I am Joe Macintosh with the BBC news. Hello.
President Obama has rejected calls by Republican members of the Senate to leave their nomination of a new supreme court judge to his successor. Mr. Obama said he would name a candidate to replace justice Antonia Scalia, who died on Saturday, and the Senate would either approve the nomination or reject it. The president called on his political opponents in Washington to overcome the hostility that prevented basic work from getting done.
That fact that, it's that hard, that we are even discussing, this is, I think, a measure of how unfortunately the parliament rancor in Washington has prevented us from getting basic work done. And this would be a good moment for us to rise above that.
US and Cuba have signed a deal restoring commercial flights for the first time in more than 50 years. The agreement comes as the White House is contemplating a possible presidential trip to Cuba. Will Grant is in Havana.
There can be little doubt that the pace of the thaw between the US and Cuba is quickening in president Obama's last year in office. And this signing of a memorendum of understanding on commecial flights between the old enemies is a good example of that new impetus. Up to 110 daily flights from US to Cuba can begin under the new plan, 20 a day to the capital Havana, and 10 to each of the other international airports on the island. This arrangement signifies more than just a new beginning for our civil aviation relationship, said the US transport secretary Antony Fox after signing the deal. It represents a critically important milestone in the US's continued efforts to engage with Cuba and normalize our relations.
The UN says the Syrian government has a duty to allow humanitarian aid to all areas under siege. Syria has approved aid deliveries to 7 sieged areas, but the UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura said the UN had to have access to all Syrians in need. Our diplomatic correspondent James Robins reports.
This is an increasingly tense week after key world powers including Russia agreed to work towards a partial ceasefire in Syria. But neither the Syrian government nor opposition forces were involved, and the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura is meeting Syria's foreign minister in Damasscas, trying to persuade his government to stop fighting, and allow unhindered humanitarian access to all besieged areas. There are signs that aid will be allowed in some beseeged areas over the next few days, but it is hard to see an end to the fighting.
The UN says it's investigating new allegations that its peacekeepers sextually abuse children in the Central African Republic. A UN spokesman said 4 children were reportedly abused by peacekeepers from the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2014 and 2015. For more than a decade, UN peacekeeping missions in Africa have been tarnished by such scandals.
This is world news from the BBC.
Former French president Nicola Sarkozy has been placed under formal investigation for alleged campaign funding irregularities. The former head of state, was questioned by examining magistrates in Paris about excess spending in his unsuccessful bid for reelection in 2012. His campaign costs were more than twice the legal limit. Mr. Sarkozy has repeatedly denied knowledge over the overspending.
Ukrain's embattled prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote in his government only hours after the president asked him to stand down. Despite critisizing the government's record only 194 MPs voted in support over the no confidence motion, which were short of the 226 votes required for its approval.
The authorities in Austria say they planned to introduce daily quotas for the numbers of migrants and refugees who will be allowed to enter the country from neighbouring Slovenia. Austria will also increase controls at its other borders. The interior minister says the quotas were necessary to insure order and security in Austria.
Police in Croatia are reported to have sent more officers to reinforce the Croatian border with Serbia.
On the fourth day of his visit to Mexico, Pope Francis has urged a stadium packed with members of the clergy not to give up in the face of violence, drug trafficing and corruption. He's visiting Morelia, the state capital of Michoacan, one of the parts of the country worst affected by drug related violence. Kitty Watson reports.
In a stadium, the Pope spoke to tens of thousands of nuns and clergy, urging them not to be resigned to evils like drug trafficing. He said they needed to be out helping those who are suffering, not stuck in their churches. In a past decade, more than 100,000 people have been killed or gone missing in Mexico's drug war. Michoacan is no stranger to that violence. In recent years, Vigilante groups have taken up arms against the drug gangs.