BBC News with Marion Marshall
Supporters of the website Wikileaks have launched a cyber attack on financial institutions seen as colluding with alleged attempts by the US government to undermine it. Mark Gregory reports.
Wikileaks is at the centre of a battle in cyberspace. Shadowy groups of Wikileaks supporters with names like Operation Payback and Anonymous have mounted determined assaults on websites seen as colluding with perceived US government attempts to muzzle the whistle-blowing site. Much of the pressure has been directed at the credit card firm MasterCard, which suspended services to Wikileaks on Tuesday. MasterCard insists its website is still operational, although several people have told the BBC that they have had trouble logging on. Meanwhile, in another development, the US State Department says it's had no direct contact with PayPal, the online payment service, which earlier said it had stopped processing donations to Wikileaks as a result of US government pressure.
The Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has defended the Australian founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, saying the United States should be held responsible for the release of thousands of American diplomatic cables. Mr Rudd said those who originally leaked the documents were legally liable rather than Mr Assange, who published them.
A fire at a prison in Chile has killed more than 80 inmates. Officials said the blaze at the San Miguel jail outside Santiago was deliberately started during a fight between gangs. Gideon Long was at the prison.
Well, there's a sense of real despair and grief here outside the jail. The authorities are going through the painful process of informing the people outside, around 4,000 or 5,000 people, whether their relatives, the prisoners, are alive or dead. It was a tense atmosphere - there had been some clashes with the police. The relatives are complaining that they haven't been given enough information. The authorities are saying they are trying to do that, but some of the bodies are so badly charred; it's difficult to identify them.
A private space company, SpaceX, has successfully launched and retrieved a commercial spacecraft from orbit, something only previously achieved by states. The American space agency Nasa says the Dragon capsule splash-landed in the Pacific Ocean, having twice orbited the Earth. Neil Bowdler reports.
"Three, two, one, zero..."
The sound of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the new Dragon capsule into space. This could also be the sound of America's future in space, with private companies like SpaceX ferrying cargo and crew into Earth orbit. Nasa is set to retire its aging fleet of space shuttles next year. A new fleet of Nasa vehicles was cancelled by the Obama administration, so Nasa has now turned to the private sector.
World News from the BBC
An American man who attempted to blow up a US military recruitment centre with a bomb he didn't know was a fake has been charged. Court documents show the man, Antonio Martinez, is accused of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction at the centre in the state of Maryland. He's also charged with attempted murder. Local news reports suggest the 21-year-old, who calls himself Muhammad Hussain, is a recent convert to Islam.
The Panama Canal, which connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, has been temporarily shut because of intense rains. The canal authority said the rains had pushed water levels to historic highs, potentially affecting shipping.
The Haitian President Rene Preval has appealed for calm as protests against presidential election results have turned violent in the capital Port-au-Prince. Opposition supporters have set fire to the headquarters of the governing party, which they accuse of rigging the count to ensure that its candidate Jude Celestin made it through to the second round run-off. The US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley has expressed concern.
"We urge all political actors and their supporters to remain calm and to work peacefully through the contestation period, providing the electoral process to resolve, you know, any claims of irregularities."
The administration appointed by the disputed president of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, has dismissed a call from the regional grouping Ecowas for him to give way to his rival Alassane Ouattara following presidential elections. Ecowas has declared Mr Ouattara the outright victor, but Mr Gbagbo's government said it wasn't up to Ecowas to decide who had won.
The Czech Republic has been strongly criticised for using a controversial method of deciding whether gay asylum seekers are genuine. Applicants are monitored for sexual arousal or its absence as they watch heterosexual pornography. The European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency called the tests degrading. The authorities said they had obtained the applicant's written consent.