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Tony Blair resigns as Middle East peace envoy

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has submitted his resignation as Middle East peace envoy, an official has said.

Tony Blair has handed in his resignation Credit: PA

Diplomatic sources revealed Mr Blair had written to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announcing his resignation as representative of the Quartet of Middle East powerbrokers at the end of June.

He took up the role immediately after stepping down as UK Prime Minister in 2007.

No comment has been made by Mr Blair's office in London.

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Russia wants to use convict labour to build World Cup

Russian president Putin sits with FIFA president Sepp Blatter Credit: REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev

Russia intends to use prisoners to help build stadiums and infrastructure for the 2018 World Cup and bring costs down.

A bill drafted by a member of the ruling party, United Russia, with the backing of the country's prison service, would allow contractors to use convicts in their projects.

"It'll help in the sense that there will be the opportunity to acquire building materials for a lower price, lower than there is currently on the market," Alexander Khinshtein told The Associated Press.

The Russian government is currently under pressure for the event's projected cost of 640bn roubles (£8.2bn).

Under the plans, convicts would continue to live in prison, travelling to work each day. They would earn roughly £190 per month.

Children hurt as bouncy castle is swept up by tornado

Several children have been hurt when the bouncy castle they were playing in on a Florida beach was swept into the air by a waterspout that turned into a tornado.

The three young children were hospitalised after they span 20 feet into the air before being thrown onto the ground on Fort Lauderdale beach.

The incident was captured by onlooker Brandon Burchett:

"I was thinking I was about to die," said 5-year old Shadaja Bryant, who was left with a broken arm after the violent ride. "I was in the bounce house and then it flew while I was in there, then I fell in the dirt."

The children have been left with relatively minor injuries, and are expected to recover fully.

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Libya's Prime Minister 'survives assassination attempt'

Libya's Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has survived an attack according to reports. Credit: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Libya's internationally-recognised Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has said he survived an assassination attempt after leaving a parliamentary session today in the eastern city of Tobruk, Reuters reports.

"Thank God, we managed to escape," he reportedly told pan-Arab news channel al-Arabiya.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister, Hatem El Ouraybi, told AFP news agency that a bodyguard was hurt in the attack.

He said: "The prime minister's car was hit by bullets when armed men opened fire as it was leaving an area where a session of parliament was held.

"The Prime Minister was not hurt, but one of his bodyguards was wounded."

Report: 'Five rockets fired from Gaza Strip land in Israel'

Israeli television news reports said air raid sirens sounded after at least five rockets fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel.

There were no reports of damage or injuries. The remnants of one rocket were found near the port city of Ashdod, about 20 km north of the Gaza Strip, an ambulance service spokesman said. No group in the Gaza Strip had immediately taken responsibility. Israeli media speculated that it may have been an errant rocket that was not intentionally aimed at Israeli territory.

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