BBC News with Gaenor Howells
The Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is heading for a comeback as the country's new president after Sunday's elections. Mr Putin claimed victory in front of tens of thousands of cheering supporters outside the Kremlin.
"Dear friends, first, I want to thank all citizens of Russia who took part in today's election for the president of the Russian Federation. Special thanks of course to those who've gathered here today in Moscow and to all those who support us in every corner of our vast homeland.
Thanks to all who said yes to a great Russia. I once asked you 'Will we win?' We have won. We won in an open and honest fight."
Partial results suggest his share of the vote was about 60%. Counting is still going on. But an opposition activist said there had been fraud on a vast scale despite the presence of thousands of independent observers and web cameras at polling stations. The Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov accused Mr Putin's party of using the might of the state to ensure victory.
"In honest elections, the huge state machine works according to strict observation of the law to ensure a level playing field for all of the candidates. In this case, the whole of our enormous criminal corrupt state machine worked only for one candidate."
More than 200 people are confirmed dead after a series of massive explosions at a military base in the Republic of Congo. Hundreds more have been injured. The blasts were caused by a fire at a munitions depot in the capital of Brazzaville. The head of the local health service said the exact number of dead was impossible to confirm because many people were still trapped in their homes. The explosions were felt several kilometres away in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
President Obama has warned that the US will not hesitate to use force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but he says diplomacy is still the preferred course. Addressing an influential pro-Israel lobby group, he warned against what he called "too much loose talk of war" in the dispute with Tehran.
"I would ask that we all remember the weightiness of these issues, the stakes involved for Israel, for America and for the world. Already, there is too much loose talk of war. Over the last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government by driving up the price of oil, which they depend on to fund their nuclear programme."
The president also acknowledged that Israel must always have the right to make its own decisions about its security needs. His comments were welcomed by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who's meeting Mr Obama in Washington on Monday.
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For the third day in a row, the Syrian government has blocked the Red Cross from bringing aid into a stricken district of the city of Homs. Jim Muir reports from neighbouring Lebanon.
A third frustrating day for the International Red Cross and its Syrian Red Crescent partners, obliged once again as night fell to put off their efforts to get into Baba Amr until the morning. A spokesman for the ICRC said the Syrian authorities were refusing access because of the danger of mines and booby traps. But activist groups continue to report arbitrary killings there. The Local Coordination Committees, one of the most active groups, said there had been a systematic pattern of summary executions, in which dozens had been killed since security forces moved in on Thursday.
The Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he's had a recurrence of the cancer he was treated for last year. Mr Chavez said a lesion he had removed from his pelvic region earlier this week was malignant. In a televised message recorded in Cuba, where he's being treated, Mr Chavez said the tumour had not spread. The president said he'd undergo radiotherapy. The news comes just seven months before presidential elections.
Police in Peru say they've captured a man they suspect of leading the remnants of the Shining Path rebel group. They say the man had been reorganising the guerrillas after their previous leader, known as Comrade Artemio, was arrested last month. The Shining Path, a Maoist rebel group, posed a major challenge to the Peruvian state in the 1980s.
The manager of the English Premier League football club Chelsea, Andre Villas-Boas, has been sacked. A statement from the club, owned by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, said results and performances hadn't been good enough. Villas-Boas, who's Portuguese, has been under intense pressure with Chelsea on the verge of being knocked out of this season's lucrative European Champions League and looking unlikely to qualify next season. His sacking means Chelsea will be looking for their eighth manager since 2003.
BBC NewsBBC News with Gaenor Howells The Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is heading for a comeback as the countrys new president after Sundays elections. Mr Putin claimed victory in front of tens of tho
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