The American singer Prince has died at his home in Minneapolis. He was 57. The flamboyant musician sprang to fame in early 80s with hits such as 'I wanna be your love' and 'Little Red Corvette'. He'd been suffering from poor health and recently cancelled two concerts. David Sillito looks back at his career. The singer released his first album in the last 70s and by the 80s he was one of the biggest stars in pop music, one of a few black artists to appear regularly in the early days of MTV. His music output was extraordinary. He wrote hits The Bangles, Sinead O’Connor as well as a run of multi-million selling alums of his own. His last releases was late last year. Fans of Prince have gathered in the rain on the hillside opposite his home and studios at Paisley Park in Minneapolis. Andrew Swanson from Minneapolis Public Radio is with the fans. She says Prince left a great legacy for the state. He is by far the most famous musician that we have that continued to live here and support the scene here. Obviously he's gonna have a very longlasting influence on the community here.
President Obama has appealed to British voters to opt to remain part of the European Union ahead of a referendum in June. Jon Sopel reports. In an article of today's Daily Telegraph, Barack Obama challenges the argument that this is no business of the US. Though he doesn't say so explicitly, the implication of this entire article is that Britain risks damaging itself economically and losing influence internationally if it votes to leave. The president did need to make this intervention and could have been much more nuanced that he has is a mark of the profound concern felt in Washington about the implications of a British departure from the EU.
Volkswagen has offered to buy back half a million of its vehicles in the United States as part of an agreement with the US Justice Department over the carmaker's emission scandal. The judge in San Francisco doesn't give details about how much owners will be paid but said the compensation would be substantial. He said owners would also be given the option of having their cars fixed. Under the agreement, VW will also be required to commit funds to promoting green technology.
Venezuela is to introduce power cuts of four hours a day from next week. The outages will last for 40 days as the country struggles under a severe drought that has limited the output from its hydroelectric plants. It's the latest setback in the Venezuelan economy which has been hit by a sharp fall in the price of its main export oil. BBC news.
The UN special envoy for Syria says he ascertained that peace negotiations will continue next week. Staffan de Mistura dismissed as 'diplomatic posturing' the decision by Syria's main opposition representatives to leave the talks early. Members of the Higher Negotiation's Committee left Geneva in protest at intensified government airstrikes but Mr de Mistura urged all sides to renew the ceasefire and accelerate humanitarian aid.
The Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto has said he's sending a bill to the congress, proposing the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes and increasing the amount allowed for personal use. Mr Pena Nieto said marijuana use should be seen as a public health issue and users should not be considered criminals. The initiative proposals, the possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana for personal use, will not be considered a crime. This meas consumption will stop being criminalized. He had previously opposed efforts to liberalize drug laws but has fallen into lines with other countries in the region who have become disenchanted with the war on drugs.
The director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has suggested the agency paid more than 1 million dollars to hack into the cellphone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers. The FBI director James Comey said he did not reveal a precise amount paid to an unidentified third party for the software used to unlock the iPhone. Before it cracked the code itself, the FBI had launched a legal claim against the iPhone maker Apple to gain access to the device. Syed Farook and his wife shot and killed 14 people in San Bernardino in December.
More than 1000 beacons have been lit across Britain and other parts of the Commonwealth to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Queen Elizabeth. The Queen herself, the world's oldest monarch and Britain's longest-serving sovereign lit the first not far from Windsor Castle. Earlier, well-wishers handed presents, cards and flowers to the Queen when she left the castle to meet them. BBC news.