Iraq bombs kill 20
Attacks across Iraq killed at least 20 people yesterday, officials said, as bombs targeted police officers and civilians.
In the capital's New Baghdad neighbourhood, a car bomb killed three civilians and wounded 10, a police officer said. Another officer said a car bomb in Baghdad's Sadr City neighbourhood killed one person and wounded 11. In the suburb of Radwaniyah, a bomb killed three civilians and wounded 10. In Tarmiyah, a bomb killed two and wounded five.
IRAN SANCTIONS PLEDGE
French President Francois Hollande has assured Israel that France would continue to oppose an easing of economic sanctions against Iran until it was convinced Tehran had ended a pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Mr Hollande's pledge could help underpin a campaign by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convince Israel's main ally, the US, and other leading powers to toughen terms of a proposed nuclear deal with Iran ahead of negotiations reconvening this week in Geneva.
NEW MALDIVES LEADER
The brother of the Maldives' former dictator has been sworn in as president. Abdulla Yameen, whose half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom ruled the Indian Ocean nation for 30 years, won 51.4pc of the vote. He beat Mohamed Nasheed, the former president forced to resign last year by a revolt.
The victory marked the end of a drawn-out and bitter contest, which was delayed twice after Mr Nasheed won the first round in September but failed to secure the 50pc required for outright victory.
ROGUE ASTHMA GENE
A rogue gene has been discovered that could be a direct cause of severe asthma in young children. The gene, CDHR3, is especially active in epithelial cells lining the inner surfaces of the airways.
Scientists suspect mutant versions of CDHR3 may cause abnormalities in the airway cell lining, leading to an allergic response to environmental triggers.
BEGBIE SHOWS SOFT SIDE
'Trainspotting' author Irvine Welsh is revealing an unexpected soft side to one of his most infamous characters.
Psychotic hardman Francis Begbie, it turns out, has moved on from the violence of the 1993 book by being rehabilitated through art and falling in love. Welsh has written an exclusive short story featuring the character. The new chapter will be played out in 'The Big Issue' and other street papers around the world to help tens of thousands of homeless people at Christmas.