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Bus carrying high school students home from Harvard trip crashes in Boston

34 people injured after driver of charter bus bound for Philadelphia failed to follow warning signs for oversized vehicles

After a visit to Harvard University, dozens in a group of high school students and their adult chaperones were injured when their charter bus hit a bridge after police say the driver failed to heed low-clearance warning signs.

One person was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and three with serious injuries, the Boston emergency medical services said. Thirty-four people were injured in all.

The bus was carrying 42 people and was heading back to the Philadelphia area when it struck an overpass at around 7.30pm on Saturday, Massachusetts state police said. Some passengers were trapped for more than an hour as rescue crews worked to free them.

Authorities said the bus did not belong on the road, where a 10-foot height limit is in place and oversized vehicles are not authorized. State police said the driver, whose name was not released, “failed to heed signs” warning of the height limit and will likely be cited for an over-height violation. The driver was not injured.

The driver looked down at his GPS and saw the bridge when he looked up, but it was too late to avoid hitting it, Ray Talmedge, owner of the Philadelphia-based Calvary Coach bus company, told WCAU-TV.

David Cameron in fresh peace talks with Afghan and Pakistani leaders

PM to meet Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari for talks aimed at preventing Taliban resurgence after British troops leave

David Cameron is to meet the Afghan and Pakistani presidents in the latest round of talks aimed at preventing a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan when British troops leave next year.

The prime minister will dine with Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari at Chequers on Sunday night as part of his efforts to strengthen Afghanistan-Pakistan relations and promote regional peace and stability.

The meeting comes ahead of in-depth discussions on Monday focusing on how the Pakistanis and international community can support the Afghan-led peace process.

Foreign ministers, army chiefs of staff, intelligence chiefs and the chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council are expected to attend the third trilateral session since last summer.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “As the prime minister has set out previously, a stable Afghanistan is not just in the interests of Afghans, but also in the interests of their neighbours and the UK. We share the same vision for Afghanistan: a secure, stable and democratic country that never again becomes a haven for international terror.

“We are working together to achieve it and Afghanistan’s neighbours have a vital role to play. It is vital not just for the future security of their citizens, but for their prosperity too.”

Blair: fight against al-Qaida could last a generation

Former PM likens battle to struggle against revolutionary communism and warns that cost of standing aside would be far greater

The west’s fight against al-Qaida is like the battle against revolutionary communism, says Tony Blair, who warns that it could last for a generation.

The former prime minister said on Sunday that Britain was right to send troops to support the French effort in Mali to put down a terrorist attempt to overthrow the country’s government.

David Cameron faced difficult decisions to fight terrorism, Blair said, but warned the cost of standing aside would be far greater.

Britain at least had to try and “shape” events in the Middle East, he added, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that in Syria there was already a danger the more extreme elements of the opposition forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime would take over.

Blair said: “I think we should acknowledge how difficult these decisions are.

“Sometimes in politics you come across a decision which the choice is very binary, you go this way or that way and whichever way you go the choice is very messy.

“If we engage with this, not just militarily but over a long period of time, in trying to help these countries, it is going to be very, very hard but I think personally the choice of disengaging is going to be even greater.”

He added: “We always want in the west, quite naturally, to go in and go out, and think there is a clean result. It’s not going to happen like that. We now know that. It is going to be long and difficult and messy.

“My point is very simple though: if you don’t intervene and let it happen, it is also going to be long, difficult and messy, and possibly a lot worse. It’s a very difficult decision.

“We are certainly talking about a generation. I think a better way to look at it is like the fight the west had over a long period of time with revolutionary communism.

“It will happen in many different theatres, it will happen in many different ways but the truth is that you have no option but to confront it, to try over time to defeat it.”