-Salva Kiir, the South Sudanese president, has said his northern neighbour Sudan has “declared war” on his country, as fighter jets from the north reportedly launched more strikes overnight in a border region.
–Nicolas Sarkozy renewed his bid to convince National Front voters to back him in the second-round of the French presidential election.
-Elections are now a strong possibility, as early as June after Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is in the spotlight when his party PVV refused to endorse deep austerity measures in the Netherlands, causing the government to collapse yesterday.
–Greece‘s central bank governor warned the country’s politicians that any deviation from strict austerity targets after May 6 general elections would risk forcing the country out of the 17-member euro currency bloc, even as the central bank signaled that the economy would contract by a worse-than-expected 5% this year.
–Egypt‘s ruling military has approved a law that bans top Hosni Mubarak-era officials from running for the presidency. The ruling excludes his last prime minister and further depleting a field reduced by the disqualifications of other front-runners.
–Israel has approved three settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said in a statement.The three outposts over which the decision was made are Bruchin, Rechalim and Sansana.
-Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Necas will call for a confidence vote in parliament on Friday amid fears another EU government is about to fall.The decision comes after a split in the ruling coalition over a corruption scandal and the extent of the country’s austerity measures.
–Russians say they have stopped an oil spill at the Trebs field in the Arctic.It is one of Russia’s most important oil production sites.
–James Murdoch has blamed subordinates for keeping him in the dark about illegal behaviour when he ran his father Rupert’s UK newspaper empire, and said he didn’t closely read its now-defunct tabloid the News of the World.
–Google bosses and Avatar director James Cameron have teamed up to form a company that will mine natural resources from asteroids.
Sources: BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Reuters, euronews, NYT, WSJ