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BBC News: Foley killers 'wanted $132m ransom'
Thursday 21st August 2014
Click above for live BBC news.


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BBC news for Staffordshire

'January move' for maternity care

Midwives at Stafford Hospital say they have been told maternity services there could be downgraded in January.

Brothers jailed after asbestos work

Two brothers are jailed after exposing workers to asbestos in Burslem

Nine in court after rooftop protest

Nine people appear in court charged with aggravated trespass after a rooftop protest in Staffordshire.

War memorial muted for hotel guests

A war memorial in the Staffordshire Moorlands is being silenced so nearby hotel guests are not awoken early.

Fire-hit pottery site to be cleared

A fire-ravaged former pottery site will be cleared because the building has become unstable, say its owners.

HS2 and the new North-South divide

Has the proposal created a North-South divide?

VIDEO: Peaty beats Murdoch to European gold

Uttoxeter swimmer takes 100m breaststroke title

Live BBC World News

Foley killers 'wanted $132m ransom'

Islamic State jihadists demanded a $132m (£80m) ransom for the release of US journalist James Foley, his employer Globalpost says.

US bank in record $16.7bn settlement

Bank of America agrees to pay a record $16.7bn (£10bn) to US authorities for selling toxic mortgage loans that helped trigger the financial crisis.

US Ebola patients out of hospital

One of the US aid workers who recovered from the Ebola virus says he is "thrilled to be alive" as he and another patient are discharged from hospital.

Hanged India girls' 'rape' in doubt

A forensic investigation into clothing and swabs taken after the murder and alleged gang rape of two teenage cousins in northern India concludes they were not sexually assaulted.

Indonesia court upholds Widodo win

Indonesia's top court upholds Joko Widodo's victory in July's presidential elections, rejecting an appeal from defeated candidate Prabowo Subianto.

Boko Haram 'control police academy'

Northern Nigeria's riot police training academy has been overrun by Boko Haram Islamist militants, sources in Borno state tell the BBC.

Israel kills top Hamas commanders

An Israeli air strike kills three senior Hamas military commanders as Israel vows to pursue its Gaza campaign until it achieves "full security".

BBC Sports News

Liverpool agree £16m Balotelli fee

Liverpool agree a £16m fee with Italian club AC Milan to sign former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

Moody quits Palace over text claims

Crystal Palace sporting director Iain Moody resigns following allegations over racist, sexist and homophobic texts.

Murray draws Haase in US Open

Andy Murray will play Robin Haase in the US open first round and could meet Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Verstappen move is a risk - drivers

Formula 1 drivers question Red Bull's decision to pick 16-year-old Max Verstappen to drive for Toro Rosso next year.

McIlroy off pace in play-offs opener

Rory McIlroy is eight off the clubhouse lead after hitting a first-round 74 at the opening PGA Tour play-offs event.

Prior happy to be Buttler back-up

Wicketkeeper Matt Prior denies his England career is over but says he is prepared to back-up his successor Jos Buttler.

'January move' for maternity care

Midwives at Stafford Hospital say they have been told maternity services there could be downgraded in January.

Brothers jailed after asbestos work

Two brothers are jailed after exposing workers to asbestos in Burslem

Nine in court after rooftop protest

Nine people appear in court charged with aggravated trespass after a rooftop protest in Staffordshire.

War memorial muted for hotel guests

A war memorial in the Staffordshire Moorlands is being silenced so nearby hotel guests are not awoken early.

Fire-hit pottery site to be cleared

A fire-ravaged former pottery site will be cleared because the building has become unstable, say its owners.

HS2 and the new North-South divide

Has the proposal created a North-South divide?

VIDEO: Peaty beats Murdoch to European gold

Uttoxeter swimmer takes 100m breaststroke title

AskTen - Ten amazing things you may not have known last week
http://askten.co.uk


1. Out of 162 nations 151 are currently involved in some form of conflict. Although the UK has managed to stay relatively free from internal conflict, the country only ranks 47th in this year's Global Peace Index. Iceland came top as the most peaceful nation for the third year in a row. The five least peaceful countries were, in order: Somalia, Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan and, in last place, Syria. Daily Express

2. The Premier League began on Saturday following a record summer of transfer spending in England's top league. The 20 top-flight clubs have invested an estimated £647m - £17m more than in the whole of last summer - with experts believing the figure could reach £1bn. Sky Sports News

3. British consumers spend an average of £142 shopping online while drunk. Lobster pots and diving equipment among the bizarre items people have ordered during their merry sprees. Most drunken spending sessions (53%) take place on Amazon, according to a survey by a comparison website. Daily Telegraph

4. Parents typically face spending £180 on sending their children back to school, figures show. A small number – nine per cent – will fork out as much as £900 on uniforms, books, excursions and stationery, the government-backed Money Advice Service found. About 20 per cent of parents said they will need to dip into savings, 16 per cent expect to use a credit card and eight per cent will rely on an overdraft. Metro

5. Pubs are now closing at a rate of 31 per week, according to the real ale group Camra. Campaigners are calling for urgent legislation to make it harder for pubs to be demolished or transformed into retail outlets. With 3% of pubs in the suburbs closing in the past six months, there are now 54,490 boozers left in Britain. The Observer

6. A huge asteroid has a one-in-300 chance of wiping out life on Earth – but not until 2800. Researchers at the University of Tennessee are studying Asteroid 1950 DA, which could strike earth on 16 March, 2880. It has a diameter of one kilometre and is travelling at nine miles a second relative to the Earth. It would hit at 38,000 miles per hour. The Times

7. The UK is the self-employment capital of western Europe, says the IPPR think-tank. Policymakers are concerned that the trend is a sign of labour market weakness, raising fears over the strength of the economic recovery. Around two-fifths of all new jobs since 2010 have been among the self-employed, a trend that has helped shape Labour's cost-of-living agenda. The Times

8. New research from the American Chemical Society shows wine kept in a cupboard at home ages four times as quickly as that stored in a professional cellar. After two years, those stored in domestic conditions had consistently aged more quickly and had fewer antioxidants, less red pigmentation and weaker flavour than the cellar versions. The Times

9. Half of all people eligible for a state pension are still working, a study suggests. One in three pensioners is fully retired while half are working at least part time to make ends meet, it adds. One in four of those toiling in their 60s, 70s and 80s is running their own business. Evening Standard

10. German vehicle-maker Daimler has an innovative approach to holiday email, which many people about to return from holiday may well wish their company would copy. Emails sent to employees while they are on holiday are automatically deleted. Email these people and you will get a message like this: I am on vacation. I cannot read your email. Your email is being deleted. Please contact Hans or Monika if it's really important, or resend the email after I'm back in the office. Danke Schoen. BBC

The latest BBC Video News clips

VIDEO: Funeral for MH17 victim Liam Sweeney

Hundreds of mourners have gathered for the funeral of MH17 air disaster victim Liam Sweeney in Newcastle.

VIDEO: Radio host Gerry Anderson dies at 69

Gerry Anderson, one of Northern Ireland's best-known presenters, dies after a long illness.

VIDEO: Salmond defends oil predictions

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, has defended the Scottish government's estimates of oil reserves, after a warning yesterday from a leading industry figure.

VIDEO: The MI5 hunt for journalist's killer

The intelligence services and the police are trying to identify the masked man, believed to be British, filmed murdering the American journalist James Foley.

VIDEO: How Scotsman pub became St George

Has the Scottish referendum debate led England to consider its position within the Union?

VIDEO: Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies

Ireland's former prime minister Albert Reynolds has died at the age of 81. BBC News NI takes a look back at his life.

VIDEO: One Briton a fortnight helped to die

A study in Switzerland says that on average, one British person a fortnight travels to the city of Zurich for help to end their lives.