Hello, I am Jerry Smit with the BBC News. A tense standoff is continuing at a cafe in an affluent suburb of Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, where gunmen are holding about 20 hostages. First reports say several of them are Italian. At least two police officers have been killed and thirty others have been injured. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility. The cafe was attacked in the evening by about eight young men who exploded bombs and opened fire on diners. Rashila Rahim lives next to the building. I heard police shouting with a loudspeaker, asking them to come out. Maybe they were talking to the militants. After that we heard lots of sound from the police operation. When I tried to leave, my driver said 'Don't go out. They are shooting. Stay inside'. Next I heard a loud noise in my living room, and the glass of my living room shattered. My daughter and myself started crying. It was terrifying. We've just been hearing continuous gunshots, continuous gunshots. It's too much.
The BBC's Akbar Hussain is near the restaurant in Dhaka.Police they are now trying to negotiate with the attackers because they think this is the best way to deal with the situation. Senior police officials, they are now saying if they go for all-out operation against the Islamic militants, this will aggravate the situation farther because this will not bring any positive result there because the attackers from inside, they are sending messages with them: If anyone tries to cross the border line then they will kill all of the people who are being hostages inside.
The US government has given an official estimate to the number of civilians killed by American drone strikes since President Obama came to power. It puts the figure at between 64 and 116. Gary O'Donoghue reports. These figures do not include countries such as Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. They focus on places such as the tribal areas in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, where the US has targeted terrorist groups and individuals. Officials say that almost 500 strikes took place in these areas between 2009 and the end of 2015, killing around 2,500 combatants. At the same time the figures were released, the White House said the president had signed an executive order requiring the numbers to be published each year, something that could be reversed by a future administration.
The Australian mining giant BHP Billiton says it will fight a decision by the Brazilian Supreme Court to suspend a settlement for damages imposed after a dam burst at an iron ore mine. Prosecutors say the settlement is too lenient. The chemical-laden waste water flooded the Doce river valley in November last year, flattening two towns; 19 people were killed. BHP and the Brazilian company Vale agreed to pay around $2billion in March to clean up about 600kms of river. But prosecutors say the real cost will be three times as much. BBC News.
The polls have opened in Australia's federal election. The current Conservative Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull has promised tax cuts for big business to improve job prospects. The opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten wants to raise business taxes to fund more schools and hospitals. Phil Mercer reports. Politics in Australia is a volatile business. There have been four prime ministers in the past 3.5 years. Voters simply want stability at a time when a long mining boom continues to fade and because of the global uncertainty caused by Britain's decision to leave the European Union. Both the center-right Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull and the Labor Party opposition leader Bill Shorten insist they have the safe hands Australia needs. It is though expected that record numbers of voters will support minor parties or independent candidates.
The authorities in the West African state of Guinea-Bissau have confirmed they've identified the first three cases of Zika virus. An emergency committee has been set up to deal with the situation. Zika is currently spreading through the Caribbean and South America.