the UK by early afternoon.

“Still warm, particularly in the southeast and later in the day once showers clear.”

The forecast for tonight predicts more showers too: “A little rain for the Northern Isles otherwise dry until wet and windy weather arrives from the west later.

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“Some heavy showers possible in the southeast later where warm again.”

The bank holiday weekend will start off wet, with showers predicting for Friday morning.

The Met Office reports: “Rain, heavy in the north, pushing across the UK, clearing most areas by afternoon.

“Showers following, mainly for the north and west of the country. Windier and cooler than recently.”

However, luckily the rain and wind is not here to stay.

More settled conditions are expected as the bank holiday weekend goes on, with the long range forecast looking hopeful for the next couple of weeks.

Met Office spokesperson Grahame Madge told Cornwall Live, where day trippers have been flocking in recent days: “The transition from spring to summer is looking largely dry and fine… a good period of settled weather.”

The long-range weather forecast, up to June 11, from the Met Office is looking pretty sunny as it stands.

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The forecast predicts this high pressure dominating until the end of May and could continue well into the middle of June.

The Met Office said: “Although with low confidence, this period looks to stay largely dry and fine with bright or sunny spells for many.

“Despite the dominance of settled weather, this doesn’t rule out some spells of rain or showers, with any prolonged rain more likely in the northwest.

“Temperatures generally trending on the warmer side with an increased chance of some very warm/hot spells in the south.”

This weekend will continue a warmer spell, with the Met Office predicting: “Dry for many on Friday with sunny spells.

“Over the weekend southern areas should stay dry and turn somewhat warmer whilst some rain will affect northern then some central areas.”

Not everywhere has it good though – a yellow weather warning has been issued for Northern Ireland today.

Heavy wind is expected to make land there on Friday, with travel disruption expected.

The windy weather will also hit north western parts of England and Scotland, although not badly enough to warrant a weather warning.

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ISIS chief captured: Iraq Intelligence Service ‘arrest candidate to succeed al-Baghdadi’

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Abdul Nasser Qardash, said to be one of the possible successors to former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been captured in Iraq. Iraq’s official news agency INA, reported that the National Intelligence Service announced the arrest of the candidate to succeed the terrorist Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

A security source told the publication the National Intelligence Service had managed to arrest the alleged Abdul Nasser Qirdash.

The terrorist had been high up in the organisation while Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was leader.

Writing on Twitter, Feras Kilani, Arabic Special Correspondent at the BBC, wrote: “In intentional play with the phrase ‘potential candidate to succeed Al-Baghdadi’ used by Iraqi intelligence, Abdul Nasser Qirdash, because of his importance, is not Abdullah Qirdash, the senior leader of the organization, and the latter is not from behind al-Baghdadi, but rather al-Qurashi, whose name is Amir Muhammad Abd al-Rahman al-Salabi, which was confirmed by Washington.

“The matter seems to have a direct relationship to internal accounts, as the intelligence service is still affiliated with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, although information confirms that he has been in detention for some time and is being questioned, perhaps before the formation of the government that was announced a few days ago.

al-Baghdadi rose to prominence in ISIS after his detainment with Al Qaeda commanders at the American Camp Bucca, in Iraq.

He would become directly involved in ISIS’s atrocities and human rights violations including the genocide of Yazidis in Iraq, extensive sexual slavery, organized rape, floggings, and systematic executions.

He directed terrorist activities and massacres as well as embracing brutality as part of the organization’s propaganda efforts, producing videos displaying executions via hacking, stoning, and burning.

Back in October, al-Baghdadi killed himself by detonating a suicide vest during the Barisha raid, killing two children in the process.

On October 31 2019, ISIS confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead, and named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as his replacement.

This is a breaking story…more to follow

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Iran war warning: US Navy ready to open fire on ships which come too close

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The notice to mariners comes in the wake of Mr Trump’s announcement that any ships which harassed Navy vessels faced turning themselves into targets. The Navy notice states: “Armed vessels approaching within 100 meters of a US naval vessel may be interpreted as a threat.”

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the new notice to mariners was not a change in the US military’s rules of engagement.

The Pentagon has previously said Mr Trump’s threat was aimed at underscoring the Navy’s right to self-defence.

The Bahrain-based US Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement that its notice was “designed to enhance safety, minimise ambiguity and reduce the risk of miscalculation”.

Tension has spiked between Washington and Tehran since Mr Trump’s election as President in 2016.

Last month 11 Iranian vessels came close to US Navy and Coast Guard ships in the Gulf, in what the US military characterised as “dangerous and provocative” behaviour.

At one point, the Iranian vessels came within 10 yards (nine meters) of the US Coast Guard cutter Maui.

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Mr Trump responded by issuing his warning.

However, Tehran blamed the incident on the US.

The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards responded to Trump by threatening to destroy US warships if its security is threatened in the Gulf.

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US ORDERS Iran to send plane for deported nationals exposed [REVEALED]

Already poor relations between the two countries have worsened since Mr Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action (JPOCA), Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers, and subsequent reimposition of economic sanctions.

And, in early January, the US killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad.

Iran retaliated on January 9 by firing missiles at bases in Iraq, causing brain injuries among US troops stationed at one of them.

Close interactions with Iranian military vessels were not uncommon in 2016 and 2017, with US Navy ships firing warning shots on several occasions.

However, Iran halted such manoeuvres prior to the incident in April.

Earlier this month, Mr Trump hinted at the possibility of further strikes against Iranian targets.

The President claimed he had “very good information” that Iran-backed militias were planning more assaults.

He added: “If it happens again, that would go up the food chain.

“This response will be bigger if they do something.”

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