BBC News with Marion Marshall
After weeks of negotiations about how to stop the violence in Syria, the United Nations Security Council has unanimously backed the peace plan put forward by its envoy Kofi Annan. The proposals include guaranteeing humanitarian access and the withdrawal of government troops from cities and towns. The statement is non-binding, but Britain's UN ambassador Mark Lyall Grant says it's a positive step.
"This sends precisely the strong and united message to the Syrian government and all other actors in Syria that they need to respond, and respond quickly and immediately, to the six-point plan that has been presented by Mr Kofi Annan in Damascus."
The American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned President Assad to carry out the measures or face increasing pressure. Russia and China have previously vetoed attempts at a formal UN resolution.
French police have spent the day besieging an apartment building in the city of Toulouse where they suspect a mass killer has taken refuge. The seven people he suspected of killing include Jews and Muslims and three children. Police are still trying to negotiate his surrender. Christian Fraser reports.
He was planning another attack today on a soldier. But early this morning, working on intelligence gathered in the biggest manhunt France has known, police swooped on an apartment in a quiet residential street of Toulouse, and inside was the gunman responsible for seven murders. His name is Mohammed Merah, a 24-year-old French citizen who was arrested in Afghanistan and is known to the intelligence services. Through the course of the day, as the siege stretched on, police swapped a mobile phone for the pistol the gunman had used in the killings. But he was still heavily armed, and negotiations stalled.
Lawyers in China have been told that for the first time they'll have to swear an oath of allegiance to the ruling Communist Party. The change is opposed by lawyers who've defended critics of the government. Abby Mawdsley of our Asia-Pacific desk has more details.
The Chinese justice ministry says that all lawyers wanting to obtain or renew their professional licence will now have to pledge their loyalty to the country and support for the leadership of the party. The ministry said the oath was intended to raise lawyers' political, professional and moral standards. In recent years, the Chinese authorities have increased pressure on lawyers who take on politically sensitive cases or use the legal system to push for greater civil liberties. Some of these lawyers have already expressed concern at the announcement.
A Cuban official newspaper has accused government opponents on the island and in the US of plotting to disrupt next week's visit by Pope Benedict. The Communist Party daily Granma alleges that dissidents are taking instructions and bribes from what it calls "counter-revolutionary" organisations in Miami.
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Troops in the centre of Mali's capital Bamako are reported to have taken control of state television. Earlier, shots were fired at a barracks in Bamako following a visit by the minister of defence. Here's our West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy.
Soldiers have blocked access to the state TV and ordered programmes to come off air. The soldiers say they lacked the weapons to carry out a successful military campaign against Tuareg-led rebellion in the vast northern desert. Tuareg fighters have forced the army out of several northern towns over the past two months while Islamist combatants have also gained ground. Armoured vehicles have been deployed in front of the presidential palace in Bamako.
Latest reports from Bamako quoting defence ministry and diplomatic sources say army mutineers have attacked the presidential palace. Heavy weapons fire has been reported.
A British woman held hostage for six months in Somalia has arrived in the Kenyan capital Nairobi after being released. A ransom was reportedly paid to secure Judith Tebbutt's freedom. She was kidnapped by a gang of six men at a holiday resort in Kiwayu on the coast of northern Kenya. Her husband was shot dead during the attack.
The Supreme Court in Mexico is reviewing the case of a French woman who was convicted of kidnapping and jailed for 60 years. The woman, Florence Cassez, was arrested in 2005 at a ranch near Mexico City where three kidnapping victims were being held. She denies knowledge of the kidnappings, saying that her only connection with the case was that she was the girlfriend of one of the kidnappers.
A school in Tanzania, which caused outrage among Aids activists by making HIV-positive children wear red ribbons, has changed its policy. The headmaster at Kibaha Primary School, west to the largest city Dar es Salaam, told the BBC that the ribbons had now been removed. It's thought parents had approved of the idea to wear the labels.
BBC News with Marion Marshall After weeks of negotiations about how to stop the violence in Syria, the United Nations Security Council has unanimously backed the peace plan put forward by its envoy Ko
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