Protester killed in new Bangladesh crimes clashes

Bangladeshi police on Friday shot dead a protester in fresh clashes with thousands of supporters of the nation's biggest Islamic party angered by the ongoing war crimes trials of their leaders.

Obama to face Syria scrutiny in Jordan

A day after challenging Israelis to embrace peace with Palestinians, US President Barack Obama Friday will face scrutiny over his strategy on Syria during an overnight stay in Jordan.

Australian police smash Asian drug ring

Australian police said Friday they had smashed a crime syndicate operating across Asia, leading to 27 arrests and the seizure of drugs and assets worth millions of dollars.

S. Korea rows back on China link to cyber attack

South Korea said Friday that an IP address identified as a source of a major cyber attack this week was not based in China as originally believed.

Stalking an invisible enemy in Mali's mountains

In the furnace of the Ifoghas mountains, a purgatory of dust and sharp black rock straddling the Mali-Algeria border, soldiers hunt down a ghost-like enemy, invisible but ever present.

Italy set for decision on new government

Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano said he will hand out a mandate for the formation of a new government on Friday in a bid to break a deadlock created by elections last month, but the identity of the possible prime minister is still a mystery.

Japan air purifier sales surge amid China smog warning

Japan logged a huge surge in air purifier sales last month, as Tokyo warned that smog was blowing into its territory from China, which is grappling with an air pollution crisis.

Palestinians invoke civil rights on Obama tour

Palestinians sour at Barack Obama's perceived failure to honour their historical struggle have invoked the US civil rights movement and South Africa's apartheid in a bid to win his sympathy.

UN seeks to end toilet 'taboo

The United Nations launched a campaign Friday to lift a deadly taboo on talking about toilets and to turn the world into an "open defecation-free zone."

Two jailed over Philippine coup after spurning pardon

Two former Philippine soldiers who took part in a failed coup in 2003 were sentenced on Friday to long prison terms, officials said, after both spurned President Benigno Aquino's offer of pardon.

Cyprus MPs study bailout 'Plan B' as meltdown looms

Cyprus is scrambling to overhaul its banking sector to avoid financial meltdown, after the European Central Bank threatened to pull the plug on emergency funding for the island's lenders.

Cyprus parliament delays debate on bailout plan

An emergency session of the Cyprus parliament to race through a raft of bills aimed at raising billions of euros to secure an international bailout was delayed on Friday, local media said.

Cyprus' Sarris leaves Russia without deal

Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris left Moscow on Friday after two days of talks aimed at securing a financial lifeline from Russia without reaching an agreement.

Three Marines reported dead at US base shooting

A US Marine shot and killed two colleagues before apparently turning the gun on himself at a military base in Virginia, US media reported early on Friday.

Apple, Microsoft defend Australian pricing at inquiry

Technology giants including Apple and Microsoft on Friday defended their pricing policy in Australia at an official inquiry launched over concerns that they were overcharging customers.

50,000 leap in child smoking: report

Around 207,000 children aged 11 to 15 took up smoking in 2011, a rise of 50,000 on the previous year, Cancer Research UK figures released on Friday showed.

More weather misery forecast

The Met Office has predicted more unseasonable weather with heavy snowfall and rainfall expected across the country on Friday and over the weekend.

Motorbike bomb kills six in Pakistan

A bomb planted on a motorbike killed six people and wounded another 15 on Friday in a crowded Pakistani market in troubled southwestern province Baluchistan, police said.

BP says to return $8 bn to shareholders

British energy giant BP on Friday said it would return up to $8.0 billion (6.2 billion euros) to company shareholders by repurchasing shares, a day after completing the sale of its stake in a Russian joint-venture.

'Richest' China village sends off chief in high style

Residents of China's "richest village" bid farewell on Friday to the man who made Huaxi a socialist paradise, with a 20-vehicle funeral procession transporting his coffin and a helicopter flying overhead.

Court lifts media ban on Delhi gang-rape trial

An Indian court overturned a gag order on Friday that prevented media access to the trial of four men charged over the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi last December, lawyers said.

South China prepares for more storms after 24 die

Southern China was warned Friday to prepare for more heavy rain and hailstorms after 24 people died when severe weather lashed five provinces, including a "super-tornado" in one city and egg-sized hailstones.

Sri Lanka state media slams UN panel after rights vote

Sri Lankan state media called Friday for the dismantling of the UN human rights chief's office after Colombo was angered by a resolution calling for a probe into alleged war crimes in the island.

Klinsmann faces "must win" in 2014 W.Cup qualifier

US coach Jurgen Klinsmann dubbed Friday's World Cup 2014 home qualifying match against Costa Rica a "must-win" a term which might apply to his future as coach as well as to the team's hopes of qualifying.

Women in white march to defend Algeria tradition

Covered from head to toe in white, their faces partly masked by embroidered triangular cloths, Algerian women marched through the capital Thursday to defend their traditional Islamic dress.

Divorce just as much a hurdle as marriage for US gays

It's hard enough for same-sex couples to marry in the United States, but divorce is a headache as well, and one that supporters of gay marriage hope the US Supreme Court can resolve.

Bodies in streets of riot-hit Myanmar town

Charred bodies lay unclaimed on the streets of a riot-hit town in central Myanmar, witnesses said Friday, as global pressure mounted for an end to the Buddhist-Muslim unrest.

Australian PM seeks to rebuild after vote farce

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard set about rebuilding her Labor party's tainted image on Friday after a botched leadership coup as a slew of ministers who supported rival Kevin Rudd quit.

France's Sarkozy charged in probe of illegal party funding

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged with taking financial advantage of France's richest woman, as part of a probe into illegal party funding that could shatter his hopes of a political comeback.

Congress OKs stopgap, broader budget battle begins

American lawmakers averted a feared government shutdown by approving a stopgap spending bill, but heated debate over future federal spending took shape as they clashed over budget plans.

Ton-up Fulton puts N.Z. in control in England Test

A maiden century from opening batsman Peter Fulton put New Zealand on track for a big first innings total on day one of the third and deciding Test against England at Eden Park on Friday.

Putin welcomes China's Xi for landmark talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's new leader Xi Jinping are to hold landmark talks Friday in the hope of further cementing the two countries' partnership with a range of strategic agreements.

US officials say China 'cooperative' on N.Korea sanctions

US officials involved in enforcing international sanctions against North Korea expressed optimism on Friday that China was willing to cooperate to disrupt financing for Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.

Singapore denies being haven for Malaysian tax cheats

Singapore on Friday strongly rejected a whistleblower's allegation that its banks facilitate massive tax evasion by a powerful family in neighbouring Malaysia's Sarawak state.

Murder trial Italian marines on way back to Delhi

Two Italian marines flew back to India on Friday to face murder charges, after Rome dramatically reversed a decision that they would not return which had triggered a diplomatic firestorm.

Australia PM seeks to rebuild party image after vote farce

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Friday set about rebuilding her Labor party's shattered image after a botched leadership coup dealt a huge blow to its already slim election prospects.

'Force India' driver Sutil hopes problems in the past

Adrian Sutil said he hoped his problems were in the past after he recovered from a year in the Formula One wilderness following an assault conviction to lead a race for the first time.

Mountaineer who helped Hillary conquer Everest dies

New Zealander George Lowe, the last surviving climber from the expedition led by Sir Edmund Hillary that conquered Everest in 1953, has died aged 89.

Webber leads Malaysian Grand Prix practice

Red Bull's Mark Webber led the first free practice session at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday with championship leader Kimi Raikkonen snapping at his heels.

Murder charge Italian marines on way to Delhi: India

Two Italian marines charged with murder in India are on their way back to New Delhi after the government in Rome agreed they should return to face trial, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

Mobs roam streets of riot-hit Myanmar town

Angry mobs took to the streets of a riot-hit Myanmar town for a third day on Friday, as international pressure mounted for an end to communal unrest that has left 10 people reported dead.

Ellen DeGeneres happy to 'kiss the ground' Down Under

US talk show star Ellen DeGeneres arrived in Australia on Friday, declaring she was happy enough to "kiss the ground" as she began a six-day visit officials are hoping will help boost tourism.

N. Korea video depicts invasion of South, US hostages

North Korea posted a new propaganda video Friday, showing paratroopers descending on Seoul in an invasion scenario that envisages taking around 150,000 US residents in South Korea hostage.

Japan deputy PM to visit China next month

Japan will send Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso to China next month in what would be the first high-level meeting of the Asian powers' new governments amid diplomatic tensions, a report said on Friday.

World Cup hopefuls stay focused before showdown

With just over a year to go until the World Cup, some of Europe's leading nations are hoping to take a major step towards sealing their places in the finals in Brazil in a busy week of qualifying.

Glimmers of hope for Strachan's Scotland - Maloney

Shaun Maloney revealed he is relishing life under new Scotland manager Gordon Strachan as the squad prepare for their World Cup qualifier against Wales.

Letters reveal tensions in Thatcher gov't over Falklands War

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher faced opposition from within her own government over the Falklands War, with one MP warning her "it'll make Suez look like common sense".

'Richest' China village bids farewell to chief

Residents of China's "richest village" bid farewell on Friday to the man who made them wealthy by transforming the rural settlement of Huaxi into a socialist paradise.

New Zealand on top in third England Test

Opening batsman Peter Fulton was closing on on his maiden Test century as New Zealand took control on day one of the third and final Test against England at Eden Park on Friday.

S.Korea's defence minister nominee resigns

In a fresh blow to South Korea's new president, Park Geun-Hye, her nominee for defence minister stepped down on Friday at a time of elevated military tensions with North Korea.