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Tony Blair: Miliband remarks 'mis-interpreted'

Tony Blair says his comments about Ed Miliband's chances of winning a general election have been "mis-interpreted".

He had been seen as casting doubt on whether Labour can win the general election fighting on Ed Miliband's "traditional left-wing" platform.

The former prime minister's remarks, in which he acknowledged there was "obviously a difference" between his politics and those of the current leader, came as Mr Miliband appealed to voters ahead of May's poll by offering an economic recovery which "reaches your kitchen table".

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Tony Blair visits British Ebola effort in Sierra Leone

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has visited Sierra Leone to visit those leading the Ebola response in the country.

He praised the efforts of British troops helping to fight the virus.

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US Military conducts airstrikes on extremists in Iraq

US forces have carried out four airstrikes on Islamic State extremist targets in Iraq, military officials have said.

The airstrikes - conducted by a mix of manned and drone aircraft - destroyed armoured vehicles and damaged a Humvee truck southwest of Kirkuk.

US Central Command say that they have now conducted 190 airstrikes across Iraq since the beginning of the operation against extremists in the country.

Islamic State calls for attacks on US citizens

A convoy of Iraqi security forces patrols the outskirts of Ramadi as smoke rises from clashes with Islamic State militants. Credit: Osama Al-dulaimi/Reuters

Islamic State has urged its followers to attack citizens of the United States and other countries that have joined a coalition aimed at wiping out the radical group.

A spokesman for the militants claimed the intervention by the US-led coalition would be "broken and defeated", according to a transcript of an audio recording in Arabic.

Washington is building an international coalition to combat Islamic State, which has taken control of large parts of Iraq and Syria. Countries including France, Canada and Australia have pledged their support.

The US has said that other countries would be willing to join the coalition if it proceeds with air strikes against the group in Syria in addition to those made in Iraq by American and French jets.

'We should not underestimate threat IS pose'

A car drives near a flag belonging to Islamic State militants in Iraq. Credit: Reuters

A former director of British special forces has said the West "should not underestimate" the threat Islamic State militants pose.

Lieutenant General Sir Graeme Lamb, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, told BBC Radio 4 it was important to contain IS as they presented themselves as an "unstoppable force".

He added the government should be prepared to "rule in" ground forces to tackle the issue and that advisors should also be sent to assist the Iraqi army.

Speaking about IS, Lieutenant Lamb said: "Now we need to crush them.

"I'm not talking about large-scale conventional forces because Isil don't represent that form of threat.

"But I am talking about advisers, special forces, airborne brigades, for instance, the battalion of the landing of the US marine corps, those sort of capabilities which ourselves, the United Kingdom, and the United States have. But we should be prepared to rule them in."

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