BRITAIN'S OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC SUMMER CAME TO AN END
London waved bye bye to the Games with fireworks, Coldplay and steampunk
The Olympic and Paralympic Games left London last night, as the Closing Ceremony brought the summer they dominated to a close. It was all really steampunk and Coldplay soundtracked it, with guest appearances coming from Rihanna and Jay-Z. We'll have an article about the Closing Ceremony that goes into a bit more depth than that on the site later in the day. If you haven't watched our film about the Olympics yet, now would probably be a good time – do so here.
THE TALIBAN MIGHT BE READY TO STRIKE A PEACE DEAL
Apparently they're up for talking about the US military presence in Afghanistan
A piece of ex-Taliban suicide bomber, Kabul 2011 (Photo by Henry Langston. Original story here.)
According to this report, the Taliban might be ready to negotiate a ceasefire with the United States. Apparently some senior Taliban figures, who can see no obvious potential for victory in Afghanistan, are ready to open discussions on a peace plan that would see them break with al-Qaeda and accept the US's long-term presence in the country. However, it is believed that they are still refusing to negotiate with President Hamid Karzai's government. They see the regime that he presides over as corrupt and don't trust its ability to operate fair elections. The report has emerged after the Royal United Services Institute conducted interviews with four unnamed but important people who were either in or close to the Taliban government that existed in Afghanistan before the US intervened after the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. Peace talks still seem distant at this stage, but it's a significant development considering the UN believes that the Taliban insurgency was responsible for 80 percent of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in the last two years.
FOUR BRITISH PEOPLE AND A FRENCH CYCLIST WERE SHOT IN FRANCE
Police believe it may have been an assassination
A seven-year-old British girl who survived a gun attack in France that claimed the lives of both her parents, an elderly relative thought to be her grandmother and a French cyclist who had the misfortune to be passing at the time has been brought out of a coma. Police are hoping that the girl, Zainab al-Hilli, will be able to provide clues to the murders when she recovers sufficiently from the trauma. They believe that the attack may have been an assassination attempt due to the execution-style method used by the assailants, who shot each of their victims twice in the head. The French police who have been investigating the murders took eight hours to find Zainab's body when they initially arrived at the scene in the French Alps last Wednesday. Zainab's four-year-old sister, Zeena, is also now back in the UK. British police are searching the family's home in Claygate, Surrey for clues as they try to figure out the motive. One possible theory mooted thus far is that the Iraqi-born father, Saad al-Hilli, was targeted by his own brother after the pair had a dispute over money. But the brother has denied this and French police have warned against speculation, which is probably a sensible thing to do, unless you wanna read some more of it here. Food
SCHOOLKIDS ARE BEING FED SHIT
Yummy, yummy shit
Academies, which are like normal state-funded schools except they're run by people who aren't the government, are feeding kids chocolate and fizzy drinks. The Channel 4 programme Dispatches investigated and discovered that 37 of the UK's 108 academies are selling the junk food to pupils, and this is bad because schoolkids should be fed healthy stuff. Before becoming academies, the schools would've been obligated to comply to the national standards set by the government in the places of learning that it runs. Romance
A 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL STOLE A CAR AND DROVE A THOUSAND MILES TO SEE HER 12-YEAR-OLD INTERNET BOYFRIEND
They met playing Call of Duty on the internet
A 13-year-old girl from Texas stole her mum's credit card and her brother's car and drove a thousand miles to meet her 12-year-old internet boyfriend. Elizabeth Annette Robinson met a kid named Dylan playing Call of Duty online on her Xbox. Elizabeth made the decision to go meet him after her dad banned her from talking to her beau and took away the Xbox. She was picked up by police at 10.30PM on Thursday night after setting out for Kentucky on Wednesday. Her dad was a good guy and drove her the rest of the way so that she could meet Dylan.