BBC News with Iain Purdon
For the second day running, the Red Cross in the Syrian city of Homs says it's given up hope of getting its relief convoy into the stricken district of Baba Amr to deliver aid. Jim Muir is following events from neighbouring Lebanon.
As night fell, Red Cross officials said they'd given up for the day but would renew their efforts in the morning. They are being told by the Syrian authorities that it's too dangerous for them to go in because of possible mines or booby traps. But Syrian television has been in there showing pictures of massive destruction though it blamed it all on terrorist armed gangs carrying out a foreign plot to destabilise the country. Activists have accused the security forces of carrying out revenge killings and summary executions after they moved in on Thursday following the withdrawal of armed rebels.
China has called on the Syrian government and the opposition to cease the violence and seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis. The foreign ministry also called on the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels to launch an inclusive dialogue without preconditions mediated by the newly appointed UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. Previously, China and Russia have twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions calling for an end to violence in the country.
The Brazilian sports minister has announced that his government will refuse to deal with the Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke after his criticism of Brazilian preparations for the 2014 World Cup. Aldo Rebelo was speaking after Mr Valcke said that Brazil appeared to be more concerned with winning the World Cup than with making the country ready for the tournament. Paulo Cabral reports from Sao Paulo.
Brazil's sports minister said the comments made by Fifa's Jerome Valcke were out of order and inappropriate for talks between the Brazilian government and football's governing body. Aldo Rebelo said his government was not prepared to talk to Mr Valcke anymore. In a news conference in London on Friday, the secretary general of Fifa said Brazil needed a "kick up the backside" to speed up its preparation for the World Cup. Fifa's secretary general complained that the construction of the stadium was late, and that public transport and lodging was insufficient.
The US Department of Justice says it's hopeful there will be swift resolution and compensation payments to plaintiffs harmed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill two years ago. The comments come after the oil giant BP said it had reached a $7.8bn settlement with more than 100,000 individual and business claimants affected by the spill. The department welcomed BP's approach but added that the United States would continue to pursue BP and other parties over federal law violations and environmental damage to the Gulf of Mexico. Court proceedings are due to start on Monday.
World News from the BBC
The first polls have opened in Russia's presidential election, where voters in the far east of the country are casting their votes. Opinion polls suggest that Vladimir Putin is a clear front-runner. Four candidates are challenging him. Richard Galpin reports.
More than 90,000 polling stations are opening across this vast country, many of them equipped with web cameras for the first time to monitor voting. The government is reported to have spent almost $500m setting up the cameras and Internet connections in response to the widespread belief that December's parliamentary election was rigged. But opposition activists and some analysts say they still believe the results of Sunday's vote will be manipulated.
A first hearing of a pre-trial inquiry into the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster has taken place in Italy to shed greater light on the events surrounding the capsizing of the ship in January. More than 30 people are believed to have died in the accident. Alan Johnston reports from Rome.
But the core of these proceedings was the handing over of evidence for detailed analysis by a team of court-appointed experts. They are now expected to spend months sifting through this material. The vessel's commander, Captain Francesco Schettino, was not at the hearing. He remains under house arrest, and his relatives say he is both depressed and afraid of what the future holds for him.
Greek police have arrested 35 people in a series of raids in the north of the country and recovered thousands of ancient coins and other artefacts. One of the suspects was found with more than 4,000 ancient coins in his possession. Greece has been targeted by illegal antiquity traders for decades. Last month, thieves raided the Olympic Games museum in Olympia, stealing more than 70 items after overpowering a female security guard.
BBC NewsBBC News with Iain Purdon For the second day running, the Red Cross in the Syrian city of Homs says its given up hope of getting its relief convoy into the stricken district of Baba Amr to deliver aid
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