Boko Haram beaten back after attack on Nigerian town
Nigeria's military yesterday repelled an attack on a north-eastern town by Boko Haram Islamic extremists who, as they retreated, warned residents not to participate in the country's elections in March. Two air force jets joined soldiers in attacking the rebels after they assaulted Gombe in the morning.
The Boko Haram fighters left in a convoy of vehicles carrying dozens of corpses, according to residents.
"They were telling our people in the villages leading to Gombe that they have not come to harm civilians but the security agents. They were also dropping copies of papers with messages warning people not to participate in the coming elections, lest they risk being killed," said a resident.
Portas brother helped father her son
Fashion guru Mary Portas has revealed her brother is the biological father of her son.
Portas and her partner Melanie Rickey last month became one of the first couples in Britain to convert their civil partnership to a same-sex marriage. She told how her brother Lawrence Newton helped her and the fashion journalist conceive the boy, named Horatio.
In an interview in the Times, she said her brother had said he would be "honoured" when she asked him to donate sperm for the IVF treatment and he was present as Ms Rickey gave birth two years ago.
She said: "Lawrence was the first one there with us and he picked him up and I said to him: 'Thank you' and he said: 'It's my pleasure', and we just held each other.
Libyan militants seize radio stations
Gunmen from an al-Qaeda inspired militia have taken over radio and television stations in the central Libyan city of Sirte, a security official said.
He said the seizure of the buildings happened on Thursday after militants from Ansar al-Sharia had warned the station to stop broadcasting music.
Canadian police foil Valentine's plot
Canadian police acting on a tip-off have foiled a murderous St Valentine's Day klling spree by three suspects who were planning to go to a shopping centre and kill as many people as they could before committing suicide.
One of the suspects shot himself dead after police surrounded his home in the Halifax suburb of Timberlea.
An American suspect confessed to the plot when she was arrested at Halifax airport in Nova Scotia.
Police say the plot was not related to terrorism.
The suspects used a chat stream and were apparently obsessed with death and had many photos of mass killings.
Isil advance to 8km from US base
ISIL militants have captured an Iraqi town about 8km from an air base housing hundreds of US troops.
US officials downplayed the fall of al-Baghdadi, which is within striking distance of the Ain al-Asad air base.
The base itself was attacked by Isil on Friday, though the militants - wearing suicide belts -were repelled.
Meanwhile, more than 4,000 US soldiers are heading to Kuwait, where they will take over as one of America's largest ground forces in the region after President Obama asked Congress to authorize military action against Isil.
President Obama ruled out large-scale ground combat operations as were seen in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he asked for the option to use military force against Isil fighters for three years.