BBC News with Jonathan Izard.
The American commander of the multinational forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has been sacked. President Obama accepted what he termed his resignation with regret, but said derogatory remarks about the administration by the general's team in an article in Rolling Stone magazine fell short of required standards. General McChrystal is being replaced by General David Petraeus. From Washington, here is Paul Adams.
The president said General McChrystal's conduct had not met the standard expected of a commanding officer. He said this had been a very difficult decision, and he praised the general's long and distinguished service. This was not a clash over strategy. In the now infamous Rolling Stone profile, General McChrystal did not question the policy he himself helped to devise, but it was a matter of authority. In their dismissive remarks about members of the administration, Stanley McChrystal and his unnamed colleagues fatally compromised their relationship with the commander in chief.
A spokesman for the Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the decision to remove General McChrystal would be respected. Mr Karzai had repeatedly pledged full support for him during the crisis over the magazine article and even made a personal plea to President Obama to keep the general in his job. The spokesman said the new commander General David Petraeus was very experienced, and President Karzai knew him well.
A United Nations report says that demand for cocaine has doubled in Europe over the last decade while falling in the United States. This has led to South American drug cartels establishing new trafficking routes through West Africa. Bethany Bell reports from Vienna.
The UN World Drug Report says cultivation of both opium and coca has continued to decline. It said that opium production is expected to fall steeply in 2010 because of a blight that could wipe out a quarter of Afghanistan's poppy crop. It said cocaine consumption has fallen significantly in the United States over the past few years, but it said the problem has moved across the Atlantic to Europe where the number of cocaine users has doubled over the last decade.
In Australia, the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is facing a party leadership challenge from his deputy Julia Gillard. The move came after factions inside the Labor Party decided to move against the prime minister. At a late night news conference in Canberra, Mr Rudd insisted that he should be kept on.
"I was elected by the people of Australia to do a job. I was not elected by the factional leaders of Australia, of the Australian Labor Party to do a job - though they may be seeking to do a job on me, that's a separate matter. The challenge therefore is to honour the mandate given to me by the Australian people."
The leadership ballot will take place on Thursday. If Ms Gillard wins, she'll become Australia's first female prime minister.Rescue workers in Brazil are searching for hundreds of people still missing after floods swept through several towns in the northeastern states of Alagoas and Pernambuco. At least 44 people have been confirmed dead.
Belarus has threatened to stop the flow of Russian gas through its pipelines to Europe in an escalating dispute over payments. The First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko has now said a deadline of Thursday morning for the state-controlled Russian gas company Gazprom to hand over what he says are unpaid fees for the pipelines across Belarus. Gazprom says that Belarus owes it money for gas, but Belarus says it's paid that bill.
Hundreds of thousands more gallons of oil are flowing into the Gulf of Mexico following an underwater accident near the site of the current major leak. An undersea robot collided with BP's containment cap which is used to capture the oil as it spills from the seabed. The cap is now being examined by engineers and is expected to be operational again by Thursday.
In the football World Cup, one of the top-seeded teams, England, have qualified for the next round. They beat Slovenia one-nil, but they have been beaten to top spot in Group C by the United States who also qualified by scoring an injury-time goal to overcome Algeria. In the day's other games, Germany ensured qualification by beating Ghana one-nil, and Australia beat Serbia two goals to one. Alex Capstick reports from Johannesburg.
Germany, as they often do, did just enough to stay above a brave Ghana to qualify on top of Group D, but Ghana can celebrate as well. Their place in the second round was confirmed after Australia's victory over Serbia, and the West Africans will fancy their chances in their next match against the United States. The majority of the vast crowd inside Johannesburg's Soccer City Stadium were behind Ghana. The host nation is desperate for an African side to progress in this tournament.
Tennis and the longest match in the history of the professional game has been suspended at Wimbledon because of fading light with a score at 59 games all in the fifth and final set. The first round match between Nicolas Mahut of France and John Isner of the United States began on Tuesday. It's so far lasted 10 hours.