BBC News with Marion Marshall
Football's world governing body Fifa has picked Russia to host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar to stage the tournament in 2022. Alex Capstick reports.
Fifa has chosen new frontiers for its flagship event. It will go to Eastern Europe for the first time. In the end, Vladimir Putin's no-show didn't matter. Russia's plea to stage the World Cup in the world's largest country has worked. It was an ambitious and expensive bid. Billions of dollars will be needed to build new stadiums and improve the nation's infrastructure. The choice of Qatar was a much bigger surprise. The bid team asked for Fifa to take a bold gamble but promised there would be no risk. The message clearly got through.
The Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said modern stadiums would be built on time and to perfection. He was speaking unusually in English in Zurich, arriving only after Fifa had announced its verdict. In Qatar, there were scenes of jubilation with thousands dancing along Doha's waterfront.
The military in Ivory Coast has announced the closure of all of the country's land, sea and air borders following the announcement that the opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara won last Sunday's presidential election run-off. The chairman of Ivory Coast's election commission, Youssouf Bakayoko, said Mr Ouattara had won 54% of the vote against 46% for the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo. However, the head of the Constitutional Council, who's a close ally of Mr Gbagbo, said the commission's announcement had been invalid. An election result cannot become legally binding until the Constitutional Council approves it.
A huge wildfire in northern Israel has killed about 40 people and injured dozens of others. One report said burning rubbish may have caused the blaze. Jon Donnison reports from Jerusalem.
Firefighters here say Israel has not seen a blaze like this in more than a decade. It's burning in the Carmel hills, close to the northern Israeli city of Haifa. It's believed many of those who died were prison officers trying to evacuate inmates from a nearby jail. They were travelling by bus when it got caught up in the fire. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called it an unprecedented disaster in Israel.
The United States' top military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, says American troops are ready for the repeal of a ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces. He was speaking at a congressional hearing with the Defence Secretary Robert Gates. But as Paul Adams reports, Republicans want to keep the ban in place.
John McCain, a former navy pilot, is leading Republican opposition to repeal of the law known as "don't ask, don't tell". Grilling Secretary Gates during a Senate hearing, Mr McCain warned against what he called a rush to repeal. But the chairman of the Senate committee, Democrat Carl Levin, said it was time to honour the service and sacrifice of gay personnel. The country's top military commander, Admiral Mike Mullen, said repeal would actually improve the military, and he said he couldn't think of a better time to do it.
A British company says it's discovered oil off the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, the second such find this year. The firm, Desire Petroleum, said it would carry out further tests to assess the significance of the discovery. It said it believed further oil fields would be found in the area. Oil exploration around the Falklands has angered Argentina, which challenges British sovereignty over the islands it calls the Malvinas.
Freezing weather has continued to cause travel chaos accross northern Europe. Heavy snow severely disrupted train services in Britain, France and Germany. Thousands of rail passengers in Germany slept in stranded trains. Britain's second busiest airport, Gatwick, was closed for a second day, and flights were delayed in Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Geneva. Flooding in Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia has forced thousands of people out of their homes.
Greek students demonstrating against education reforms have clashed with police in Athens. Police fired tear gas as more than 1,000 protesters tried to march on the British embassy. The demonstrators had wanted to express solidarity with British students, who face a rise in the cost of paying for their tuition. The Greek government is making changes to education as part of its continuing austerity drive.
Scientists have discovered a new bacterium that replaces phosphorus with the normally poisonous arsenic. The discovery could expand the search for life on Earth and beyond. With the details, here is Jason Palmer.
Life, the rule goes, comprises at least six chemical elements, one of which is phosphorus. But scientists have found a bacterium in a salty lake that seems content to replace phosphorus with the normally poisonous arsenic. Hardy bacteria that eat arsenic had been found before, but this creature builds the element into its very machinery, even its DNA. The find supports the idea long held by astrobiologists that if we look for life elsewhere in the cosmos, we might find chemistry that is nothing like our own.
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