In Brief: Italian premier to quit after losing support from Berlusconi's party
Italian Premier Mario Monti has told the country's president that he intends to resign since Silvio Berlusconi's party withdrew support for the year-old government of technocrats. Mr Monti intends to quit as soon as parliament passes critical budget legislation.
Mr Berlusconi announced hours earlier he is running to regain the premiership in elections in early 2013. "I am coming back out of a sense of responsibility," Berlusconi said. "I am running to win."
Mandela admitted for hospital tests
South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela was admitted to a military hospital yesterday for medical tests, though the nation's president told the public there was "no cause for alarm" over the 94-year-old icon's health.
Pakistan's head visits shot schoolgirl
The president of Pakistan has visited a 15-year-old schoolgirl who is being treated in hospital in Britain after being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. President Asif Ali Zardari also met with the father and brothers of Malala Yousafzai during a private meeting at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital yesterday.
Syrian rebels vote in unifying election
Syrian rebel commanders have elected a new 30-member leadership council and a chief of staff, a senior rebel said yesterday in a major step towards unifying the opposition that is fighting to oust President Bashar Assad. The Supreme Military Council will work with the political leadership that was chosen last month in Qatar.
Concern over Sri Lanka judge sacking
Sri Lanka's chief justice has been found guilty of three impeachment charges by a parliamentary panel in a case that has sparked opposition protests. The United States and the United Nations have raised concerns about the process and have called on the government to ensure the independence of the judiciary.
Three brothers die in Greek blaze
Three brothers have died after fire ravaged the home of their grandparents in northern Greece. The fire started from a wooden stove and quickly engulfed the house, and the roof collapsed on two of the boys, aged five and seven.
Their 15-year-old brother had tried to rescue them but he died of smoke inhalation, firefighters who rushed to the scene said.
Polls re-open after Ghana vote delays
Ghana's election officials said that 225 polling stations re-opened for a second day of voting because they had technical breakdowns on the first day. Christian Owusu-Parry, a spokesman for Ghana's electoral body, said less than one per cent of the total polling stations re-opened.
Software guru wants to return to US
Software guru John McAfee, 67, fighting deportation from Guatemala to Belize to face questions about the slaying of a neighbour, said he wants to return to the United States. "My goal is to get back to America as soon as possible," he said.
Pledge to supply 4,000 troops in Congo
Southern African nations pledged to provide 4,000 troops for a neutral force to be deployed in eastern Congo where rebels have waged an eight-month-long rebellion, the South African Development Community said.
Gay-rights soldiers marry partners
Two retired military women who fought for the rights of gays in the military were among the hundreds of couples who received their marriage licenses this week as Washington state's voter-approved law allowing same-sex marriage took effect. Former Air Force flight nurse Maj Margaret Witt, of Spokane, and retired nurse Army Col Grethe Cammermeyer, of Whidbey Island, were first in line on Thursday in their home counties to receive their licenses with their partners.
Legendary jazz club to close its doors
The Lenox Lounge, a cabaret in NYC's Harlem with a supercool, art deco style that made it a favourite of jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, is closing its doors on New Year's Eve. Owner Alvin Reed says that with rents rising, he can no longer afford the lease on the jazz landmark. It opened in 1942.