BBC News with Iain Purdon.
Euro zone finance ministers have granted Greece aconditional 4-month extension of its internationalbailout. Speaking after crisis talks in Brussels, thepresident of the Euro group Jeroen Dijsselbloem saidGreece had pledged to honor all its debts in a timely manner and not to pursue any unilateralmatters that might affect the budget targets. Lucy Williamson has more.
This is a very complicated arrangement. The 4-month deal were shorter than the Greeks hadasked for. They had asked for 6 months so there was compromise there and also it’s not beenrubberstamped yet. We were told today that the Greek government would have to provide a listof reforms by Monday for the institutions of the member countries to have a look at. And if all iswell if they are happy with that list of performs then it gets rubber stamped and sent to theNatioanal Parliament all before of course the end of the week when that existing agreementwould finish.
The Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said the deal had proved his government was rightto resist austerity. "We averted the view that the country that is heavily indebted ending theprogram can not possibly claim that elections can change something. We stood upright fromthe beginning of negotiations to the very end."
The president of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced that a nation-wide curfewimposed last year to combat the Ebola outbreak would be lifted on Sunday. Thomas Fessyreports.
Recent figures show that the transmission of the deadly virus is seriously declining in thecountry. It is now recording just a handful of new cases every week. Schools slowly began tore-open earlier this week 6 months after they were closed to try to curb the epidemic.American soldiers have started to go home. Only one hundred of them will remain in the countrydown from 3,000. Together with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have pledged to achieve zeroebola infections within next 2 months.
The Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has accused a senior Russian official of directingforeign sniper groups who shot and killed protesters during the uprising in Kiev exactly a yearago. The accusation came as Ukrainians gathered to mark the first anniversary of the uprisingin which over 100 people died. David Stern reports.
The proceedings on Kiev’s Maidan Square were both an anniversary and commemorationceremony. A symphony orchestra played Mozart’s requiem and the city’s churches rangtheir bells for 20 minutes. Petro Poroshenko ,Ukraine’s president, said the Maidan clashes werethe beginning of a battle against what he called Russian aggression. Earlier in the day, he saida top advisor to Russian president Vladimir Putin directed snipers who fired on the activists.
World News from the BBC.
United Nations investigators are considering publishing the names of an estimated 200individuals suspected of committing war crimes in Syria in what would be a radical change ofpolicy.The UN’s independent commission of inquiry said there had been an exponential risein atrocities. It said not naming suspects would reinforce the impunity of alleged war criminals.
A man who was racially abused by a group of Chelsea football fans in Paris and prevented fromboarding an underground train says he felt humiliated by the incident. Speaking to the BBC,the man, Souleymane S who is of Mauritanian descent says he couldn’t believe what havehappened and felt deeply wounded. The manager of Chelsea football club Jose Mourinho hasapologized.
The Italian fashion giant Benetton has announced to pay compensation into a UN backedfund for victims of the Rana plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013. More than 1100people were killed and two and a half thousand more injured. Charles Haviland reports.
Benetton is one of 29 international brands that source their clothes from the fore factories ofthe Rana plaza. Until now, it’s paid some compensation but through its own channels. Now it’sagreed to go through the main trust fund as some others have already done. The campaigningwebsite Avaaz set up a petition 9 days ago urging Benetton to compensate. It says that byattracting over a million signatures, it prompted Benetton’s announcement. A labor rightactivist XXX told the BBC he was glad the Italian company would be giving money and has yetundisclosed some. But he said it should have happened much earlier.
Health officials in India are struggling to contain an outbreak of swine flu after the number ofcases doubled within a week. More than 11 thousand people have the disease and it’s killed over700 since mid-December.