–India has test launched its first long-range intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of reaching deep into China and as far as Europe, with a scientist at the launch describing the mission as successful.
-A series of deadly blasts has struck a number of Iraqi cities, killing at least 23 people and injuring many more, police say. Explosions were reported in the capital, Baghdad, and in Baquba, Kirkuk, Samarra, Dibis and Taji.
–Spain will pay dearly for longer-term debt today when it auctions a 10-year bond for only the second time this year to markets spooked by fears it will miss deficit targets and fail to restart growth.
–Syria‘s foreign minister has pledged to respect UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan and to co-operate with a UN team sent to monitor a fragile ceasefire between government forces and opposition fighters.
-Prosecutors in Oslo have begun cross-examining Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in two attacks last July, on the fourth day of his trial. Today’s session is expected to focus on Breivik’s bombing of a government building in which eight people died.
-French President Nicolas Sarkozy has lost ground to his Socialist Party challenger François Hollande days before the first round of voting in the presidential election, a poll showed yesterday.
-The 2012 presidential election is more than six months away and democratic President Barack Obama is a slight favorite now, but as tightening poll numbers suggest, his lead over Republican Mitt Romney is tenuous.
-Spain’s King Juan Carlos I has apologised for going elephant hunting in Botswana while his country was being sucked back into the eurozone’s financial crisis. The king, 74, who suffers from osteoarthritis, hobbled out of Madrid’s San Jose hospital yesterday after he underwent treatment for a broken hip.
-A Canadian man has been arrested, accused of coercing a 12-year-old girl to perform sex acts online by pretending to be pop star Justin Bieber.
-The funeral of Italian footballer Piermario Morosini is to be held in his hometown of Bergamo. The 25-year-old Livorno player collapsed and died during a second division match on Saturday. More than 20,000 fans are expected to watch the funeral on giant screens that have been set up near the church.
-The government of Bahrain cannot guarantee the safety of Formula One teams and spectators at this Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix as violence escalates in the Gulf kingdom, according to the British former police officer who is working on security at the track.
Sources: BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Reuters, euronews, NYT, WSJ