The international envoy Kofi Annan has warned that the crisis in Syria could spiral out of control and called for substantial pressure on Damascus to end the violence. Mr Annan made his comments during a closed-door briefing to the United Nations Security Council. Reporting from the UN, Barbara Plett.
Kofi Annan acknowledged to UN member states that his peace plan for Syria isn't working. In a closed-door briefing to the Security Council, diplomats say he called for substantial pressure on Damascus to end the violence. Diplomats have said another idea is to create a contact group of world and regional powers to press for a political transition. To succeed, Mr Annan said, the international community must act as one and act now, but it's the council's divisions that have been on display. In a strongly worded statement, the United States called on all nations to abandon support for the government of President Bashar al-Assad, while Russia and China repeated their opposition to any outside intervention or forced regime change.
Earlier, Mr Annan had expressed his horror on the latest reports of a massacre in the village of Qubair in Hama province. The Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bashar Ja'afari also condemned the killings in Qubair, but he also have (has) this to say.
"But every time that there is a meeting at the Security Council, there is a spread of lies, and we see this scenario, we saw them for long. Mr president called this occurrence in certain parts of my country is truly an atrocious massacre. It is unjustifiable ."
After weeks of deadlock, Egypt's ruling military council and political parties have solved the dispute over the panel which will write the new constitution. Bethany Bell reports from Cairo.
Under the terms of the agreement, the body will include a range of politicians, members of the judiciary, the army, the police, and the unions as well as Muslim and Christian leaders. The head of Egypt's ruling military council, Hussein Tantawi, has called on parliament to meet next week to elect the members of the panel. Liberals and secular groups walked out of the previous one, saying it was dominated by Islamists.
The UN High Commissioner of Human Rights Navi Pillay has said US drone attacks in Pakistan raise serious questions about compliance with international law. Speaking in Pakistan, Mr Pillay expressed concern about drone attacks being conducted outside a transparent military chain of command. Washington insists the strikes will continue.
Britain has said its government minister will boycott England's group matches in Ukraine in the Euro 2012 football tournament which starts on Friday. Several European countries, including Britain, have expressed concern about the imprisonment of the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. She was jailed for seven years last October for abuse of power. But she says President Viktor Yanukovych has taken revenge on her for leading the Orange Revolution.
Britain has accused Argentina of trying to harm the economic development of the Falkland Islands. The minister responsible for ties with Latin America, Jeremy Browne, highlighted Argentine attempts to impede oil exploration of the islands. He called it 'domineering behavior' by a powerful nation against the small and vulnerable population. Argentina claims sovereignty over the islands it calls the Malvinas.
Police in Peru have launched a search and rescue operation after a helicopter carrying a dozen foreign nationals and two Peruvian crew went missing. Most of the foreigners are believed to be South Korean. Mattia Cabitza reports.
The helicopter left on Wednesday night from the Madre de Dios region in the jungle. It was going to the city of Cusco in the Andes. It was expected to land in the evening. But it never arrived. And the police said that the airport in Cusco lost contact with the crew. A search and rescue operation is underway. It's believed that the helicopter went missing in a high mountainous area that is regularly covered in clouds, which would make it difficult to locate.
The Spanish government has successfully borrowed more than $2.6bn on the bond markets, but it will have to pay a high interest rate. Madrid had to offer an average interest rate of more than 6% on its ten-year bonds.
British scientists have worked out exactly how a parasite has wiped out millions of honeybee colonies throughout the world. Here's our science reporter Victoria Gill.
The mite, Varroa destructor, is the single biggest killer of honeybees worldwide. The researchers worked in Hawaii where Varroa only emerged in the last five years. This gave them a unique natural laboratory where they could monitor the beginning of an infestation . This revealed that the Varroa mites spread one specific lethal strain of deformed wing virus. The virus itself is untreatable, but identifying it could mean that beehives can be screened so only those that are irreversibly infected need to be destroyed.