BBC News with Zoe Diamond
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced an easing of sanctions against Burma. She praised recent developments there, but said the reform process still had a long way to go. Paul Adams reports from Washington.
Hillary Clinton had already said the US would respond positively to democratic progress in Burma. When the former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi won a seat in parliament over the weekend, it was inevitable Washington would act. Some travel and financial restrictions will now be eased, senior Burmese officials will be able to visit the United States and the US will open a development office in Burma. The EU is clearly weighing up a similar package of moves. Speaking in London, the British Foreign Secretary William Hague said some sanctions may be lifted. The elections, he said, appeared to have been a very important moment of change. But he and Hillary Clinton both said they wanted to see the release of other political prisoners.
The United Nations Security Council has expressed concern at the presence of al-Qaeda in northern Mali following the recent coup there. It says that it could further destabilise the security situation. The council condemned rebel groups in the north who've seized roughly half of the country since the coup, and called for the return of constitutional order. Barbara Plett reports from the UN.
The statement supports the efforts of regional groups who've imposed sanctions on Mali, but such moves were criticised by Mali's UN ambassador. Oumar Daou told the council the steps taken by the African Union and the regional grouping Ecowas added to already difficult conditions, such as drought, hunger, displacement and political conflict. The situation has been under close scrutiny by the council for several months because it's symptomatic of the wider instabilities in the Sahel region.
The Pentagon has formally directed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks to stand trial in a military tribunal, where they could be sentenced to death. The five are being held at the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay. Here's Jonathan Blake.
This announcement from the Pentagon marks the final major step towards those accused with planning and executing the 9/11 attacks being put on trial. The five men had already been charged with terrorism, hijacking aircraft, murder and other crimes. But the process was interrupted when President Obama announced the suspects should be tried in a civilian court. That plan proved so unpopular and impractical that opposition from Congress forced the administration to abandon it.
The Greek athletics federation says that it's suspended all domestic sporting activities due to a shortage of funding. The federation's governing board said that the body would re-evaluate its position if the government reconsidered the deep cuts in state funding for sport. An official told the BBC that unless the situation was resolved, the last result would be to withdraw from the London Olympics.
World News from the BBC
More than 130 countries have reached agreement on measures to tackle tobacco smuggling at a meeting of the World Health Organisation in Geneva. The plan includes a new licensing system and an international mechanism to monitor tobacco from the point of harvest to the shops. The WHO says fighting smuggling could help countries recover more than $40bn in lost tax revenue.
An explosion at the newly reopened national theatre in the Somali capital Mogadishu has left at least seven people dead and many others injured. Among the dead are the head of the country's football association and the president of the Somali Olympic committee. The Islamist group al-Shabab said it carried out the attack, but denied using a suicide bomber. A Somali government spokesman, Abdirahman Osman, said Somalis would not allow such attacks to completely disrupt their lives.
"This group, they are working for al-Qaeda in Somalia to try to avoid Somalis to stand their normal lives to go to theatres or concerts. But that's why we are determined even more and more by, for them targeting such innocent people. And we will develop our efforts, and it's a matter of time before we eliminate all those threats posed by them."
A new scientific study published in the journal Nature says there's compelling evidence that a rise in carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere caused the end of the last ice age. The study, funded by an American government agency, countered a favourite argument of climate change sceptics, who point out that records show that rising temperatures preceded a rise in CO2.
The United States says that it's concerned by a wave of arrests of Cuban opposition activists on the communist-run island. A spokesman for the State Department demanded the immediate release of dozens of activists.
BBC World News
BBC News with Zoe Diamond The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced an easing of sanctions against Burma. She praised recent developments there, but said the reform process still had a l
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