BBC News with Iain Purdon
The International Committee of the Red Cross says the Syrian government has given it permission to enter the besieged district of Baba Amr in Homs tomorrow just hours after opposition fighters retreated. Carla Mardini is a spokeswoman for the ICRC in Geneva.
"We'll be bringing in food and medical aid. As to the figures of the teams, this is being organised right now, so I can't give you more. We also don't have the figures of how many people were seriously wounded or dead. We'll have to see what the situation is on the spot. It's a priority for us to enter so we can assess the situation on the ground and decide how we're going to respond the most efficiently and the most rapidly."
Earlier, opposition fighters in Homs announced that they were staging what they called a "tactical withdrawal" from Baba Amr. It's been a major opposition stronghold and has faced weeks of heavy shelling from government forces with reports of hundreds of deaths. Syrian officials say the army is now in control of the area.
In another development, the United Nations Security Council has unanimously demanded immediate humanitarian access to Syria, and the statement was backed by China and Russia, who until now have resisted any moves to condemn Syria or take action against it. Jane O'Brien reports from Washington.
The unanimous statement deploring the rapidly deteriorating situation in Syria brings a glimmer of hope that China and Russia may be joining UN efforts to address the violence. The Security Council expressed disappointment that the UN humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos has been barred from the country and demanded that she be given immediate access. And the UN has been divided in its response with Russia and China refusing to back resolutions condemning the government's actions.
Meanwhile, reports from Lebanon say the French journalist Edith Bouvier, who was wounded in heavy shelling in the Syrian city of Homs last week, has arrived in the country. She's said to have been accompanied by the French photographer William Daniels, and it's expected that they will now be flown to France.
Seventeen foreign democracy activists, including a number of Americans, at the centre of a row between Egypt and the United States have left Cairo after a travel ban was lifted. They'd been prevented from leaving the country after being charged with receiving illegal funding from overseas and accused of stirring up unrest. From Cairo, here's Jon Leyne.
This case has caused one of the biggest rifts between Egypt and the West for years. What really caused outrage in Washington was when the Americans were stopped from leaving the country. Some of them took refuge in the US embassy. So as soon as the travel ban was lifted, a US military plane arrived in Cairo to take them home. However, the case is still being pursued. They could be tried and convicted in their absence, and the Egyptians involved still face legal proceedings.
World News from the BBC
The unemployment rate in countries using the euro reached a record 10.7% in January. It's estimated that almost 17 million people were out of work. But there are enormous differences between individual countries. In Austria, unemployment was only 4%, compared to 23.3% in Spain.
Pakistan says it'll press ahead with plans to build a pipeline importing gas directly from Iran despite strong criticism from the United States. Aleem Maqbool reports.
Given that it comes at a time when America is encouraging more economic pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme, Hillary Clinton said it was inexplicable that Pakistan was pursuing this deal. It'll mean the creation of a gas pipeline that's ultimately expected to benefit Iran to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. The US secretary of state said if it went ahead, it could lead to sanctions being imposed on Pakistan. But the country's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said no third country could dictate the relationship between Islamabad and Tehran.
Nigerian leaders have been paying their final respects at the funeral of a man whose 1967 declaration of an independent Biafran Republic sparked a civil war. Thousands attended the funeral service of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, a former military governor of the eastern region. He accused the federal government of killing thousands of Igbos and became their leader. Around a million people died, mainly of disease and starvation, in the ensuing civil war between 1967 and 1970.
The Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he's recovering well after surgery in Cuba earlier this week for a suspected recurrence of the cancer which was discovered in his pelvis last year. Speaking from Cuba, he said his recovery was accelerating.BBC News with Iain Purdon The International Committee of the Red Cross says the Syrian government has given it permission to enter the besieged district of Baba Amr in Homs tomorrow just hours after o
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