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Blair denies saying Miliband can't lead Labour to victory

Tony Blair has denied the claims. Credit: PA

Tony Blair has denied saying Ed Miliband cannot lead Labour to victory at the General Election because he has "failed to connect with voters".

The Daily Telegraph claimed the former prime minister had told friends privately of his concerns.

The paper quoted a source as saying :"The Conservatives will be the next government because Labour has failed to make a good case for itself. That is what Tony thinks."

But Blair's office were quick to dismiss the alleged quotes and tweeted the story "does not represent my view".

It added: "Ed Miliband and the Labour Party can and will win the next election."


US school shooting: Four students still in hospital

Police guard the entrance to the Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington where the shooting happened. Credit: Reuters

Four students shot after "Homecoming Prince" Jaylen Ray Fryberg opened fire in a US school killing a classmate before turning the gun on himself remain in hospital.

The surviving victims are said to be two males and two females all under the age of 18.

Officials said two are being looked after in hospital while the other two are cared for at a medical centre, but did not give any further details.

The type of gun Fryberg used in the attack was not revealed but police confirmed it was legally registered.

US school shootings: 'The community is heartsick'

The community in Marysville, where a student is believed to have shot dead a classmate before turning the gun on himself, is "heartsick", according to the school's superintendent.

Dr Becky Berg said the Marysville-Pilchuck High School wanted to extend its thoughts and prayers to everyone affected and that the investigation into exactly what happened was still ongoing.

Cold callers could be hit with fines of up to £500,000

Cold callers could soon be hit with hefty fines. Credit: PA

Firms who bombard people with nuisance calls and texts could be fined up to £500,000 under new government proposals.

The law currently requires the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to prove a company caused ‘substantial damage or substantial distress’ by their conduct.

But the Government wants to reduce this to causing ‘annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety’.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Being called day after day may not be ‘substantially distressing’, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

"I want to make it easier for companies to face the consequences of ignoring the law and subjecting us to calls or texts we have said we don’t want."


Driving licence fees to be slashed by 32%

Credit: PA

Driving fees will be slashed by 32% from October 31, the government has announced.

Under the new rules the cost of a provisional driving licence online will drop from £50 to £34.

And online licence renewals due every 10 years will fall from £20 to £14.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said the move was designed to "give savings back to the taxpayer".

The fee for driver tachograph cards - used by businesses to record how far their staff are driving - have also been cut from £38 to £32.

It is expected to save drivers and businesses £150 million over the next 10 years.

Mali Ebola girl 'could have infected hundreds'

A two-year-old Mali girl, who became the first to die of Ebola in the country, could have exposed hundreds of people to the deadly disease.

The tot, who has not been identified, had travelled hundreds of kilometres by bus with her grandmother to seek treatment.

Health workers are now scrambling to trace hundreds of people she may have come into contact with.

In a statement Mali's government confirmed the detah and said: "In this moment of sadness, the government would like to express its condolences to her family and reminds the population that maintain very strict hygiene rules remains the best way to contain this disease."

Ebola has killed 4,900 people mainly in nearby Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Palestinian-American teenager shot by Israeli forces

Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian-American teenager, US officials said.

Orwah Hammad, 14, was shot in the head in the village of Silwad on Friday.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed they had hit a Palestinian man who was hurling a molotov cocktail at them but said they would investigate the shooting.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called for a "speedy and transparent investigation."

She added: "The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a US citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24."

Earlier this week a Jewish baby girl was killed when a Palestinian man slammed his car into pedestrians at railway stop.

Her death followed that of five-year-old Palestinian girl Enas Shawkat, 5, who was run over by an Israeli motorist in the West Bank.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in April.

New York to quarantine medical workers returning from Africa

Medical workers returning from Ebola-hit countries to JFK airport will automatically be quarantined. Credit: Reuters

New York and New Jersey will automatically quarantine medical workers returning from Ebola-hit countries, officials say.

The measures announced by the two states, which go beyond the current restrictions imposed in the US, come as medical detectives try to retrace the steps of New York doctor Craig Spence, who tested positive for the deadly virus on Thursday.

The new policy applies to medical workers returning to New York's JFK airport and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

One female healthcare worker has already been ordered into quarantine.

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