BBC News with Jerry Smit
In what it called the largest operation of its kind in the United States, the FBI has rescued more than 100 children who’ve been forced into prostitution. The FBI assistant director described child prostitution as a persistent threat to children across America. Nick Bryant reports.
Operation Cross Country unfolded in 76 cities and targeted motels, casinos and truck stops. The largest number of children were rescued in San Francisco, Detroit, New Orleans and Milwaukee. The FBI said it had arrested 150 people, suspects they described as pimps. They had allegedly preyed on vulnerable teenagers and exploited them over a period of time. The girls were trapped in a cycle that involved drugs, physical abuse and even torture.
President Obama has welcomed the resumption of direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis. Mr Obama said there would be difficult work ahead, but urged good faith on both sides. The first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in three years will be a dinner in Washington hosted by the US Secretary of State John Kerry. The two sides face the same issues that have scuppered past peace initiatives, including Israeli settlements on the West Bank. The head of the Israeli delegation, the Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, acknowledged the difficulties.
"There’s a lot of cynicism and scepticism and pessimism, but there is also hope. And I believe that by re-launching the negotiations we can recreate hope for Israelis and for Palestinians as well. And I truly believe that peace between Israel and the Palestinians is in the Israeli interest and Palestinian interest, the interest of the international community.”
The Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has defied calls to dissolve his Islamist-led coalition government. Instead, he’s proposed that new elections take place in December. His announcement follows widespread anger in the wake of the killing in recent months of two senior politicians by suspected Islamist militants. David Bamford reports.
Speaking on national television, the prime minister said that despite demands for its dissolution because of the murders, his Islamist-led transitional government will continue to perform its duties. This was not, he said, because they were trying to cling onto power; it was their duty not to abandon the people. But Mr Larayedh also proposed that new elections be held on December 17th this year. It’s not clear whether the coalition will remain intact. One secular party has indicated it would withdraw and many MPs said they would leave the assembly.
Reports from north-western Pakistan say gunmen have attacked a prison which holds hundreds of militants in the town of Dera Ismail Khan. Police say the attack began with a series of large explosions. Some reports said the attackers also used rocket-propelled grenades.
World News from the BBC
Hundreds of people have attended a memorial Mass in the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela for the victims of the train crash last week in which 79 people died. This report from Guy Hedgecoe.
The archbishop of Santiago de Compostela officiated the memorial ceremony. It was held in the city’s 800-year-old cathedral. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy attended the service. He and Crown Prince Felipe, who was also present, offered their condolences in person to the families of those killed. Now attention will turn back to the investigation into the crash. The driver of the train has admitted he was going too fast when he derailed and investigators want to know exactly why.
Judicial authorities in the south of France say they now believe that the value of the jewels stolen from the Carlton Hotel in Cannes on Sunday is more than $130m, one of the biggest such thefts ever recorded. The masked gunmen fled the hotel on foot reportedly dropping some of the jewels on the way. Original estimates of the whole were about $50m.
Scientists say the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in the American state of Wyoming has boosted the diet of a rival predator, the grizzly bear. Our science reporter Helen Briggs explains why.
Wolves returned to Yellowstone nearly 20 years ago, put back into the wild to prey on the growing elk population. Elk were overgrazing the grassland, causing damage to the precious eco-system. Now scientists say the wolves have had benefits for another predator, the grizzly bear. Trees and shrubs are springing back up, bearing nutritious berries, a valuable food source for the grizzly bear. Wild fruits are a key part of the bear’s diet as it gains weight before hibernating. Helen Briggs