BBC News with Gaenor Howells
An American soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians earlier this week has been flown out of Afghanistan. The victims, nine of them children, were shot in their homes early on Sunday. Paul Adams reports.
The removal of the soldier responsible for the shootings is likely to cause anger in Afghanistan when members of parliament have demanded that he be put on trial there. But this was never going to happen - the United States has always insisted that charges of wrongdoing by its soldiers be dealt with within the American military legal system. Nothing was ever going to change that. The soldier has yet to be charged and thus remains anonymous. US officials say he handed himself in. If, as seems possible, he requires psychological evaluation, it could be some time before he's identified, let alone charged. The US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said that if found guilty, the soldier could face the death penalty.
The United States has welcomed the conviction for war crimes of the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga, describing it as a historic and important step in providing justice to the Congolese people. The International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is not officially recognised by the Americans, found Thomas Lubanga guilty of recruiting and using child soldiers. Peter Biles reports.
Thomas Lubanga's crimes date back nearly a decade when an ethnic conflict erupted in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was handed over to The Hague six years ago, and his trial began in 2009. Today, the verdict of the judges was unanimous. They found Lubanga guilty of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15, and using them in battle as soldiers and bodyguards. The guilty verdict has been widely welcomed. Prosecutors hope it'll send a message to many other perpetrators of war crimes.
The giant American investment bank Goldman Sachs has defended itself and its service to its clients after stinging public criticism from one of its own executives. Greg Smith, a director, wrote in the New York Times that he's quitting Goldman Sachs because he's sick of hearing colleagues talk about ripping off clients. Mark Gregory has more.
Explaining his decision to leave after 25-year service, Mr Smith described the present culture of Goldman Sachs as "toxic and destructive".
He blamed top management for a decline in moral fibre, saying the interests of clients are "sidelined" in the way the bank operates and makes money. The comments from an insider about one of the most prestigious names in finance come as bankers face criticism for their allegedly excessive pay and their part responsibility for the global financial crisis.
Saudi Arabia has closed its embassy in Syria and withdrawn all its staff because of the violence there. The Saudis along with the Gulf states had already withdrawn their ambassador and expelled Syria's envoy.
World News from the BBC
The relatives of dozens of children caught in a deadly coach crash have flown from Belgium to Switzerland, where the accident happened on Tuesday night. Twenty-two children died along with six adults. The bus slammed into the wall of a tunnel, but investigators say they don't know why.
President Obama and the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who's visiting Washington, have both declared that the international mission in Afghanistan is making real progress. Mr Obama said the United States and Britain remained committed to their plan to transfer full responsibility for security to Afghan forces in two years' time. Mr Cameron said the mission was necessary but costly.
"Recent days have reminded us just how difficult our mission is and how high the cost of this war has been for Britain, for America and for Afghans themselves. Britain has fought alongside America every day since the start. We have 9,500 men and women still serving there. More than 400 have given their lives and today, again, we commemorate each and every one of them. But we will not give up on this mission because Afghanistan must never again be a safe haven for al-Qaeda to launch attacks against us."
In a significant new departure for Burma, the state-controlled media have broadcast an election message by the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She called for media freedom, an end to repressive measures and an independent judiciary. A section of her script was censored by the authorities.
The Vatican has given its approval to the return of a young crocodile to Cuba ahead of the Pope's visit to the Caribbean island later this month. The endangered reptile, which has been sent to a zoo in Havana, has become known as the "Pope's crocodile" since he was presented with it in January. The Catholic Church has had difficult relations with the Cuban government, and analysts say the gesture ahead of the Pope's trip to Cuba will not go unnoticed.
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