BBC News with Nick Kelly.
Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani has been sworn in at a ceremony in Tehran. Speaking before parliament, he promised to improve the country's economy, fight corruption and create jobs, and said one of his biggest priorities will be furthering women's rights. Outlining his foreign policy priorities, Mr. Rouhani stressed the need for mutual trust and respect, As James Reynolds reports.
“In his speech, Mr. Rouhani criticized international sanctions, but he also offered a clear opportunity for dialogue with the rest of the world, including the West. He said there should be transparency on all sides. That is a key word. Since 2002, the West has accused Iran of a lack of transparency about its nuclear program, the issue that has provoked sanctions. The President's call for mutual transparency may be welcomed by western governments.” Congratulating Mr. Rouhani on his inauguration, the White House said it gave Iran the opportunity to act quickly to resolve the international community’s deep concerns over Iran's nuclear program.
Less than a week after Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held their first direct peace talks in three years, Israeli cabinet has expanded the list of settlements in the West Bank eligible for extra government grants. Some of the settlements, listed as national priority areas approved for potential financial assistance, were considered illegal even in Israel until a few months ago. From Jerusalem Bethany Bell.
“Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said the list of the national priority areas approved by the government now includes 91 settlements, six more than when the last list was approved in December. The Peace Now spokesman said three of the settlements have begun as illegal outposts which were later legalized. Security reasons have been given for adding these settlements to the list. Four ministers, including Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who was the Israeli negotiator talks in Washington last week, abstained in the vote in the cabinet meeting on Sunday.”
The United States government says it’s extending the closure of 19 of its embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa until August 10. The State Department described the move as an exercise of caution, was not due to any new security threats. Katy Watson reports from Washington.
“The State Department says it's extending some embassy closures until August 10, not because of any new threats, but because of caution. Meanwhile, embassies, including Kabul, Baghdad and Algeria's, will reopen on Monday. More than 20 US embassies and consulates, across North Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia, were closed for Sunday, the first day of the working week in the Muslim world. The US also issued a worldwide travel alert to its citizens for the whole of the August, warning them of potential attacks by al-Qaeda and its affiliates.”
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The Yemeni Nobel Peace prize Laureate Tawakul Karman has been refused entry to Egypt on arriving at Cairo airport. Ms. Karman has expressed support for Egyptians loyal to the deposed president Mohammed Morsi and is reported to have intended to join one of their sit-in protests in Cairo. She told the BBC the refusal was a sign that Egypt was no longer a Democracy.
“What happened is very clear, because the coup authorities have something to fear and hide. They feared that the international community will know of scale of violations and deterioration of human rights in democracy in post-coup Egypt. That's why they barred me from entry.” A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood criticized the deportation, saying it was reminiscent of the former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Several days of heavy rain in eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan have triggered floods which have killed at least 80 people. Afghan officials said more than 30 died in the remote mountainous areas of Sarobi district east of Kabul. Thousands of people are still missing while hundreds of others have been displaced from their homes. Across the border in Pakistan, people and homes in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were swept away in flush floods. The southern city of Karachi was among the worst regions with 19 deaths mostly due to electrocution or collapsing roofs.
And a British foreign officer said it would seek an explanation from Spain following reports that Spanish government is considering punitive measures against the British territory of Gibraltar. A foreign office spokesman said Britain will not compromise on sovereignty, but its differences with Spain will be resolved by political means. Earlier, the Spanish Foreign Minister was quoted in a newspaper interview as saying Spain might introduce a fee to cross his country's border with Gibraltar and close Spain's air space to planes heading for the territory.