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The American swimmer Michael Phelps has become the most decorated Olympian in history. He won gold as part of the United States 4×200m free style relay team

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BBC News with Julie Candler

The American swimmer Michael Phelps has become the most decorated Olympian in history. He won gold as part of the United States 4×200m free style relay team.

Michael Phelps bring this in the America's home won the final of the men's 4x200m freestyles relay. And it is gonna be gold number 15 for Michael Phelps and medal number 19, an Olympic record for Michael Phelps as the USA win from France and China third. Nineteen for Michael Phelps.

Less than an hour earlier, Phelps won silver in the 200m butterfly. His nineteen Olympic medals put him one head of the 18 won by the Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

The wife of an Iraqi Olympic official, who was abducted by gunmen in 2006, has called for the International Olympic Committee to renew its efforts to find him. The former president of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, Ahmed al-Sammari, was taken at gunpoint along with 37 other officials. Thirteen were released, the others have never been seen since.

President Obama has signed an executive order imposing more sanctions on Iran's energy, petrochemical and financial sectors in an effort to curb its nuclear program. In a statement, Mr Obama said he was committed to find a diplomatic solution with Iran, but was determined to hold Tehran accountable. Iran insists its nuclear program is designed for peaceful purposes. Kim Ghattas reports from Washington.

President Barack Obama's executive order is designed to make it harder for Iran to evade existing sanctions. Tehran has been attempting to diversify the way it gets paid for oil sales, including by using gold and barter . Mr Obama's executive order also comes just as Congress prepares to vote this week on new legislation imposing even stricter sanctions on Iran. The bill will target any person or company which works with Iran's petroleum or natural gas sector. The move by the president seems to be an effort by the White House to show it's been just as tough on Iran as Congress.

The United Nations says that up to 18,000 people in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo have taken refuge in schools, mosques and other public buildings as fighting between government forces and rebels continues. Melissa Fleming from the UN refugee agency said some 7,000 people were sleeping in university dormitories as escape from besieged areas of the city has become too dangerous.

"We are witnessing that thousands of frightened residents are seeking shelter in schools, mosques, public buildings. These are the people who haven't fled the city. They haven't had the means or feared that it's too dangerous to make that journey. We are getting indications that the journey is rocked with armed gangs, roadblocks blocking the way.

World News from the BBC

The son of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam, has said he wants to be put on trial in The Hague, not in Libya. In a statement that his lawyers submitted to the International Criminal Court, he said that a trial and sentence in Libya would be tantamount to murder. Saif al-Islam is being held in Libya after militia group from the Western city of Zintan captured him last November.

Unemployment in the countries which use the euro hit a record high last month. Figures showed that 17.8 million people were out of work in the eurozone in June – the highest level since the single currency was formed. Even Germany registered a slight rise in its jobless figures. In Greece, the Deputy Finance Minister, Christos Staikouras, appealed for further financial aid to avoid bankruptcy.

Venezuela has joined Mercosur six years after applying to join the South American trading bloc. President Hugo Chavez went to Brazil for the ceremony in his first official trip abroad since being diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago. Mr Chavez, who's running for reelection in October, said the bloc would benefit from Venezuela's huge oil and gas reserves.

The Italian government has announced it will go ahead with the $30m plan to revamp one of Rome's most prized landmarks, the Colosseum. Starting in December, the work will take three years to complete. Archeologists have become concerned after large cracks appeared and fragments began to fall off. In recent days, it emerged the building is tilting about 40cm to one side. The Director of the Colosseum, Rossella Rea, said it was not serious.

"That is an incline, but it is absolutely not worrying. We are monitoring it to understand whether we are faced with a pre-existing phenomenon, or it is a progressing condition. As far as I am concerned, I'm fairly certain that we are looking at a pre-existing phenomenon."

BBC News

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