BBC News with Jonathan Izard.
The Egyptian opposition alliance has dropped its boycott of a referendum on a disputed draft constitution, but under conditions that could prove difficult to meet. It wants international monitors to oversee the vote. Leaders of the alliance are calling on their supporters to vote no to the constitution. President Morsi has confirmed that voting will take place on two days. Jon Leyne reports from Cairo.
After a day of confusing developments, a presidential edict was confirmed, calling for voting in the referendum this Saturday and the following Saturday. The main reason for the extra day of polling seems to be a shortage of judges to supervise the polls, as many have called a boycott. By contrast, the opposition leadership have urged their supporters not to boycott, but to take part and to vote no. The very late decision leaves them little time to marshal their supporters, whereas the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist forces are very well-organized and are likely to turn out a large yes vote at the polls.
A meeting of more than 100 nations in Morocco has agreed to recognize the opposition Syrian National Coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people. The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the recognition would open the way for greater humanitarian assistance and possibly military aid for the forces seeking the overthrow of President Assad. His Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, said it was time for tangible action to end the pain of Syrian people. There has been several excuses as if Syrian people are not united. Today we have the representative for the Syrian people, Syrian National Coalition, which we all recognized, and it is time for international community to act.
A United States official has said forces loyal to the government of Syria have been firing Soviet-designed Scud missiles at insurgence this week. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the missiles had been launched from the Damascus area, targeting rebels in the north. NATO also said that its surveillance operations had detected this type of missile. Without confirming that Scuds have been fired, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman said the recent use of incendiary barrel bombs showed that President Assad's forces were resorting to, what she called, increased lethality.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron says a government commission report into the murder of a prominent human rights lawyer in Northern Ireland in 1989 has found that British agents played a key role in his killing. Pat Finucane defended members of the IRA during their armed campaign to unite Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic. Mr. Cameron said the review made difficult reading. It sets aside the extent of collusion in areas such as identifying, targeting and murdering Mr. Finucane, supplying a weapon and facilitating its later disappearance and deliberately obstructing subsequent investigations. But Mr. Finucane's widow Geraldine dismissed the report as a sham.
BBC world service news.
The International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague has sentenced the former Bosnian Serb Intelligence Chief Zdravko Tolimir to life in prison for his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. The judges found Tolimir guilty of genocide over the murder of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys. It was the worst atrocity in Europe since the second World War. Tolimir, conducting his own defense, had argued that what happened at Srebrenica was military action against terrorists, rather than a massacre.
Guatemala says the American software pioneer John McAfee will be deported to the United States, not Belize where is wanted for questioning about the murder of his former neighbor. A Guatemalan Immigration Department spokesman said the law required him to be sent back to his country of origin.
The United States says North Korea must face consequences for carrying out a banned rocket launch that puts the country's first satellite into orbit. The U.S. Ambassador to United Nations, Susan Rice, said the U.S. would work with its partners in the U.N. Security Council to pursue, what it called, appropriate action. This launch shows that despite the Security Council's clear requirements, North Korea is determined to pursue its ballistic missile program without regard for its international obligations. The 15-member Council has issued a non-binding statement condemning North Korea for the launch. Diplomats say Western states were calling for a stronger reaction in the form of a resolution. But they say Pyongyang's ally on the Council, China, was reluctant to take that route.
A football fan in Italy has gained a nationwide fame for being the only awaiting supporter to show up for a game in the top Italian league Serie A. Arrigo Brovedani, a fan of Udinese, found himself completely alone in a grand stand of several thousands seats on a cold winter's night at Sampdoria. He was booed and mocked by home fans, but Arrigo waved his flag and bellowed his support, and he had the last laugh. His team won 2-0.
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