BBC News with David Austin.
The Prime Minister of Tunisia Hamadi Jebali has announced his resignation in a live television address. Mr. Jebali had threatened to quit unless he got the support of his Ennahda party to replace the cabinet with a government of unelected technocrats. It comes amid a political crisis following the assassination earlier this month of a left-wing opposition leader Chokri Belaid. Diana Husserl has more.
The killing brought tens of thousands onto the streets calling for the government to resign but counter-demonstrators insisted they wanted their elected government to serve its full term. Mr. Jebali says Tunisians are disillusioned by politicians and confidence must be restored. But he added that the failure of his initiative does not mean the Tunisian revolution has failed.
A group of seven French nationals had been kidnapped in northern Cameroon near the Nigerian border. The French president said all seven were members of one family including four children. Tomi Oladipo reports from Nigeria.
French embassy sources say the tourists were returning from Waza national park in northeast Cameroon, a popular holiday spot among Westerners when they were captured by men on motorbikes. Speaking to reporters during a visit to Greece, France’s President François Hollande said that tourists were taken by a Nigerian terrorist group. This is the first case of foreigners being kidnapped in this part of Cameroon. The nearest city in neighbouring Nigeria is Maiduguri which is a hotbed of violence led by Islamist extremist groups. The rise of attacks against French nationals in the region has increased since France’s military intervention in Mali against Islamist rebels.
The former President of Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo has appeared before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He is the first former head of state to appear of the court. Anna Holigan has the details.
The public gallery was packed with press, supporters and human rights groups who’d all come to witness this historical event. Laurent Gbagbo faces four charges: murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts. The prosecution accuses him of being part of common plan to commit those crimes against rival supporters. In court the defense lawyers argued they shouldn’t even be there. They are challenging the admissibility of the case saying the courts in the Ivory Coast are willing and able to deal with all of the cases connected to the post-election violence.
A report by the World Health Organization has said that man-made chemicals used in thousands of everyday products could be helping fuel a sharp increase in the variety of common diseases. A WHO report says little understood synthetic chemicals added to things such as plastics, cosmetics and pesticides are being linked to arise in some cancers as well as asthma, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. It says they could also be connected with childhood development disorders such as autism and dyslexia.
World News from the BBC
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has sworn in the first female members of the Shura council, a body appointed by the monarch to advise on new laws. It’s the first time that women have been allowed to hold any official political office. Thirty women took their seats to the royal palace in Riyadh alongside more than 100 male colleagues. However, the Saudi Shura council chamber itself is been modified to allow for segregation at the sexes during meeting.
Interpol has announced that it arrested nearly 200 people in a wide-ranging international operation against illegal logging and the trafficking of timber. The three-month effort spanned 12 Latin American countries and eight million dollars worth of wood were seized. Illegal logging tree are said to be worth up to 100 billion dollars a year.
Prosecutors in Romania say they have uncovered a criminal group which made large profits by illegally selling human eggs to infertile Israeli couples. Dean Rodoyaevch reports
A statement said a number of properties in Romania have been searched and arrests have been made. But the authorities gave no details because they said the operation was continuing. The group is alleged to have been recruiting young women mostly from Romania’s impoverished rural areas and paying them up to 1,000 dollars to harvest their eggs. These were then sold for five times the amount to childless women chiefly from Israel who wanted to attempt to conceive through in vitro fertilization. Selling eggs is illegal under Romanian law.
Environment ministers from around the world are being fed a lavish five course banquet made entirely from food rejected by British and European supermarkets to raise the issue of waste. Vegetables grown by farmers in Kenya but regarded as unwanted or too ugly for supermarket shelves were be fed to ministers, diplomats and United Nations delegates at an official dinner in Nairobi organized by the UN Environment Programme.