Noon briefing: Extra water pumped for UK heatwave

Residents watch as a fire burns near their homes off Morgan Valley Road in Lower Lake, California. Photo / AP
Residents watch as a fire burns near their homes off Morgan Valley Road in Lower Lake, California. Photo / AP

1 Britain expecting high 20s temperatures
Billions of litres of extra water is being readied to pump into the south of England as Britain faces another heatwave with temperatures to straddle 30C this week. Some 450 million litres of water per day is on standby - enough to fill 900,000 paddling pools, according to Thames Water. On a hot day, water consumption in London increases around 14 per cent and this shoots up to 27 per cent in the Thames Valley as people escape the capital, the company said. Alex Burkill, a meteorologist with the Met Office, said Britain would start to heat up tomorrow and peak on Wednesday and Thursday with temperatures in the high 20s and breaking 30C in some places.

2 Lake town evacuated
Flames racing through dry bush destroyed at least four homes and forced more than 1000 people to flee and firefighters to carry animals out of a northern California lake community that was evacuated in a devastating fire last year. Authorities ordered about 1200 residents to leave 500 homes as the blaze surged east of the town of Lower Lake.

3 Squirrel's nutty situation
Emergency responders in Connecticut have come to the rescue of a squirrel. Members of Enfield Emergency Medical Services responded after the rodent got its head stuck in what appeared to be a plastic or paper cup. Video posted on the Enfield EMS Facebook page shows the squirrel wildly jumping and flipping into the air in an effort to dislodge the cup. An officer covered the animal with a blanket and held its body steady while another officer removed the cup before it scampered away into some nearby bushes.

4 Bomber on bus
A suicide bomber has detonated an explosive vest on a bus in Syria near the Atmeh border crossing into Turkey killing at least 15 people and injuring 25 others, some critically, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says. The bus was carrying fighters for Syria's civil war when the attack happened. Turkey's CNN Turk television has reported that the explosion took place at the entrance of Atmeh refugee camp in Syria, near the border crossing, citing local sources.

5 Drugs mule returns
Convicted drugs mule Michaella McCollum has finally returned home to Ireland five months after being released from jail in Peru. The 23-year-old touched down in Dublin last night after flying out of Lima via London marking the first time she has been home in three years. The former dancer, from Dungannon, was arrested at Lima airport in August 2013 with Scot Melissa Reid as they tried to smuggle £1.5 million worth of cocaine in food bags from Peru to Spain. The pair were jailed for six years and eight months after admitting the offence. In March, McCollum was released on parole. This week she was granted permission to fly back to her home. Reid returned to her home in Lenzie, near Glasgow in June.

6 Biggest back flip
A former professional BMX rider from Rhode Island has set a record for the longest power-assisted bicycle backflip. The Providence Journal reports Kevin "K-Rob" Robinson set the record on Sunday at Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence. Robinson, towed by another ride on an all-terrain vehicle, jumped 25m from one ramp to another. He needed to jump 19.5m to set the record. A judge from the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that Robinson was successful and presented him with a plaque.

7 'Flying bum' flight postponed
The makers of a blimp-shaped, helium-filled airship billed as the world's biggest aircraft postponed its maiden flight at the last minute today. The 92m-long Airlander 10 was due to take off from an airfield 73km north of London on the first in a series of test flights. Stephen McGlennan, chief executive of Hybrid Air Vehicles, said the airship had "a slight technical issue". He didn't say when the flight might be rescheduled. Nicknamed the "flying bum" because of its bulbous front end, the Airlander is a hybrid air vehicle - part lighter-than-air blimp, part plane. It's designed to use less fuel than a plane, but carry heavier loads than conventional airships.

The Airlander 10, part plane, part airship, goes through pre-flight checks at Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire, England. Photo / AP
The Airlander 10, part plane, part airship, goes through pre-flight checks at Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire, England. Photo / AP

8 Peshmerga heading to Mosul
Kurdish Peshmerga forces have launched a fresh attack on Isis (Islamic State) forces as part of a campaign to capture Mosul, Iraq, Kurdish officials say. The advance began after heavy shelling and air strikes by the United States-led coalition against Isis forces, a Reuters correspondent reported from Wardak, 30km southeast of Mosul. The militants fought back, firing mortars at the advancing troops and detonating at least two car bombs. Gwer, the target of the operation, is 40km southeast of Mosul. Repairing a bridge that the militants destroyed in Gwer would allow the Peshmerga to open a new front around Mosul.

9 Lethal rainfall
Thousands of houses have been destroyed and several villages submerged after flooding triggered by torrential rainfall killed 100 people across Sudan, officials and an AFP photographer said. Thousands of people in the impoverished eastern state of Kasala bordering Eritrea fled their homes after the river Gash burst its banks, flooding entire villages inhabited by farmers. Many people were sheltering in makeshift grass huts on hilltops, after floodwaters also cut off the main highway between east Sudan and the capital Khartoum.

10 Drive-safe modes needed
Smartphones should have "drive-safe" modes similar to the flight-safe option, as too many people get "distracted or overwhelmed with information" at the wheel. British charity the RAC Foundation says that each year at least 70 fatal accidents on Britain's roads have "distraction in vehicle" as a contributory factor, while "driving using mobile phone" is cited in about 20 crashes. Director Steve Gooding said smartphones were a "godsend" for helping drivers get directions and dodge congestion. But he warned about the potentially fatal dangers of over-relying on them.

- agencies

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 27 Feb 2017 12:58:06 Processing Time: 499ms