Officials in the United States say they and their allies have disrupted a plot to bomb a plane involving an upgraded device similar to that used unsuccessfully by a underwear bomber on a flight from Yemen to the US in 2009. The device is in the possession of US officials. Mark Mardell reports from Washington.
The White House says the president was told about the plot last month.The plan emanated from Yemen where al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had made a device to be used by a suicide bomber to plant an American airline last week, on or around the anniversary of the killing of Bin Laden. It appears it was fooled as a result of the cooperation between American and other unnamed intelligence agencies at a relatively early stage, after the making of the bomb but before the public would put it any risk.It apparently contains no metal, so could pass through normal airport's security, although many American airports now use body scanners. So far no word has emerged as to the fate of the would-be bomber.
The leader of thefar leftin Greece has been asked to form a new government after his opposite number on thecenter-rightsaid he was unable to build a coalition. The Syriza group led by Alexis Tsipras wants to put together a cabinet that would reject theausterity measuresimposed as part of Greece'sbailout deal. A BBC correspondent says prolonged political instability can be expected, followed probably by new elections.
In France, the socialist president-elect Francois Hollande has spent the day talking to a number of world leaders and planning the transition at home. During his presidential campaign, he called for a new emphasis within the European Union on promoting economic growth as a way to combat the high levels of debts and unemployment. The BBC's Gavin Hewitt says Mr. Hollande has many problems to tackle.
I think there are huge difficulties for him. He has promised the balance of budget within the five years. Yet at the same time, he says he will boost certain amounts of spending. How precisely will he do that? He says that he wants to renegotiate the pact to enforce greater budget discipline within the Euro zone. Yet Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor made it quite clear there would be no renegotiation. He wants to set himself as a leader of a new Europe, being opposed to austerity first but being in favor of growth. Yet how can he do that when so many countries still have large debts?
A group representing about a quarter of Roman Catholic priest in Ireland has called for radical reforms in what it seems as about unprecedented attack on the Vatican's authority. The Association of Catholic Priests meeting in Dublin says the reforms are needed to stem the Church's decline in the wake of the long-running sexual abuse scandals. It says public trust will only be restored by fundamental change, such as an end to compulsory celibacy for priests and the ordination of women.
This is the world news from the BBC.
The US based company Abbott Laboratories has agreed to pay $1.6bn to settle federal and state claims that it promoted the mood stabilizing drug Depakote for uses that would not be approved by regulators. It's thought to be the largest settlement of its kind involving a single drug. Paul Adams reports from Washington.
Lawsuits brought by whistle-blowers alleged that Abbott encouraged its sales teams to market Depakote, a drug approved for the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorder and migraines for other uses. It was also alleged that Abbott doctorskick backsto promote the use of Depakote for so called off-label uses. According to a justice department statement, Abbott maintained a specialized sales force to market the drug in nursing homes for the control of agitation in elderly dementia patients. Despite the absence of any credible scientific evidence, the Depakote was safe and effective for that use.
Shoppers in Malawi have being rushing to buy basic goods fearing huge price rises after its currency was devalued by 50%. Many shops are run out of staple food like sugar, cooking oil and bread. The Kwacha was devalued as the new Malawi government tried to improve relations with donors. This man in Blantyre told BBC that the devaluation was already having a major effect on his finances.
I'm very afraid.I had dipped already my pockets.Now it had been the same salary. Definitely, I think of course these service providers are into business and they will definitely adjust / while my salary will be the same.
Police in Columbia say an allegeddrugs lordon the country's most wanted list hasturned himself in. Javier Antonio Calle Serna, better known as Comba, is accused of the murder in 2008 of Wilber Varela, a Columbiumdrugs baronwhose smuggling-routes he allegedly took over.