News in 5 Minutes: Russian helicopter shot down, Theresa May on David Cameron’s honours list, and a message in a bottle from Greenock

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TODAY’s INSTALMENT (2 August) of the CommonSpace daily news roundup includes the shooting down of a Russian helicopter, Theresa May on David Cameron’s honours list and a message in a bottle from Greenock.

News: Russian helicopter shot down in Syria, killing all five on board

Russian Mi-8 helicopter was shot down over Idlib provence in Syria

A Russian Mi-8 transporter helicopter has been shot down in Idlib provence in Syria, killing all five people on board.According to the Russian defence ministry the helicopter was returning from delivering humanitarian aid to the city of Aleppo. The deaths of the three crew and two officers on board makes this the largest single loss of life for Russia since the beginning of it’s air campaign against rebel groups in Syria in September.

US launches “sustained offensive” against Isis with airstrikes in Libya

The Pentagon has announced that manned US aircraft and drones took part in airstrikes on strategic locations in the city of Sirte in Libya on Monday 1 August, the Guardian reports. Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook confirmed that “additional US strikes” against Isis positions in Sirte were to come in a “sustained offensive” intended to allow local US allies on the ground to make an advance on the embattled port city. No US ground troops are to be deployed.

Aid workers accused of attempting to convert refugees in Lesbos detention centre

Aid workers have been accused of attempting to convert Muslim refugees held at the Moria asylum detention centre in Lesbos in Greece by distributing Christian conversion forms. The forms, seen by the Guardian, were allegedly distributed inside copies of the St. John’s Gospel written in Arabic by representatives of the Greek charity Euro Relief. Euro Relief said that it did not condone the use of conversion materials but it was possible that individual aid workers had taken it upon themselves to distribute the materials.

Politics: PM “won’t intervene” over David Cameron’s honours list

Theresa May will not intervene in David Cameron’s resignation honours list

Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she “won’t intervene” in David Cameron’s resignation honours list, the BBC reports. Opposition MPs have called for the reform of the honours sytem after a newspaper leaked an alleged copy of Cameron’s list at the weekend. Requests for political honours are decided by special honours committees which are independent of Downing Street and Number 10 has said that it would not interfere as this would "set a very bad precedent".

Britain’s new european commissioner set to focus on terrorism, organised crime and cyber-security

Britain’s new european commissioner will have a brief that focuses on terrorism, organised crime and cyber-security, it has been announced. After the post-Brexit resignation of Lord Hill, Sir Julian King was nominated by ex-Prime Minister David Cameron as his replacement. King, who has most recently served as the British ambassador to France, must be approved by MEPs and other officials before taking the role.

Sport: Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares defeated in Rogers Cup doubles final

Murray and Soares defeated by Dodis and Melo in doubles final at Rogers Cup

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares have been defeated in the doubles final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto by Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo. Murray will play alongside his brother Andy in the upcoming Rio olympics.

Culture: From Venice to Oban – cutting edge Biennale exhibition gets Scottish showing

Prospect North comes to Oban after success at Venice Biennale

Prospect North, an exhibition produced for the renowned Venice architecture Biennale, is set to get its Scottish debut in Oban’s Rockfield Centre. The exhibition uses cutting-edge technology to tell the stories of 15 Scottish communities from Lerwick to Tiree and beyond and will come to the Lighthouse in Glasgow after it’s Oban run, before touring to venues across the country.

Weather: Mostly cloudy with occasional showers

Better keep the brolly handy as occasional showers forecast

Cloud cover and occasional showers on the cards for today, with forecasts suggesting overcast weather could last into tomorrow.

And another thing: Greenock trials communication via message in a bottle

“I’ll send an SOS to the world”: Message in a bottle from Greenock found

Nicolas Valentin has taken to Facebook to show off his discovery of a message in a bottle, found at Rhu on 1 August. The bottle contained assorted sweeties and a note which revealed it was set adrift from Greenock by a young girl named Kacey, who writes (with mum’s help) that she will turn five on 9 August. As yet no one has come forward to claim ownership of the bottle, so CommonSpace would like to take this opportunity to wish Kacey a happy birthday when it comes!

Pictures courtesy of Rob SchleiffertPavel KazachkovNumber 10Diego BarraKosuke FujitakaStephen Rush

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