BBC News with Michael Powles
The head of world football's governing authority Fifa says he wants to set up a body to investigate allegations of corruption at his organisation. His comments come several weeks after Fifa suspended two members of its executive committee over allegations that they'd accepted bribes. Both men denied any wrongdoing. Here's Imogen Foulkes.
Sepp Blatter says he wants to ensure there is no corruption at Fifa, but his plan for a new committee authorised by the very organisation which stands accused of corruption and proposed by Mr Blatter himself, who will stand for re-election as Fifa's president in June, is unlikely to be enough to calm the controversy. Sporting associations like Fifa are largely exempt from Swiss laws against corruption. In the wake of the bribery allegations, Switzerland's sports minister has announced his own inquiry into how these associations are run.
Pakistan's coalition government has lost its parliamentary majority, raising fears about its survival. The loss of the MQM's support for the coalition opens up the possibility of its collapse. The MQM spokesman Muhammad Anwar told the BBC they had no option but to quit the government.
"Governance was extremely bad, the corruption was rampant. There was no law and order situation. We just could not continue in the government unless they are corrected."
Coptic Christians in Egypt have attended Mass at a church in Alexandria, a day after 21 people were killed there in a bomb attack. The service was marked by grief and anger. Many accused the Egyptian government of not doing enough to prevent attacks on Christians by Muslim militants.
One hundred prominent people in Germany have urged Iran to free two German journalists jailed in the northwestern city of Tabriz. The appeal was published by the German weekly Bild am Sonntag, which employed the two journalists. They were arrested in October as they investigated a story about a woman sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery. Iran says they entered the country on the wrong kind of visas. From Berlin, Steve Evans reports.
A string of German ministers and opposition politicians joined with sporting stars like Boris Becker and a string of business leaders like the chief executives of Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom and Daimler in calling for the release of the journalists. Germany is now trying to raise publicity for the case, but the situation of the two is now complicated by the wider standoff between Iran and Western countries over any plans it may have to develop nuclear weapons.
An earthquake has struck central Chile. The quake with a magnitude of 7.2 had its epicentre just off the Pacific coast, near the city of Temuco. So far, there are no reports of damage or casualties. Last February, a much bigger quake struck the same region, killing more than 400 people and causing massive destruction.
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Floodwater has continued to rise in the Australian state of Queensland, with the city of Rockhampton near the coast the latest to be struck by surging river levels. The Fitzroy River has now swamped large parts of the city, and the main roads to the south and west have been cut off.
One of Russia's most prominent opposition politicians, the former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, has been sentenced to 15 days in jail after being arrested at a demonstration in Moscow. He was convicted of disobeying police orders at the rally which hadn't been authorised. Mr Nemtsov has repeatedly criticised the Russian government's record on human rights and democracy.
South Korea is introducing stricter rules to combat illegal whaling. Although commercial whale hunting is banned, South Korea allows the trading of whales that are found dead, and critics have suggested this loophole is being exploited. Here's Abigail Mawdsley.
From Monday, all fishermen must report to the police immediately if they find a dead whale washed ashore or tangled in their nets. They'll have to provide DNA samples for testing and will only be allowed to sell the whales' meat and body parts after a full investigation into how the animal died. The rules should make it much harder for people to pretend that whales have died accidentally. In another change, the dead whales may only be processed at government-approved plants.
Wildlife officials in the United States are trying to determine what caused more than 1,000 blackbirds to fall dead from the sky over a small town in Arkansas. The birds began dropping over the town of Beebe just before midnight on New Year's Eve, piling up on roofs and gardens. Wildlife experts said they may have been hit by lightning, high-altitude hail or may have died by stress caused by New Year's Eve fireworks.
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