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Intelligence experts are warning airports and nuclear power plants to tighten their defences against terror attacks. (Picture: Getty Images)
Britain’s airports and nuclear power stations have been placed on a terror alert following increased threats to electronic security systems.
Security services have issued a series of alerts in the past 24 hours, warning airports and nuclear power plants to tighten their defences against terror attacks.
Intelligence agencies fear ISIS and other terrorist groups could have developed ways to plant explosives in laptops and mobile phones which can bypass airport security screening methods, the Telegraph reports.
ISIS and other terrorist groups may have developed ways to plant explosives in laptops and mobile phones which can bypass airport security screening methods, experts fear (Picture: Getty Images)
Last month, Britain and the US banned travellers from a number of countries carrying laptops and large electronic devices on board.
They also fear terrorists, foreign spies and hackers could try to break into nuclear power station security systems.
Jesse Norman, the energy minister, said nuclear plants must ensure they ‘remain resilient to evolving cyber threats’.
Mr Norman told the paper: ‘The Government is fully committed to defending the UK against cyber threats, with a £1.9 billion investment designed to transform this country’s cyber security.’
Terrorists, foreign spies and hackers could also try to break into nuclear power station security systems. (Picture: Getty Images)
Terrorists are feared to have developed the technology after getting hold of airport screening equipment allowing them to experiment.
FBI experts have tested how explosives can be hidden inside laptop battery compartments so that it can still be turned on.
They are said to have concluded that the technique would be achievable using everyday equipment.
Terrorists are feared to have developed the technology after getting hold of airport screening equipment allowing them to experiment. (Picture: Getty Images)
In a statement, the US Department of Homeland Security said: ‘Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in electronics.
‘The US government continually reassesses existing intelligence and collects new intelligence.
Courtesy of http://metro.co.uk
Cyclone Debbie is due to hit northern Queensland
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as a powerful storm approaches Australia’s northeast coast.
Cyclone Debbie is expected to turn into a Category 4 storm, the second strongest on the scale of hurricane intensity, before it makes landfall in Queensland on Tuesday morning.
Winds are forecast to reach up to 260 kmph (160 mph) as the storm hits, making it Australia’s most powerful storm since Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
Around 3,500 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas near Townsville after concerns that the tidal surge could be as high as 4m (13ft).
Authorities have also advised a further 2,000 people in the town of Bowen to leave their homes and evacuations are underway from low-lying areas in Mackay.
Grey skies in Townsville as the storm approaches the Queensland coast
Queensland State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk encouraged Queensland residents to listen to authorities, saying that “the window of opportunity to leave is drastically closing”.
“I am just pleading to everyone, please, listen to authorities. I do, you must as well. This is about your safety, it is about the safety of your family and the safety of your children,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said the farming region has never experienced a storm stronger than Category 2 and warned that older homes would not withstand a Category 4 storm.
Queensland State Disaster Co-ordination Centre deputy commissioner Steve Gollschewski told people in the areas affected “to move now”.
“Don’t wait till tomorrow because you will not will be able to move probably past midnight tonight,” he said.
Townsville residents fill sandbags in preparation for Cyclone Debbie
The storm is expected to land somewhere along a sparsely populated 60-mile stretch of coast between the towns of Ayr and Bowen, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.
The bad weather is also due to hit the Whitsundays Islands.
Whitsundays Regional Council Mayor Andrew Wilcox said: “in the Whitsundays we’re pretty laid back sort of people.
“So what my message is, ‘guys, this is a real threat, this is serious, don’t be complacent, make sure you have all your preparation right, take shelter and please be safe’.”
Operations at several coal mines in the area have been halted ahead of the storm and the Abbot Point coal terminal and ports at Mackay and Hay Point have also closed.
Flights to the region are also affected. Townsville Airport is closed and airlines Qantas, Jetstar, Rex and Virgin Australia say they have cancelled flights in the region.
Courtesy of Sky News
A helicopter has crashed near the River Thames after going into a spin.
The pilot gave a “thumbs-up” as he managed to walk away with just minor injuries, witnesses said.
An ambulance crew was called to Mapledurham estate next to the River Thames, near Reading, just before 6pm after a helicopter landed on its side with a “loud thud”.
A witness said: “It flew over quite low and circled the playing field, it then went towards the river and flew along it.
“It then started to look like it was coming into land, it then went below the tree line but we could see it go into a spin, next we heard a loud thud.
“We ran over and saw it was laying on its side, it was on the opposite side of the river to us but we could see someone over there and shouted if everyone got out ok, they gave us a thumbs up.
“Luckily there was no fire.”
The witness, who was at his son’s football training at the time, thought the pilot was “showing off”.
He said: “To be honest all those watching thought the pilot was showing off but naturally that was just an assumption.
“It wasn’t until we heard the crash we realised there was an issue. I couldn’t see anymore other than the pilot.”
A spokeswoman for South Central Ambulance Service said: “We got a call at 5.51pm to reports of a helicopter that had come down.
“We sent two rapid-response vehicles, two ambulance officers and an ambulance crew.
They attended to “two adult males who sustained minor injuries and did not require hospital treatment.”
Courtesy of standard.co.uk