News Daily: Trump's Iran air strikes U-turn, and minister accused of assault

By Andy McFarlane
BBC News

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Image source, Reuters

Trump 'approved Iran strikes but pulled back'

US President Donald Trump approved military strikes for early Friday morning against a "handful" of targets in Iran in retaliation for the shooting down of an American spy drone, according to media in the States. White House officials quoted by the New York Times say the operation was under way and "in its early stages" when Mr Trump changed his mind and stood down his forces. The White House and Pentagon have not commented.

It comes at a time of escalating tension between the two countries, with the US blaming Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman - something denied by the Tehran government. Catch up on what we know about that situation. Iran has also caused further angst by announcing it will soon exceed international agreed limits on its nuclear programme. See our 300-word summary for the lowdown.

Greenpeace accuses minister of 'assault'

The drama in UK politics is not restricted to claims of tactical voting in the Conservative leadership contest. Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has accused Foreign Office minister Mark Field of assaulting a female activist by manhandling her out of a black-tie City event.

Mr Field - who apologised, saying he thought she might have been armed and reacted "instinctively" - has referred himself to the Cabinet Office for investigation. Meanwhile, the Tory chief whip says he'll investigate WhatsApp messages in which a male colleague branded Eddisbury MP Antoinette Sandbach a "disgrace" for her views on the leadership and told her: "Time you left the party."

'Living drug' offers hope to terminal blood cancer patients

How does having your immune system reprogrammed sound? Mike Simpson, 62, had white blood cells - called T-cells - removed, frozen in liquid nitrogen and sent to US laboratories to be genetically altered.

Now they seek and destroy cancer, rather than bacteria or viruses, and Mike says his lymphoma is "on the run". He's not the only one. Doctors at King's College Hospital, London, say some patients are being completely cured in a way that has "never been seen before".

Why the age of electric flight is finally upon us

By Tim Bowler, Le Bourget, Paris

Alice is an unconventional-looking craft, powered by three rear-facing pusher-propellers - one in the tail and two counter-rotating props at the wingtips to counter the effects of drag. It also has a flat lower fuselage to aid lift. "This plane looks like this not because we wanted to build a cool plane, but because it is electric," says Eviation's chief executive Omer Bar-Yohay.

"You build a craft around your propulsion system. Electric means we can have lightweight motors; it allows us to open up the design space."

Eviation has already received its first orders. US regional airline Cape Air, which operates a fleet of 90 aircraft, has agreed to buy a "double-digit" number of the aircraft.

What the papers say

Variations on "Boris gets his revenge" sum up the result of the ballot that selected Mr Johnson and Jeremy Hunt as the final two candidates for the Conservative leadership. The i suggests his team used "dirty tricks" to defeat Michael Gove, who "destroyed his last leadership bid". The Guardian wonders if the result was "fixed" to ensure Mr Johnson faced a "less formidable adversary". It is, in the Times's estimation, a "dirty battle for No 10".

Daily digest

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Lookahead

Today Events take place across the country to mark the first National Windrush Day, celebrating the contribution to the UK made by those who arrived from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971 and their families.

10:30 England host Sri Lanka at Headingley, Leeds, in the latest game in their Cricket World Cup campaign.

On this day

1982 Diana, Princess of Wales, gives birth to a 7lb 1.5oz boy - Prince William - 16 hours after checking in to St Mary's Hospital, in London.

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