Hello, I'm Justin Green with the BBC News.
The former governor of US state of Alaska Sarah Palin has given her support to Donald Trump in his campaign to be the Republican Party's presidential candidate. She praised Mr. Trump's values as a father and community leader, and said he could change the status quo in American politics. Our North America editor John Sopal was watching.
It wasn't as if Donald Trump's campaign was flagging. He is riding high in the polls, and getting wall-to-wall media attention. But now, a new and open boost in the shape of Sarah Palin. With less than two weeks to go to the Iowa caucus, the populistic governor came out punching in trademark style. Bashing Barack Obama as you expect, but really saving her heaviest blows to the Republican establishment itself. Sarah Palin, the now primarly pursuing a media career, is nevertheless still the darling of the conservative tea party right, and the evangelical wing of the Republican Party, the very voters, that are critical in this midwestern state. The broad Trump green, seemed even wider than normal.
Gunmen have stormed a university in northwest Pakistan where a gun battle is still underway between police security guards and the attackers. Armed vehicles had been deployed, to surround the Bacha Khan University campus in Charsadda District, 50 km from the city of Peshawar, which houses 3000 students. Some media are reporting that a chemistry proffesor has been killed and 50 people injured. Staff and students have been evacuated from the campus.
The Colombian government and the country's largest rebel group the FARC are asking the United Nations to oversee the implementation of any ceasefire the two parties agree to end more than 50 years of conflict. The two sides are still negotiating a deal. During talks in Havana, Ivan Marquez the FARC's Chief Negotiator called it a final step towards a lasting peace agreement.
“It's a fact that the talks towards reconciliation have entered a final stage, and that 60 years of confrontation can end to the delight of man kinds during the course of this year.”
European Commission is considering plans to share the burden of migrants more fairly across the EU. The European Commission President Donald Tusk has warned that the EU must bring the system under control within two months. Ben Wright reports.
“Last year, more than a million migrants and refugees poured into Europe, creating a crisis that shows no sign of abating. Under what's known as the Dublin System, new arrivals have to register for asylum in the first EU country in which they arrive. That system broke down last year and prompted some countries to reinstate temporary border controls within the passport free Schengen area. The European Commission is considering a new system, which aims to more fairly distribute migrants across the continent.” Ben Wright reporting.
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Asian markets have continued to slide downwards in early trading. Shares in Hong Kong fall closed at levels not seen in four years. There were also falls in Tokyo. The decline reflects continuing concern about growth in China and emerging economies, such as Brazil.
There's been another drop in oil prices after a warning from the International Energy Agency that the oil market could drown in over-supply. US crude oil traded below 28 dollars a barrel for the first time in more than 12 years in trading on Asian markets. The price later recovered slightly.
A review of more than 30 studies involving more than four million patients suggest that having an irregular heart beat poses a greater risk to women than to men. It found that women with Atrial fibrillation, or AF, were almost twice as likely to have fatal heart disease and strokes. The scientists from Oxford University said one possible cause was that women were being diagnosed later than men. Another was that they may respond less well to drugs to combat AF.
Researchers at the universities of Durham and Lisbon say some fairy tales can be traced back thousands of years. Using techniques developed by biologists, they determined how long could go folk tales appeared in Indo-European languages spoken in large areas of Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Nick Ine reports.
“Five thousand years ago, there were spinning yarns about a boy who stolen an ogre’s treasure, a story we know as Jack and the Beanstalk. And four thousand years ago, someone came up with an early version of Beauty and the Beast. There are some of the oldest-known folk tales in the Indo-European languages, and their antiquities had been established by an anthropologist and the folklorist. The findings are one in the eye for those who maintained that most modern fairy tales weren't really ancient at all. It seems Wilhelm Grimm of the Brothers Grimm was right when he said many were extremely old.”