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Fry to replace Ross at Baftas

Stephen Fry will replace Jonathan Ross as host of the Bafta awards next year.

The star, who hosted the event from 2001 to 2006 when he was succeeded by Ross, said he had "a marvellous time" during his first stint at the event.

The ceremony is the UK's biggest film bash of the year and is often a pointer for success at the Oscars.

Ross said he had "thoroughly enjoyed" hosting the award and wished Fry all the best.

The ceremony will be broadcast on February 12 on BBC One.

Prison guard is

caught asleep

A prison guard monitoring an inmate at one of Britain's most secure jails was caught sleeping by inspectors.

The officer at Belmarsh prison in south-east London appeared to be asleep while supposedly supervising a visit for an unnamed prisoner in the jail's high security unit in April, the inspectors' report said.

The jail houses "some of the most high-risk prisoners in the system, including terrorists and killers".

Iraqi gunmen

kill 22 pilgrims

Gunmen who forced their way on to a bus murdered 22 Shiite pilgrims as they travelled through western Iraq's remote desert on a trip to a holy shrine.

The gang stopped the bus at a fake security checkpoint and told all the women to get off. The gunmen then drove the bus a few miles off the main road, where they shot the male pilgrims, from the city of Karbala, one by one.

Shiite pilgrims have been a favourite target for Sunni insurgents.


for US soldiers

The new commander in charge of training and providing US Army soldiers for wars says troops heading to Afghanistan will be spread thinner and learn to perform a wider range of missions.

General David Rodriguez, who took over as head of US Army Forces Command yesterday, says the Army cannot afford to tailor forces for specific types of combat so they will have to be trained to adapt to any enemy, anywhere.