Theresa May: 'This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back'

The British Prime Minister delivered a letter to Brussels, formally announcing the UK is leaving the EU.

The British Prime Minister delivered a letter to Brussels, formally announcing the UK is leaving the EU. Source: 1 NEWS

Kiwi's inspiring mission to save Lulu the bear and Simba the lion from Mosul warzone

A Kiwi is among those desperately trying to save a bear and a lion trapped at the ISIS-controlled Muntazr al-Nour Zoo in the east of war-torn Mosul.

Freelance cameraman Anton Leach is in Iraq filming the efforts of the Four Paws organisation, which is attempting to remove bear Lulu and lion Simba from the battlefield.

The zoo has been bombed previously, and Lulu and Simba were the only two animals at the zoo to survive - it is believed about 40 animals died.

Mr Leach told the NZ Herald he felt a duty to help the animals - or their future was bleak.

"Humans are able to run away and escape but the animals are not able to escape and it is our responsibility to get them out," he said.

Efforts to remove the pair ramped up this week when the team tranquilised the animals before loading them on trucks and trying to drive them out of the city.

The mission was hampered, however, when soldiers at a checkpoint refused to let the convoy through, and the animals had to be dropped back at the zoo where it is believed they remain in cages.

An overnight curfew is in place in the city, which means the animals are left by themselves overnight with no one to check on them or feed them.

Mr Leach says he and Four Paws remain committed to the cause, and are determined to get Lulu and Simba out of the country.

"We will stay here until we get the animals out".



Twelve people killed in horrific Texas church van crash

Twelve people were killed and three others were injured when a pickup truck slammed head-on into a van carrying 14 senior members of a Texas Hill Country church on a two-lane highway in southwestern Texas, authorities said.

The crash happened about 12.30pm Wednesday (6.30am Thursday, NZT) on US 83 outside Garner State Park, about 120km west of San Antonio, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

It was unclear if the lone occupant of the pickup truck was among the dead or how many of the dead were among the 14 aboard the church van, officials said.

Photographs and video from the scene showed heavy damage to the front drivers' sides of the small white bus and pickup truck, which are the portions of the vehicles where they appear to have collided. The back of the bus was up on a guardrail and debris was scattered onto the grass below.

The 14 in the van were senior members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas.

In a statement posted on the church website, church officials said the members were returning from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment in Leakey, about 14km north of the crash site.