Barack Obama has become the first American president to back same-sex marriage. In a television interview with ABC News, Mr Obama said he had always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally, but that he had been going through what he called 'an evolution' on the issue which still divides America.
"Over the course of several years as I talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone. At a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."
Mr Obama's announcement comes one day after the state of North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment, defining marriage is a union only between a man and a woman. His likely opponent in this year's presidential election, Mitt Romney, has said he remains opposed to gay marriage.
The Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, says the al-Qaeda group based in Yemen, AQIP, poses the most serious terrorist threat facing the United States. Mr Mueller said a recently foiled plot to blow up a US-bound plane with a bomb planted in an attacker's underwear showed the need for wide-ranging surveillance powers to be renewed by the US Congress.
"Al-Qaeda is decentralized , but the group is committed to high-profile attacks against the West as we confirm from the documents seized from Osama Bin Laden a year ago. AQAP has attempted several attacks on the United States, including the failed Christmas Day airline bombing in 2009 and the attempted bombing of US-bound cargo planes in 2010. And of course, we in the bureau are currently exploiting an improvised explosive device seized overseas which is similar to the devices used by AQAP in the past."
The trial of the Norwegian mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik, is hearing for the first time from survivors of the massacre on an island near Oslo. The organizer of the Labor Party youth camp on Utoeya island was the first to speak. From the court, Steve Rosenberg reports.
Tonje Brenna had taken shelter in rocks by the lake. She could hear gunshots, she said, and the sound of bodies crushing to the rocks, and the cries of joy made by the killer. Bjon Yilla recalled how a calm Breivik had approached him, claiming to be a police officer, then raised his gun. Bjon jumped into the water and tried to swim away as shots were fired. And while the survivors told their terrifying stories, the full-court psychiatrists watched Breivik closely to notice reaction. Breivik listened to the witnesses without a hint of emotion.
You're listening to the latest World News from the BBC.
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned a roadside bomb blast near a convoy of UN ceasefire monitors in Syria. He said such incident could threaten the future of the UN mission there. Six Syrian troops at the back of the convoy were wounded. Opposition activists accuse the government of being behind the blast to deter the peace mission, but the authorities have blamed previous attacks on rebels.
Police in Mexico have found 15 mutilated bodies dumped in two cars in the western state of Jalisco. A threatening note left with the bodies indicated they were victims of a gangland killing. The region has seen a rise in violence as the Zetas drug cartel tries to wrest control of the area from the rival the Sinaloa cartel.
In Austria, a burial ceremony has been held for disabled victims of Nazi medical experiments. The remains of more than 60 people were put inside an urn and buried at the central cemetery in Vienna. The victims ranged from 4 years old to 86 and suffered from psychiatric conditions and mental disabilities. The Nazis considered them inferior and used them for medical research. The remains are thought to be the last of their kind in Austria.
The British-born hairstylist, Vidal Sassoon, has died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 84. Mr Sassoon was credited with revolutionizing hairdressing during the 1960s. Ben Ando has more.
Vidal Sassoon has been described as the man who changed the world with a pair of scissors. He was born in London in 1928, and while still a teenager, became politically active, opposing Fascism and anti-Semitism. At one demonstration, he was arrested and spent a night in the cells. At the age of 20, he left Britain to fight in the Israeli War of independence. On his return, he joined a hair salon in Mayfair. His '5-point bob' hairstyle became the signature look of London in the 1960s, and over the coming decades, he diversified into hair products and hundreds of salons bearing his name were opened.