BBC News with Nick Kelly
The United States has issued a worldwide travel alert warning its nationals that al-Qaeda and other groups could be planning a wave of attacks in the Middle East and North Africa. It follows a decision to close more than 20 US diplomatic missions in the region on Sunday. As David Willis reports:
Today’s travel advisory widens that warning and talks of the possibility of attacks on tourist sites or public transportation systems in the region during the month of August. It urges US citizens to be aware of their surroundings and adopt what it calls appropriate safety measures to protect themselves whilst travelling. American travellers are urged to register with consular authorities on a travel registration website. But this is the first time a number of US embassies and consulates have been closed since 2002.
With most seats declared in Zimbabwe’s parliamentary election, President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has won almost a two thirds majority, which will enable him to change the constitution. The result of the presidential contest though has not yet been announced. The Movement for Democratic Change, which ran against Zanu-PF, says it won’t accept the results alleging massive fraud. Andrew Harding reports.
The latest results show President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF is close to securing a two thirds majority in parliament. Mr Mugabe himself also seems certain to hold onto his job. Zimbabwe’s neighbours have raised some grave concerns about the electoral process, but broadly speaking, the continent has rallied behind its oldest leader. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has praised the peaceful vote and expressed scepticism about allegations of massive rigging. But those allegations are not going away with local observers suggesting a million voters may have been denied access to polling stations and growing anecdotal evidence of fraud.
Supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi are staging rallies in Cairo and other cities to demand his reinstatement two days after the military-backed government authorised police to disperse the sit-ins. Security officials said police fired tear gas at pro-Morsi protesters at a smaller rally held near Cairo’s media production city. Egypt’s interim government is under strong international pressure not to allow another bloodbath. Jim Muir reports.
The interim government is under strong international pressure not to allow another bloodbath. There have already been two violent incidents in the past three weeks, in which well over 100 protesters have been shot dead. The Americans have been outspoken in their insistence that the right to peaceful assembly and to stage sit-ins must be respected. They’ve balanced that with comments from the Secretary of State John Kerry saying that the military intervened to restore democracy. That hasn’t gone down well with the Muslim Brotherhood and other supporters of the ousted president. They insist he was democratically elected and displaced by a military coup.
World News from the BBC
The Tunisian military says it has launched a large-scale operation against Islamist militants in a mountainous region near the Algerian border. Troops and aircraft are searching for militants in an area where eight Tunisian soldiers were killed and mutilated on Monday. Referring to the ambush and two other attacks on the military this week, President Moncef Marzouki said that terrorism had become reality in Tunisia.
The former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said his party was ready to contest fresh elections to seek a mandate to reform the country’s judicial system. He was speaking at a meeting of members of parliament from his PDL party to discuss its response after the country’s top court upheld his prison sentence for tax fraud. Mr Berlusconi has repeatedly alleged the justice system is biased against him.
Here in Britain, the polish mother and stepfather of a four-year-old boy who died alone in a locked room after months of starvation and abuse have been jailed for life for his murder. There are calls for public inquiry into why no one intervened to rescue the boy Daniel Pelka. This report from Jane Peel.
The judge said the scale of the four-year-old boy’s suffering was truly horrific. Over a period of some six months, Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek beat Daniel, locked him up, poured salt into his mouth to make him vomit and held him under cold water until he was unconscious. Mrs Justice Cox said before the fatal blows to the head that killed him, Daniel had been systematically starved, so much so that his bones had stopped growing. He was literally wasting away.
And thousands of Ecuadorians are queuing outside a sports arena in the capital Quito to say goodbye to the football star Christian Benitez who died on Monday. Benitez, known as Chucho, played in Mexico and Britain as well as in Ecuador’s national team. He died of a heart problem in Qatar.