-A suicide bombing in a Damascus neighborhood killed nine people, Syrian state media said today. It was the second bomb blast of the day to rock the Syrian capital.The deadly attack came as a two-week-old peace deal continued to unravel.
-Police have arrested the man believed to be at the center of a security alert that closed a major shopping street in central London, a police spokesman said. No hostages have been identified, police said.
-The spiraling conflict between the Sudans has exacerbated issues for tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees who are desperate for water and facing the threat of fatal diseases, an international aid organization says.
-Four bombs have exploded at short intervals in the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk in what authorities said amounted to an “act of terrorism”, wounding 27 people, including nine children. President Viktor Yanukovich said today’s blasts, from bombs planted in rubbish bins, represented “a challenge … to the whole country”.
-New figures show that Spanish unemployment has hit record levels, with nearly one quarter of the labour force unable to find work. The news was announced hours after the country’s credit rating was cut two notches to “BBB ” by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.
-Three men have been arrested in the Danish capital on suspicion of plotting a “terror act”, Denmark‘s intelligence services have said. Intelligence officials said police found the three men in possession of automatic firearms and ammunition.
–Romania‘s government collapsed today a censure motion filed by the opposition won approval in Parliament. It is the second time this year a Romanian government has crashed.
-The widows of Osama bin Laden and a number of his children have arrived in Saudi Arabia after being deported from Pakistan. The country’s interior ministry, which was responsible for the family since their arrest last year, said that it had “passed orders for the deportation of 14 members of OBL family in pursuance of … Court orders”.
-Fast-food giant KFC has been ordered to pay $8.3m (£5.1m) to the family of an Australian girl left severely brain damaged after being poisoned by a chicken meal. Monika Samaan fell ill with salmonella poisoning after eating a “Twister” wrap at a KFC restaurant near Sydney in 2005.The poisoning left her wheelchair-bound and unable to speak.
-Images have emerged showing alleged injuries inflicted on former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in prison last week. Ukraine’s opposition says three men punched her in the stomach, but the authorities have denied the allegation. In October, Ms Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years for abuse of office in a trial condemned by the West as politically motivated.
-A judge in the Netherlands has upheld a new law to ban foreign tourists from entering cannabis cafes. While soft drugs are tolerated, there is growing concern at tourists visiting just for drugs, and foreign dealers selling illegally at home. The ban is due to start in three southern provinces next month, and go nationwide by the end of the year.
Sources: BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Reuters, euronews, NYT, WSJ