Sunday 25 September 2016

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Published 03/12/2015 | 07:01

Two Eurofighter Typhoon jets at from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, as RAF Tornado jets have carried out the first British bombing runs over Syria, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Two Eurofighter Typhoon jets at from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, as RAF Tornado jets have carried out the first British bombing runs over Syria, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. Danny Lawson/PA Wire

RAF Tornado jets have carried out the first British bombing runs over Syria, the British Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

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The air strikes were carried out within hours of a vote by MPs in the Commons in London to back extending operations against Islamic State (IS) from neighbouring Iraq.

Four RAF Tornado jets, which carry a range of munitions including Paveway IV guided bombs and precision-guided Brimstone missiles, took off from the Akrotiri base in Cyprus but defence officials refused to be drawn on the targets of their mission.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the sorties had returned from the "first offensive operation over Syria and have conducted strikes".

Read more: Britain launches first bombing runs over Syria within hours of vote

South Africa's top appeals court could send "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius back to jail on Thursday for at least 15 years for killing his girlfriend on Valentine's Day 2013 in a sensational case that continues to fascinate and divide the nation.

Last year a judge gave the disgraced Olympic and Paralympic gold medallist a five-year jail sentence for "culpable homicide" of Reeva Steenkamp, but prosecutors say he should be convicted of murder for firing four shots through a locked toilet door.

The athlete left jail on parole in October and is meant to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest, but the Supreme Court of Appeals could now overrule the original verdict and find him guilty of murder or order a retrial.

In the Irish headlines this morning, 'State school match fee-paying sector for places in college' reads the front of the Irish Independent. Education Editor Katherine Donnelly reveals that high-achieving State funded schools around the country are increasingly matching the fee-paying school sector when it comes to sending their students to college.

Read more: State schools match fee-paying sector for places in college

'Threat over missing son' reads the front page of this morning's Herald. The family of Willie Maughan, who has been missing with his girlfriend since April, speak out on death threats they have received since a Crimecall appeal for their son and his girlfriend were issued.

"I got threatened that evening. More or less saying 'You'll be going to the graveyard again'," Mr Joseph Maughan told the Herald.

His daughter was also threatened. Gardai believe the couple may have fallen foul of a criminal gang in north Dublin.

Read more: Father of missing man threatened after appeal on RTE's 'Crimecall'

The Irish Mirror have led with the latest mass shooting in the US. Up to 14 people were killed and as many as 20 were wounded yesterday when at least one person opened fire at a Christmas party for the disabled in the southern Californian city of San Bernardino.

Read more: San Bernardino shooting: Heavily-armed man and woman shot dead after 14 killed in shooting rampage in California

The Irish Daily Star leads with a case that came before the courts yesterday in which a mother-of-eight has been accused of cruelty and neglect. The 39-year-old woman is allehed to have regularly abandoned her young children to go on drinking binges - and the court heard she once dunked her daughter's head in a sink full of water as punishment for saying a word.

The Irish Examiner leads with the headline 'Creches 'do not impede progress of kids' - this is the evidence found in a major study due to be published today. The report finds that sending your child to creche has no negative impact on their development.

And the Irish Times lead with the latest from UK's bombing of Syria, reading: 'UK bombing of Isis could begin today'.

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