Hello, I'm Marion Marshall with the BBC news.
A senior Vatican official is giving evidence from Rome via video link to an Australian inquiry into child sex abuse. Cardinal George Pell, a former archbishop of Sydney, is being asked whether he knew if pedophiles were active in churches under his ward. He denies any wrongdoing. From Sydney, here's Phil Mercer.
Cardinal Pell denies knowing that priests were abusing children during his time working in the diocese of Ballarat in the southern Australian state of Victoria, but speaking broadly about the church's response to allegations of sexual abuse. The Cardinal admitted mistakes had been made and that people had been let down. He said that some complaints had been dismissed in absolutely scandalous circumstances. Several survivors of abuse have travelled from Australia to witness Cardinal Pell's testimony in the Italian capital.
The United Nations says it plans to expand aid deliveries to communities under siege in Syria today. It hopes to reach more than 150,000 people. The UN statement came on the second lap efforts to hold the fighting in Syria. Simon Jones reports.
The UN has described the cessation of hostilities as the best opportunity the Syrian people have had over the past five years for lasting peace and stability. On Monday, it would begin delivering food, water and medicine to residents trapped in besieged towns and cities across the country. Over the next three months, the UN is aiming to offer humanitarian assistance to more than 1.5 million people. But it estimates that a total of 4.5 million people are living in hard-to-reach areas.
Supporters of Iran's president Hassan Rouhani have hailed the result of general elections as the start of a new era. Partial results suggest hardline conservatives may have lost their majority in parliament and reformers and moderates have won all the seats in Tehran. Outside the capital, the results were more mixed. An adviser to Mr. Rouhani said the voter revealed a big shift from hardliners to moderates. Analysts say the result may enable the reformists to engage in deeper dialogue with the west.
A teacher at a school in western Sri Lanka says she has only one pupil left because of rumors that he has HIV. The 6-year-old boy's mother told the BBC he started being stigmatized when his father died, something she said was also falsely attributed to HIV. Anbarasan Ethirajan has more detail.
Chandani De Soysa is a single mother and has been running from pillar to post to find a school for her son. She finally managed to place him in a school in Kurunegela district after ten others rejected him. But on his first day, parents of 186 other students withdrew their children ignoring a certificated proving he doesn't have HIV. Mrs. Soysa says after rumors surfaced about his health, even she is having difficulty finding work.
World news from the BBC.
Colombia's indigenous rights authority has expressed concern over the present of rebel fighters from the ENN group in areas traditionally held by the country's largest insurgent movement the FARC. Reports say the ENN appears to be recruiting FARC rebels who oppose a historic peace deal the group is due to sign with the Colombian government next month. The rights agency has urged the authorities to investigate.
A female police officer in the United States is shot dead during her first shift after being sworn in on Friday. Ashley Guindon was answering a domestic violence call at a house in Woodbridge Virginia on Saturday evening. Ronald Hamilton, an army staff sergeant who works at the Pentagon has been arrested for shooting his wife and officer Guindon. Two other officers were injured. A child at the house was unharmed.
The Nigerian finance ministry says it's purged 23,000 workers from its pay roll after it discovered they didn't exist. It follows an audit that began in December by the new finance minister Kemi Adeosun. The move will save the ministry 11.5 million dollars every month.
The 88th Academy Awards will take place in Los Angeles shortly at the most highly charged atmosphere for many years. Protests and boycott are expected over the Oscar's shortlist in which only white actors are being nominated for their performances. James Cook in Los Angeles has more.
The Academy has announced plans to diversify its membership, but the move came too late to avert controversy. Several black actors say they will boycott the ceremony and the civil rights activist, the reverent Al Sharpton will lead a protest nearby. Hollywood, he says, is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher up you go, the whiter it gets. As for the films themselves, the big question is whether Leonardo DiCaprio will win his first Oscar for his performance in The Revenant which is thought to be in a three-way fight for 'Best Picture' with 'Spotlight' and 'The Big Short'.