BBC news 2013-09-18

BBC News with Neil Nunes

The Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has called off a state visit to the United States next month over allegations of espionage. Wyle Davies reports from Rio de Janeiro.

Recent revelations based on documents leaked by the former intelligence specialist Edward Snowden alleged that the US national security agency had intercepted emails and messages from the Brazilian President to her aides and political colleagues. After subsequent revelations also suggested the state oil company Petrobras had been spied upon too. The President came under increasing pressure to call off her forthcoming state visit to Washington.

The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have held an initial meeting to discuss a draft resolution on Syria. It aims to formalize an agreement reached by the US and Russia on dismantling Syria's chemical weapons. But divisions remain on whether the resolution should threaten military action as Daniel Sanford report from Moscow.

The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius came here seeking a powerful United Nations Security Council resolution that threatens serious consequence if Syria did not stick to its promise to destroy its chemical weapons. Laurent Fabius said yesterday's UN report left no doubt that the Syrian government was responsible for August’s chemical weapons attack that the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov immediately disagreed. He said he still had serious grounds to believe it was an active provocation by the rebels.

Austrian special forces have stormed the farmhouse of a suspected poacher who had barricaded himself inside after killing three policemen and a paramedic. A helicopter with a heat-seeking camera was scanning the house for signs of life. The report said there had been no contact with the suspected gunman since a single shot ran out, the suspect had been stopped to roadblock set up to catch poachers.

The US Navy has ordered a review of security at all its basis after a gunman opened fire inside a naval complex on Monday killing 12 people. Questions have arisen about how Aaron Alexis, a former US Navy Reserves with the history of mental illness was allowed to work at the Navy yard. Investigators are so trying to determine his motive for trying as they put it to shoot as many people as possible. From Washington David Willis.

The Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced review of security at US military installations around the world, this following a move by the Navy secretary to look into the security of naval and marine installations here in the United States. Clearly, there is a feeling here that something has to be done about that and then, of course, there is the whole question of firearms and whether the law should be tightened as President Obama has called for in the past.

World News from the BBC

About 40,000 tourists remain stranded in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco following three days of intense wind and rain brought by tropical storm Manuel. The airport was affected by power cuts and highways leading to the city on Mexico's western coast were flooded. There were further devastation on the eastern Gulf coast which was hit by hurricane Ingrid on Monday, dozens of people have been killed across the country, most of them in the city of Acapulco.

In the United States, a huge, airlift operation is underway days after flashfloods hit the state of Coronado, hundreds of people have been rescued, but hundreds more are still thought to be missing. At least eight people have been killed. Alastair Leithead reports.

In parts of Coronado, doubled the annual rainfall fell in just few days. As the forecast is finally improving, the extent to damage is becoming clearer. The biggest civilian airlift operation since Hurricane Katrina has already rescued hundreds of people from their homes. Days after the flashfloods first struck, sweeping away roads and cutting off communities. Some people are still stranded as a vast area was affected along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains and rain has hampered rescue efforts.

Police in Zanzibar have arrested 15 people in connection with recent acid attacks. The police commissioner said some of the suspects had linked to the Somali Islamist group al-Shabab. Last week, a Roman Catholic priest was attacked in the face with acid, it followed a similar attack in August on two young British women.

The son of the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has resigned as chairman of the country's state oil company. Robert Sirleaf also stepped down from his role as a senior advisor to his mother. He said he had completed his job but there had been widespread allegations of nepotism after the President gave three of her sons senior government positions.

BBC World News