BBC news with Sue Montgomery.
Polling stations have closed in all 28 European Union member countries, following four days of voting for the European parliament. Exit polls suggest anti-immigration parties hostile to the EU have done well. The far-right Front National party is claiming victory in France, ahead of the release of the official results. The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said such result would be shocking. Chris Morris reports from Brussels.
“The first exit polls have been published in several European countries, already there are some striking predictions. The National Front in France, which wants to quit the EU, says it's clearly in the lead there. In response, the French Prime Minister has spoken of a political earthquake. In Germany, by contrast, main-stream parties of the center-right and center-left have performed well. But anti-Euro campaigners are also said to win seats in the next European parliament.”
Exit polls suggest that the billionaire confectionary magnate Petro Poroshenko has won an out-right first-run victory in the Ukrainian presidential elections with about 56% of the vote. Official results won't be announced until Monday. However, Mr Poroshenko is already claiming victory.
“All exit polls without exception which were conducted by the most authoritative sociological agencies of the country and the world, with very small differences, confirm that the election was completed in one round, and the country has a new president.” Mr Poroshenko said his intention was to end war and bring peace to the country, and added that Ukraine would never accept, what he called, Russia's occupation of Crimea.
President Obama has made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to see American troops ahead of the planned withdrawal of combat forces by the end of the year. Addressing soldiers at the base, he promised that the war would be over this year. He said that Al Qaeda had been decimated and the Taliban's momentum reversed.
Poland's last Communist leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski has died at the age of 90. General Jaruzelski was bestknown for declaring martial law in 1981 in the face of growing resistance to Communist rule from Lech Walesa’s solidarity movement.
“I announce that today the military council for national salvation was constituted. The state council in accordance with the constitution imposed today at midnight a state of war in the territory of the whole country.” After the demise of communism, General Jaruzelski was defended this decision, saying it was the only way to avoid a Soviet invasion of Poland.
Pope Francis has made an unexpected invitation to the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to visit the Vatican to pray for an end to the conflict between the two peoples. Both Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas have accepted. Earlier, he made an unscheduled visit to the concrete barrier Israel is building in and around the west bank.
A special day of Muslim prayers for peace and security has been held in the Nigerian capital Abuja. The event was called by the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslims who said terrorism had no place in Islam. Will Ross reports from the Nigerian capital.
“From all corners of the country, the Muslim faithful, including Islamic scholars and imams, headed to Abuja's gold domed national mosque. As the insurgency rages in the northeast, there were prayers for peace and security. They were invited by the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslims. The sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar the third said terrorism had no place in Islam, and then singled out corruption as the root cause of the country's woes. He berated people for expecting their prayers to be answered when they themselves he said were morally bankrupt. The sultan called on leaders to end corruption.”
Police in Malaysia have arrested three Sri Lankan men suspected of attempting to revive the Tamil Tiger rebel group. A police spokesman told the BBC they’d engaged in fund-raising and propaganda. He said the suspects were being held under immigration laws and could face deportation from Malaysia.
The South African president Jacob Zuma has appointed a black African to head the country's finance ministry for the first time. He is Nhlanhla Nene, who has served as deputy finance minister. Mr Zuma was sworn in for a second term on Saturday, promising radical social economic transformation. In the 20 years since the end of apartheid rule, economic wealth remains predominantly in white hands.