Physicists working at the Cern laboratory in Geneva say they've found signs of the hypothetical subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson. Proof of its existence is considered crucial to supporting the standard model of physics, which explains how particles interact with each other to produce the universe as we currently understand it. However, the scientists say they'll have to carry out more work over the next few months in the hope of obtaining conclusive evidence. Cern's director general Rolf-Dieter Heuer said the findings were good news for science.
"My feeling about the achievement is excellent because I think we have achieved much more than we would have expected at the beginning of this year, and therefore, I think this was a fantastic scientific year for basic science."
The experiments were performed using the Large Hadron Collider, which smashes particles together at speeds approaching that of light.
A man has opened fire and thrown grenades from a rooftop in the Belgian city of Liege, killing three people in a busy Christmas market before killing himself. More than 120 people were injured. Matt Cole reports.
The central square in front of the Palais de Justice remains cordoned off this evening. The Christmas market is dark and empty, but it was very different this lunchtime. Scores were enjoying a festive shopping experience when the man now named as Nordine Amrani began shooting and throwing explosives. People began running, screaming, children amongst them. Whilst the 33-year-old attacker was known to the police, having previously faced drug and weapons charges, officers say they currently don't know why he carried out this terrible act.
A man in the Italian city of Florence has killed two Senegalese street vendors and wounded four others before turning the gun on himself. The gunman was described as a far-right militant. About 200 Senegalese street vendors protested, shouting "shame" and "racists".
The World Health Organisation says there's been progress in the fight against malaria, but much more funding is needed to achieve its target of eliminating deaths from the disease by 2015. Farhana Haider reports.
The WHO said just over 650,000 people died of malaria in 2010 - mostly young African children - a 5% drop compared with the year before. The WHO said this represented considerable progress, but the death rate was still disconcertingly high for a disease that was entirely preventable. Major efforts over the past few years have succeeded in getting insecticide-treated bed nets and new effective anti-malarial drugs to large numbers of families. It warned that hard-won gains may be reversed unless more funding is forthcoming.
The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has warned that the Central African Republic is in a state of medical emergency. In its report, MSF says high mortality rates are due to epidemic diseases, conflict, an economic downturn and poor healthcare.
World News from the BBC
The US Justice Department has charged eight former executives of the German multinational company Siemens over a scheme to pay $100m in bribes to senior Argentine officials. It says Siemens, which also trades in the United States, broke American law when it paid the bribes in an attempt to retain a $1bn contract to produce passports and national identity cards in Argentina.
Reports from Yemen say the interior minister in the new national unity government has ordered the release of all prisoners arrested in connection with the past 10 months of protests against President Saleh. Sebastian Usher of our Arab desk reports.
The national unity government was finally sworn in at the weekend. Half the ministers are from opposition parties, and half from President Saleh's former ruling party. It faces huge challenges. After nearly a year of unrest, Yemen's sectarian and political fault lines are raw with violent conflict still an ever-present threat; the economy is collapsing; al-Qaeda is on the rise; and the young pro-democracy protesters who risked their lives to force President Saleh's resignation are still on the streets demanding that he faces trial.
A son of the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the state media should give less attention to his family. Namal Rajapaksa, a 25-year-old MP who's seen as a rising political star, said a recent television bulletin had successive items about his father and three uncles followed by sports coverage about himself and his brother. Mr Rajapaksa told parliament that Sri Lankans were more likely to believe the state media if it had a more balanced approach.
A court in Croatia has convicted 15 football officials and players over a match-fixing scandal in the national league. The men were found guilty of fixing eight games and attempting to rig three others, and were ordered to return more than $200,000 in illegal profits. The verdicts follow a two-year investigation prompted by a tip-off from German police.