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HMS Bulwark rescues hundreds of migrants - including children

Hundreds of migrants - including 50 young children - have been rescued from an "unstable" ship in the Mediterranean sea near Libya, thanks to UK ship HMS Bulwark.

The double-decker, wooden-hulled boat was described by the Ministry of Defence as "heavily overcrowded", with 369 people packed on board.

As part of the international migrant search and rescue mission - codenamed Operation WEALD - Bulwark dispatched five of its specialised landing craft to rescue the migrants and bring them to safety.

All eight of its landing craft have been converted into rescue boats, piled high with lifejackets, medical equipment and emergency supplies.

The rescue was one of five which took place in the Mediterranean today, with Italian, Greek and Irish naval units all involved in saving some 800 lives. They will now be transferred to a dedicated port of safety.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon welcomed news of the operation, but called for a better solution from UK and overseas governments.

HMS Bulwark and her crew have once again saved hundreds of lives in the Mediterranean migrant crisis, offering medical assistance, food, water and dry clothes to those in need.

A wider political solution is required to this crisis, but that does not detract from today’s rescue at sea.

– Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary

Blatter refuses to answer questions after Fifa Congress

Fifa president Sepp Blatter ignored questions from journalists as he hurried to his car after the first day of the Fifa Congress.

Despite calls for his resignation, Blatter has remained resolute that he will remain at the helm. Fifa is due to vote for a new president tomorrow, with Blatter still in the running.

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How voting for the Fifa presidency works

Sepp Blatter and Prince Ali Bin al Hussein are vying for the Fifa presidency. Credit: PA Wire

Here is the voting procedure at Friday's FIFA presidential election in Zurich:

  • Sepp Blatter and Prince Ali Bin al Hussein will both have opportunities to address the Fifa Congress
  • Each of Fifa's 209 associations should have a vote,although a few can face disqualification for reasons such as not playing in competitions
  • If either candidate achieves two-thirds of the eligible vote in the first round then he wins outright - if there are 209 votes that means 139 to win outright
  • If there is no outright victory, the winner will be whoever gains more votes in the second round

Cameron: France is an essential and valued partner of UK

The Prime Minister has met French President Francois Hollande in Paris to discuss potential changes to the EU treaty which he says could benefit both countries.

David Cameron has met French President Francois Hollande Credit: RTV

Describing France as an "essential and valued partner of Britain", David Cameron said the two countries might have different priorities, but similar aims for the future, and said he hoped they could reach an agreement - including on issues such as tackling extremism and climate change.

France is an essential and valued partner of Britain. Our economies are interwoven, and we are two major military powers in the EU, with global reach and shared values.

My priority is to reform the European Union to make it more competitive, and address the concerns of the British people about our membership. The status quo is not good enough, and I believe there are changes we can make which will not just benefit Britian, but the rest of Europe too.

Of course, the priority for Francois is to strengthen the Eurozone, to ensure a successful single currency, and Britain supports that.

We have different priorities, but we share a common objective - to find solutions to these problems.

– David Cameron

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Fifa corruption investigation spreads further afield

The US-led investigation into alleged corruption at Fifa has spread further afield, with offices being raided in Brazil and a former top official, Jack Warner, handing himself into police in Trinidad.

Thirteen of the 14 men charged by the FBI are from South American or Caribbean nations.

ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports:

A defiant Sepp Blatter refuses to quit as Fifa president

Sepp Blatter has blamed the corruption scandals engulfing Fifa on the "actions of individuals" and refused to quit as its president.

Speaking to the 65th Fifa Congress, he admitted that the arrests and the allegations of widespread corruption have brought "shame and humiliation" on football and stressed there was no place for it in the game.

Blatter was speaking publicly for the first time since the scandals broke yesterday and threw Fifa into crisis ahead of tomorrow's presidential election.

ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott reports from Zurich, where the Congress is taking place:

Cameron begins EU tour to try to build support for change

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has warned that the British people are likely vote to leave the EU unless there is substantial reform in Brussels.

He spoke as David Cameron began a whistlestop tour of Europe, meeting political leaders in a bid to build support for change.

ITV News deputy political editor Chris Ship reports:

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