BBC News with Nick Kelly
There's been further rioting in Algeria over food price increases and unemployment, the latest outbreak in several days of unrest. Police have been deployed in force close to mosques and other potential focal points. The government has blamed importers for the cost of some food stuffs and has urged traders to reduce prices. The BBC's North Africa correspondent Rana Jawad reports.
The mainly young Algerians are protesting against the price hikes which saw the cost of staple goods like cooking oil, sugar and flour double in recent months. Algeria's state news agency has also reported on what it described as the ransacking of government buildings, bank branches and post offices in other cities to the east of the country. Meanwhile, the Algerian sports minister has cancelled all football matches scheduled for the day.
The Tunisian ambassador to Washington has been summoned to the State Department and told of American concern at the handling of protests in his country. The official urged the Tunisian government to protect civil liberties and called for restraint by all sides. Clashes erupted last month between police and demonstrators protesting about unemployment and restrictions on public freedoms.
President Barack Obama has said a fall in the number of unemployed Americans indicates a more optimistic outlook for the US economy, although more than 9% remain jobless. Referring to new employment figures for the month of December, Mr Obama said the pace of job growth was beginning to pick up.
"The economy added more than 100,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell sharply. And we know these numbers can bounce around from month to month, but the trend is clear. We saw 12 straight months of private sector job growth. That's the first time that's been true since 2006."
Earlier, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, warned it could take five years for unemployment to drop to its usual rate of about 6%.
The Israeli army says four of its soldiers have been wounded in an exchange of fire with Palestinian militants close to the Gaza border. Jon Donnison reports from Ramallah.
The Israeli army is releasing few details but has confirmed that four of its soldiers have been injured. It is relatively unusual for Israeli soldiers to be injured in such exchanges. But in recent weeks, there has been an increase in cross-border violence. Over the past year, the United Nations says more than 70 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli action in Gaza. Over the same period, one Thai farm worker in Israel has been killed by a rocket fired from Palestinian militants.
The French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked the intelligence services to investigate suspected industrial espionage at the carmaker Renault. The firm has suspended three senior managers for allegedly leaking technical details about the electric cars it's developing. Renault sources say they believe the secrets have been sent to a rival in China.
World News from the BBC
The United Nations refugee agency has criticised plans by Greece to build a fence along part of its border with Turkey to keep out illegal immigrants. The agency said a significant proportion of those crossing the frontier were genuine refugees fleeing violence and persecution.
The Czech justice ministry has published a list of judges and prosecutors who used to be members of the Communist Party. The details on the ministry's website show that a fifth of the judges and more than a quarter of prosecutors were members of the party before the collapse of communism.
Colombia has extradited a woman known as The Queen of the Amphetamines to the United States, where she'll face charges of drug trafficking. The woman, Beatriz Elena Henao, was on Interpol's list of its top 10 most wanted women. She's accused of being an international drug dealer. Here's Vanessa Buschschluter.
The authorities say Beatriz Elena Henao was an unusual drug dealer. The 45-year-old political science graduate is accused of being the international face of a Colombian drug gang led by the Comba brothers. Police say her languages - she speaks English, Dutch and German as well as Spanish - gave her unique access to drug markets in the US, Spain and the Netherlands, where she's believed to have sold some 300,000 units of amphetamines. Two of her sons are already in prison, one in Spain for murder, another for drug trafficking in the Netherlands.
And police in Brazil say a football player will be charged for falsely reporting that he'd been kidnapped as an excuse for running late for training. Somalia, a midfielder for Rio de Janeiro club Botafogo, said he'd been abducted at gunpoint just after seven in the morning on his way to the training ground. But police say close circuit television footage from his apartment building showed him leaving late for work at nine in the morning. Botafogo football club threatens its players with a 40% pay cut if they are late for training.
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