BBC News with Jerry Schmitt.
Republicans in the US Senate have blocked a controversial proposal to allow homosexual men and women to serve openly in the American military. They argue that military readiness will be damaged by reversal of the existing policy “don’t ask, don’t tell” which allows gay people to serve provided they don’t reveal their sexuality. Here’s Paul Adams.
The democrats needed 60 votes to move this legislation forward and in the end they failed by four – two of their own members voting with the Republicans. It’s a setback for President Obama who hoped to deliver on a campaign promise to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell”. The Pentagon is conducting a study into how repeal might be implemented, but Republicans and many in the military feared that it could damage morale at a time when the armed forces are fighting two wars.
The president of the Vatican Bank, who’s been linked to money laundering, says he can’t understand why he’s been investigated. The president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, said he was mortified and humiliated since he’d spent a lot of time trying to resolve the problems now being investigated.
“I’ve been in Paris at the Financial Action Task Force and at the OECD to learn all the new procedures. I want to add that we fully accept the regulations from the Bank of Italy. To end up receiving this kind of warrant for reasons I still don’t know has mortified and humiliated me.”
Italian prosecutors announced on Tuesday that they suspected Mr Tedeschi and another top official of having broken money laundering laws. They’ve also seized more than $30 million of funds from the Vatican Bank. The Vatican said it was astonished and offered its support to Mr Tedeschi.
The International Red Cross says more than a billion people across the developing world are vulnerable to disasters, because they live in slum areas without access to emergency services. It said many governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America have failed to adapt to the problems posed by rapid unregulated urbanisation.
A leading Indian sports official, Lalit Bhanot, has defended his country’s preparations for the Commonwealth Games after international officials described the facilities for athletes as “filthy and uninhabitable”. The Games open in Delhi in 2 weeks. The Games have proved controversial amid concerns of corruption, delays, and also security. Our Delhi reporter, Mark Dummett, explains.
What they’re trying to do here mirrors a bit the Beijing Olympics. They’ve been extremely ambitious. This isn’t just a question of building a new stadium. They’re building a new airport terminal, they’re building new metro lines, new roads, they're trying to renovate the dilapidated centre of the city as well - massive, massive projects as well as all the different stadia and the athletes’ village. And frankly, it’s being too much. They haven’t been able to complete things, and the city remains a building site. Many people here in Delhi are just completely fed up with the whole thing.
The Mexican government has said there can be no negotiation with drug trafficking gangs after a newspaper appealed to the cartels for guidance on what it should publish to avoid having its journalists killed. El Diario newspaper in Ciudad Juarez,
which has seen 2 reporters murdered on Sunday, asked the cartels for a truce, calling them the city’s “de facto authorities”. But President Felipe Calderon's security spokesman said no sector of society should make agreements with criminals.
The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, has issued a downbeat assessment of the American economy. In a statement, it said the interest rate was likely to stay close to zero for a long time. Andrew Walker reports.
The Federal Reserve set out a long list of weak spots in the economy - house building is depressed, employers are reluctant to hire new workers, and bank lending is still declining. And there’s a hint in the Fed’s statement that it is worried about the risk of deflation, or falling prices. The Fed's not ready yet to take any further measures to stimulate the recovery, but it's clearly willing to act if there’s no improvement. What action is not spelled out, but it would involve buying financial assets in the market, which would increase the amount of money in the economy.
The remains of Hurricane Igor have battered Newfoundland in eastern Canada with intense rain and powerful winds after sweeping north through the Atlantic Ocean from Bermuda. The storm has caused wide-spread flooding, with three coastal towns completely cut off by water. Some roads have been washed away, and emergency services have been searching for a man who was swept out to sea.
The popular social networking site Twitter has been hit by computer hackers. Thousands of users have complained of unwanted messages which, in some cases, unwittingly send them to pornographic websites. Twitter said its engineers had now fixed the problem caused by computer worms that exploited vulnerabilities in the site’s software.
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