BBC News with Fiona MacDonald
Rebels in Mali are reported to have taken control of the biggest military camp in the north of the country, a garrison near Gao, after fighting with government forces. The regional group Ecowas has put 2,000 troops on standby. Thomas Fessy is following events from neighbouring Senegal.
I've spoken to a rebel commander on the ground who claims that his men have now taken over that big military camp, that soldiers were on the move fleeing towards Bamako. We have yet to understand how many casualties there are. The army was able to put up strong resistance, but not enough apparently because tonight the outcome is that the Tuareg-led rebels seemed to have taken over this military camp, which is a major trophy for them in their fight for an independent north.
The Muslim Brotherhood has decided to field a candidate in Egypt's presidential election, reversing an earlier pledge that it could not contest the poll. The group announced at a press conference that its deputy leader Khairat al-Shater would stand in the election in May. From Cairo, Yolande Knell reports.
Khairat al-Shater, a wealthy businessman, has long been a senior member of the Islamist group. He spent 12 years in prison because of his connection with the Brotherhood, which was previously banned. He was only released after last year's uprising. The Muslim Brotherhood said it had reversed its decision not to contest the presidency to ensure the success of Egypt's revolution and the transfer from military to civilian rule. The Brotherhood already dominates Egypt's newly elected parliament and the panel set up to draft the new constitution.
The transitional government in Libya said nearly 150 people have been killed and hundreds more injured over the past week in fighting between rival ethnic groups near the southern town of Sabha. It said there was a shortage of medical supplies, but that a truce had been reached and the area was now calm.
Polls open in parliamentary elections in Burma in a few hours' time in a vote seen as a test of the military-dominated government's commitment to democratic reform. The opposition leader and Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is standing for a seat for the first time. Fergal Keane is in Rangoon.
It's the support of key constituencies like the Buddhist clergy and the rural masses that are central to Aung San Suu Kyi's strategy of building a movement that can pressure the government into holding a general election. For its part, the military-backed government hopes reform will end sanctions, boost international investment and allow it to develop popular support. This by-election won't change the government of Burma for now, but in the long run it could end up changing history. That was Fergal Keane in Rangoon.
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The United States and Arab Gulf nations have called on the international envoy Kofi Annan to set a timetable for the Syrian government to accept his peace plan. A statement after a meeting between the US and Gulf countries in Saudi Arabia said Mr Annan's efforts were urgent and a timeline for the next step should be established if the Syrian government continued killing protesters.
Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik says the security forces have foiled a plan to attack the Pakistani parliament. At least two people have been arrested, including a government employee. Mr Malik said that militants were planning to target a joint sitting of parliament two weeks ago while it was being addressed by the country's president.
The head of a company whose cruise liner was left drifting after an engine room fire near the Philippines is to fly to Borneo to meet passengers when it docks there. Emergency repairs have been carried out on the engines of the liner, the Azamara Quest. Six crew members were injured in the fire, one of them seriously. Kate McGeown reports from Manila.
The Azamara Quest is now back on the move. It's making its way towards Malaysian Borneo and is due to arrive there on Monday. The vessel had been drifting in the Sulu Sea since Friday evening when a fire broke out in the engine room, disabling both engines and cutting the power supply. But now repairs have been made. It looks like the worst is over for the 600 passengers and nearly 400 crew members. The operator of the Azamara Quest has promised all passengers a full refund and another free trip.
The communist government in Cuba has declared Good Friday next week to be a holiday at the request of Pope Benedict. Good Friday is an important part of the Easter period for Christians, and the Pope made the appeal during his recent visit to the island. A Cuban announcement said the holiday would initially be for this year only, but a decision would be taken later on whether to make it permanent.
BBC News with Fiona MacDonald Rebels in Mali are reported to have taken control of the biggest military camp in the north of the country, a garrison near Gao, after fighting with government forces. Th
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