BBC News with Iain Purdon
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the Syrian authorities have committed clear and widespread crimes against the country's civilian population. He was addressing the UN General Assembly in New York. Earlier, the International Committee of the Red Cross said its aid convoy in the devastated city of Homs had been denied access to the devastated Baba Amr district. Mr Ban said there were grisly reports coming out of Syria.
"In Homs, Hama and elsewhere, the brutal fighting has trapped civilians in their homes without food, heat or electricity or medical care, without any chance of evacuating the wounded or burying the dead. People have been reduced to melting snow for drinking water. This atrocious assault is all the more appalling for having been waged by the government itself, systematically attacking its own people."
The blocking of the ICRC mission to Baba Amr comes amid growing accusations of human rights violations by the Syrian authorities, as Jim Muir reports.
The Red Cross convoy with seven lorry loads of emergency supplies and three ambulances had arrived in Homs from Damascus early in the day, but it spent hours waiting at the local Syrian Red Crescent headquarters for the go-ahead to move into Baba Amr as planned, only to find it wasn't allowed to move. The ICRC has suspended the planned operation for the night, but says it intends to continue pressing for access as soon as possible. It's clearly alarmed by reports from activist organisations of revenge killings and summary executions perpetrated after the rebel fighters pulled out.
Meanwhile, accounts have been emerging of life and conditions in Baba Amr under the Syrian shelling. A Spanish journalist, Javier Espinosa, was one of those trapped there. He told the BBC about their dramatic escape trying to pass government lines after nightfall.
"If there is a simple noise, they detect your presence, they start shooting, and this is what happened. There were a group of kids who were terrified, and they were （yes） saying "mummy, mummy, mummy". We tried to （yes） tell them "Please don't, don't." But it was too late, and they start[ed] shooting, so we had to run for our life, everybody （yes） in one direction to hide. I guess some people died because they were wounded. They could not move very quickly because they were very badly wounded."
Two French journalists, Edith Bouvier and William Daniels, who were smuggled out of Homs by Syrian activists, have now returned to France. Edith Bouvier was seriously injured in the same bombardment that killed the American journalist Marie Colvin and the French photographer Remi Ochlik.
The top religious council in Afghanistan has demanded those responsible for burning copies of the Koran on a Nato base should be tried in public and punished. The religious council said apologies would never be enough. The incident has led to several deaths.
World News from the BBC
The secretary general of football's world governing body Fifa, Jerome Valcke, has expressed concern about Brazil's preparations for the 2014 World Cup. James Read reports.
With their flair and skill, Brazil's footballers have delighted fans around the world for decades. But Fifa is less than pleased with the way the country is preparing to host the World Cup in two years' time. Jerome Valcke said not a lot was working and the organisers needed, as he put it, a "kick up the backside". He added that Brazil appeared to be more concerned with winning the World Cup than running it. The comments will not go down well in Brazil, where Fifa's demands on ticketing, marketing and alcohol sales have provoked widespread opposition.
The authorities in the United States say they've uncovered a huge international smuggling ring stretching from the US to China. Federal officials said arrests were going on in New Jersey, New York, Texas and the Philippines. And more than 26 American and Chinese nationals have been charged with trying to smuggle more than $300m worth of counterfeit goods from China into the United States.
Finally, a musical society devoted to the works of Mozart says an Austrian university researcher has found a previously unknown piano piece by the composer dating from about 1780. Bethany Bell reports from Vienna.
Posthumous discoveries of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are not unknown, but they are rare. The Mozarteum Foundation says this piece was discovered by an academic at the University of Innsbruck in a music book dating from around 1780. The Mozarteum says the handwriting is that of a Tyrolean copyist, but the piano work itself is clearly attributed to the young Wolfgang Mozart. Few other details have been released, but the Mozarteum says the work is certainly by Mozart.
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