The French finance minister says the country has lost its AAA credit rating. Francois Baroin said that Standard & Poor's had lowered the rating to AA+, but he said that France would not allow the agencies to dictate its policies. From Paris, Hugh Schofield.
This news does not come as a surprise for France - there had been warnings for weeks that the downgrade was coming - but it's still a big blow. Economically, it means that the cost of borrowing to cover the country's huge debt will probably become more expensive. Politically, it's very bad news for President Sarkozy, who set such store on keeping the AAA. And for the eurozone, it's also a setback. Combined with bad news from Greece about the debt talks going on there, it shows that the euro crisis is well and truly back on the agenda.
The United States has described the release of political prisoners in Burma as a substantial step towards democratic reform. President Obama said the granting of amnesty to some 600 prisoners, including leading dissidents, was crucial for Burma's national reconciliation. The Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US would now strengthen ties.
"We will start the process of exchanging ambassadors with Burma. We will identify a candidate to serve as US ambassador to represent the United States government and our broader efforts to strengthen and deepen our ties with both the people and the government. This is a lengthy process, and it will of course depend on continuing progress and reform."
Earlier, large crowds gathered outside jails across Burma to greet leaders of the democracy movement and dissident monks as they walked free.
Turkish police have raided more than 100 homes and offices in 17 cities as part of an operation against the Kurdish nationalist movement. At least 32 people have been detained. From Istanbul, here's Jonathan Head.
There are now two parallel operations underway by the Turkish state against the Kurdish nationalist movement. In the mountains of the southeast, the Turkish armed forces continue to fight armed insurgents of the Kurdish Workers' Party, the PKK. But in urban areas, many hundreds, perhaps thousands of civilians have also been rounded up in successive police raids. There have been so many no one is sure of the total number detained. They include lawyers, human rights activists and journalists. Turkey now has more journalists in jail than any other country.
A court in Norway has ordered a new psychiatric evaluation of Anders Behring Breivik, who was found to have been legally insane when he carried out a bomb attack and mass shooting last July. The court said the special and extremely serious nature of the case meant that the issue of Mr Breivik's criminal responsibility had to be studied more closely. The earlier assessment found that Mr Breivik was psychotic, but that assessment has been widely criticised.
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The long-time leader of the Turkish Cypriots, Rauf Denktash, has died. He was 87 and had suffered from ill health for a long time. Mr Denktash was a staunch defender of the interests of Turkish Cypriots and became the first president of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983. He refused to stand again in 2005 after Turkish Cypriots against his advice voted in favour of a plan to reunify the divided island. The plan was rejected by Greek Cypriots.
The US State Department says it's raised concerns with Moscow and Cyprus about a Russian-operated ship carrying what's been described as a dangerous cargo to Syria. Media reports in Cyprus the boat's last port of call suggested that the vessel was carrying ammunition.
A court in London has ruled that a British student, Richard O'Dwyer, can be extradited to the United States, where he faces allegations of US copyright infringement. He's accused of creating a website that allowed people to view films and television shows for free. Lawyers have argued that the website simply directed users to other sites, and they say they'll appeal. Richard O'Dwyer and his mother Julia spoke outside the court.
"I'm obviously disappointed with the judge's decision today. I think I've got faith in the High Court in making the right decision. It just seemed like a bit of a guinea pig activity."
"Disgusted. I'd hoped for better from the judge. Disappointed with this government for signing us up to this treaty which has opened the floodgates to America to come and seize British citizens without even having set foot out of this country."
The World Boxing Association has ordered a rematch between the British boxer Amir Khan and the American Lamont Peterson after a controversial fight last month. The WBA said it was concerned about a number of questionable decisions by the referee and the presence of an unauthorised man apparently distracting the judges during the scoring process. Khan was defeated on points and lost his WBA and IBF titles.