BBC news with Nick Kelly
The American gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, has called for armed guards in every school in its first response to the mass shooting in Connecticut, in which 26 children and adults were killed. From Washington, Mark Mardell.
Those who expected an offer of compromise were disappointed. Instead, their leader, Wayne La Pierre, mounted impassioned attack on what he said was the media's hatred of his organization and what he called the filthy pornography of violent video games. He was interrupted twice by protesters. "NRA, stop killing our children!" But at the heart of his argument, a fierce defense of guns themselves is the only real answer and a plan for armed police and volunteers in every school. After the press conference, the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, accused the NRA of a shameful evasion of the crisis facing the United States. Earlier, people across the United States observed a period of silence to mark one week since the shootings at Sandy Hook.
President Obama has nominated Senator John Kerry as his next secretary of state to replace Hillary Clinton. Senator Kerry became an almost certain nominee after his rival for the job, the ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, withdrew from consideration last week. Ben Wright has more.
It's a job John Kerry has craved since losing his bid to be president eight years ago. The role should be a comfortable fit for the obeying Massachusetts Senator. A decorated Vietnam veteran, Kerry late became an outspoken critic of the war, as he was about America's invasion of Iraq during the 2004 presidential election. But it wasn't enough to beat George Bush. John Kerry is currently chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his decades of experience scrutinizing and shaping U.S. policy overseas.
The Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has resigned, after parliament in Rome gave its final approval to the budget for next year. The resignation paves the way for an early election expected in February. Alan Johnston reports.
Soon after seen through one last piece of parliamentary business, Mr. Monti made his way to the presidential palace. There his resignation brought to an end 13 months in power. They began with Italy deep in financial crisis, and Mr. Monti imposed emergency austerity measures that he said were needed to avert economic disaster. Now, there is intense speculation that he might be tended to enter the election campaign and try to secure a powerful position in the next government. He is expected to spell out his intentions over the weekend.
The U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the shooting-down of a U.N. helicopter by the South Sudanese army. He said the helicopter was clearly marked. Mr. Ban called on the government of South Sudan to carry out an immediate investigation and bring to account those responsible.
World news from the BBC
Police in Kenya said at least 39 people have been killed in a fresh outbreak of violence in the south of the country. People armed with machetes attacked a village in the Tana Delta region. Paramilitary police have been flown to the area. Police say ethnic Pokomo farmers attacked members of the Omar community in revenge for clashes in August, which left more than 100 dead.
Taiwan has executed six convicts in its first use of the death penalty this year. The Justice Ministry did not say how the six were killed, but executions in Taiwan are usually carried out with a bullet to the head. The executions have reignited the debate over the death penalty in Taiwan, as Cindy Sue reports.
Anti-death penalty groups say this was another case of the government bowing to public pressure, even as it has signed U.N. covenants and stated repeatedly it wants to reduce the use of the death penalty. The Ministry said it has the obligation to carry out the law until there is public consensus on abolishing the death penalty. Most Taiwanese people support maintaining capital punishment. Rights groups say the government should have informed the public of global and local statistics showing executions do not reduce crime.
Two of the rebel groups active in northern Mali have said they will suspend hostilities and negotiate with the Malian government to end the crisis. The Islamist Ansar Dine Movement and the ethnic Tuareg MNLA made the announcement after meeting in Algeria. Both groups denounced the United Nations(’) resolution made on Thursday to deploy an African-led military intervention in northern Mali, which was seized by rebels earlier this year.
And the British actor, Hugh Grant, has settled his legal claim against Rupert Murdoch's now [defunct tabloid], News of the World. He had accused journalists on the paper of hacking his phone. Mr. Grant's lawyer said he would receive a substantial sum, but did not say how much. The lawyer said the money would be donated to the campaign group, Hacked Off, which represents victims of phone-hacking.
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