BBC News with Stewart Macintosh
With the ceasefire in Syria largely holding, the UN Security Council is discussing how to deploy observers to monitor further progress in the six-point international peace plan. Earlier, the international envoy Kofi Annan, who told the council that despite the encouraging reports, the government had not yet fulfilled all its commitments. Barbara Plett reports from the UN.
Security Council ambassadors said they all supported Kofi Annan's request for the rapid deployment of observers to Syria. The American envoy Susan Rice said Mr Annan told the council that Syria's government had not fully complied with the terms of his peace plan that it must withdraw its military forces from civilian areas. The Russian and Syrian ambassadors, on the other hand, spoke about the danger of provocations from the opposition. So motivations may differ, but all seem to agree on the need to try and consolidate the fragile ceasefire as quickly as possible.
In Syria itself, activists said 15 people had been killed during the day in ceasefire breaches while the government said a bomb attack had killed one soldier. Fergal Keane reports from the Turkish-Syrian border.
The news from across the border is confused, generally quiet but with reports of violations in some areas. The problem is that the political crisis which caused the violence remains unresolved, and the opposition will not accept any solution that keeps President Assad in power. After thousands of deaths, tens of thousands driven into exile, the bitterness and mistrust in the way of real peace is immense.
The UN Security Council has demanded an immediate and unconditional end to fighting between Sudan and South Sudan. It described the escalating conflict as a serious threat to international peace. The council asked both sides to pull back their forces, and called for South Sudanese troops to withdraw from the Heglig oil field they seized on Tuesday, and for Sudan to end aerial bombardments. The council statement came hours after the presidents of the two countries accused each other of seeking a full-scale war.
The Egyptian parliament has voted for a law that would ban some senior officials who served under former President Mubarak from standing for president in the forthcoming elections. The law would disqualify the former Vice-President Omar Suleiman, who has just declared his candidacy. However, the measure is likely to be blocked by the ruling military council. From Cairo, Jon Leyne reports.
This law was adopted by the Egyptian parliament as a direct response to the decision by the former intelligence chief and Vice-President Omar Suleiman to run for president. In theory, it could prevent Mr Suleiman and several other officials who served under Hosni Mubarak from standing in next month's election. In practice, it's unlikely to be ratified by the ruling military council and most unlikely to come into force before the electoral commission certifies the list of candidates later this month.
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Heavy fighting has broken out in the capital of Guinea-Bissau, where troops are reported to have taken control of the headquarters of the governing party and the national radio station. Troops are also reported to have occupied the streets where the outgoing Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior has his offices. Mr Gomes won the first round of the presidential election last month.
The American neighbourhood watch volunteer who shot dead an unarmed black teenager in Florida has appeared in court for the first time. George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder over the death of Trayvon Martin in February and was remanded in custody. Steve Kingstone reports from Washington.
Wearing handcuffs and blue prison overalls, 28-year-old George Zimmerman looked calm during a televised court appearance that lasted just two minutes. The judge informed him of his right to remain silent and read out the charge of second-degree murder, meaning Mr Zimmerman intended to kill 17-year-old Trayvon Martin at the time of his death, but did not plan the killing in advance. The court was adjourned until 29 May.
The government in Spain is to set up a DNA database to help track down thousands of babies who were removed from their families by health and religious workers from the years of Franco's dictatorship right up to the 1990s. The decree of 1940 allowed children to be taken into custody if their moral education was at risk. It's alleged that under the law, hundreds of babies were seized and sold for cash by nuns, doctors, nurses and other health workers.
Police in Serbia have recovered a painting by the French 19th century artist Paul Cezanne and have arrested four men, all Serbs. The painting, The Boy in the Red Vest, valued at about $110m, was one of four works stolen from a Swiss museum in 2008. Two million dollars in cash and weapons were also seized in the recovery operation.
BBC News with Stewart Macintosh With the ceasefire in Syria largely holding, the UN Security Council is discussing how to deploy observers to monitor further progress in the six-point international pe
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