BBC News with Marion Marshall
The White House has said that President Obama will support the legislation to reinstate a ban on assault weapons following Friday's mass shootings at a school in the US state of Connecticut. The elementary school in Newtown where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults remains closed. From Washington, Paul Adams.
Barack Obama has already said he'll do what he can to prevent another tragedy like the killings at Newtown. Now according to his spokesman Jay Carney, he's ready to lend his support to a law being proposed by the California Senator Dianne Feinstein which would reinstate and probably modify the 1994 assault weapons ban. Mr. Carney also says the president is keen to close what some call the gun show loophole, where people are able to buy weapons without the sort of background checks that licensed dealers are obliged to run.
The credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has raised the sovereign debt rating of Greece by six levels. The agency said the move reflected the strong determination of European countries to help Greece stay in the Eurozone. Last week Greece started to receive the latest tranche of international bailout funds. From Athens, here's Mark Lowen.
Credit rating agencies are seen as a key gauge for the health of an economy. For months, Greece had only been downgraded, stuck in the realm of default. But now in a significant change it has been taken up six levels by Standard and Poor's to B-. That combined with a so-called stable outlook means the agency's fear of Greece leaving the Euro has subsided and it will substantially reassure the government here and the Eurozone as a whole severely shaken by Greece's turbulent last few months.
Five health workers involved in a Polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan have been shot dead in what police said were coordinated attacks. Four women were killed in Karachi and another in Peshāwar. Aleem Maqbool reports.
Over recent years, the Pakistani Taliban talked of health workers being spies for western agencies and also said the vaccine sterilized children. They banned the Polio programme in some areas and workers were beaten in others. And then the militants found another justification for their position when the CIA tried to use a Pakistani doctor and a fake vaccination programme to get DNA samples from the home of Osama Bin Laden. The government says it simply can't give security to all of the tens of thousands of health workers giving vaccines. So the programme has been suspended and children are left at risk of getting a crippling disease.
South Koreans have begun voting in their presidential election. The race, which is expected to be very close, is between Park Geun-hye of the governing party and Moon Jae-in of the opposition Democratic Union United Party. Ms. Park is the daughter of South Korea's most well-known and divisive military leader. Her rival is a liberal human rights lawyer. From Seoul, Lucy Williamson reports.
Given their different backgrounds, it's remarkable that their policies on the home front are so similar. Both have said they want to redistribute wealth, expand welfare and reform the country's big family conglomerates. Their key differences are on relations with North Korea. Both candidates say they want to end the current policy of a strictly reciprocal relationship but they differ widely on how far and how soon to restart dialogue and economic ties.
Ireland is to introduce new legislation on abortion following the death of a pregnant woman who was denied a termination. Details haven't been finalized, but the new laws are expected to make abortions legal where the mother's life is at risk including whether there is a threat of suicide.
A former Congolese rebel leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui has been acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Judges said key witnesses were unreliable and prosecutors had failed to prove that it was Mr. Ngudjolo’s troops who massacred 200 people in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2003. Witnesses had described victims in Bogoro village being burnt alive, babies smashed against walls and women raped.
Rebels in the Central African Republic have seized a key diamond mining town and began looting its shops. In recent days, the rebels from a coalition known as Serleika seized several other towns in the north and killed at least 14 government soldiers. They then took Bria, a garrison town and key hub of the country's diamond region.
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