The United Nations and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has told President Bashar al-Assad of Syria that he's extremely worried about the violence there. The UN said Mr Annan, who is in Damascus, suggested a complete ceasefire and talks between the government and the opposition. President Assad rejected any dialogue while opposition forces are fighting for an end to his rule. Jon Donnison reports.
Kofi Annan met President Assad for around two hours - his mission to deliver a plan to bring an end to a year of violence - but Mr Annan's two main aims - a ceasefire by both sides eventually leading to political dialogue - seem at least in the short-term unlikely. President Assad said no political talks would take place as long as what he called "terrorists" continued to spread chaos . Such words and the Syrian leader's statement that he's ready for honest peace efforts will outrage many anti-government activists.
Five Taliban leaders held in the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay have agreed to be transferred to the Gulf state of Qatar. The move approved by Afghan officials would be a key step towards peace talks between the Afghan government and the insurgents , which in turn would allow American troops to leave in 2014 as planned, but the transfer will also need support from the US Congress.
A series of explosions has killed at least four people and wounded many others in the centre of the Kenyan capital Nairobi. Many of the injured are said to be in a critical condition. Will Ross reports from Nairobi.
Eyewitnesses said three grenades were thrown from a passing vehicle. They exploded close to a busy bus station in downtown Nairobi. This incident was similar to the attacks which were carried out last October. Then one person was killed and more than 20 were injured as grenades were thrown into a bar and targeted another bus station. Those attacks happened just days after the Kenyan military had crossed into Somalia to fight al-Shabab. At the time the Kenyan authorities suggested sympathisers of the Islamist militant group may have been behind the blasts.
State media in Burma say a new labour law has come into effect allowing workers to strike for the first time since the 1960s. Officials say the legislation permits workers to form trade unions and strike under certain conditions. Here's Abby Mawdsley.
Burmese state media say that the labour organisation law came into effect on Friday, replacing legislation that effectively banned trade unions. It was signed by the President Thein Sein in October as part of a series of reforms following decades of military rule. Opposition supporters and the International Labour Organisation have said it's an improvement on the past, but some labour activists say it won't allow unions to be sufficiently independent.
An autopsy on the body of an Italian hostage killed in a rescue attempt in Nigeria shows he was shot in the head at close range . Correspondents say it corroborates reports that he was killed by his kidnappers. Italian press reports said the post-mortem examination was carried out on the corpse of Franco Lamolinara at Sapienza University in Rome shortly after it was flown back to Italy.
Pope Benedict has been joined by the head of the Anglican Church, Doctor Rowan Williams, in evening prayers to mark the thousandth anniversary of the Camaldoli monastery in central Italy. Both leaders addressed the congregation . They also had private talks at the Vatican. The Pope said he hoped it would inspire Catholics and Anglicans to pray and work for unity.
People across Japan are preparing to mark the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 20,000 dead or missing and triggered the nuclear crisis at Fukushima. Warning sirens will sound across the northeast of the country on Sunday at the exact time of day that the powerful earthquake struck last year. Our correspondent Roland Buerk has been to the devastated town of Otsuchi.
This area was covered with wreckage , but pretty much all of it has been removed. All that you can see are the grids of the streets where people's homes were. It's almost like an archaeological dig. There are bits of pottery on the ground, but everything bigger has been cleared away. Or perhaps it's more like the aftermath of a bombing campaign.
The Egyptian Football Association has cancelled the rest of this season's premier league following the deaths of 74 people in rioting in the Port Said stadium last month. An FA spokesman said the teams will play in a friendly competition to raise money for the families of those killed.