BBC news 2011-07-06

BBC News with David Austin

The British parliament is holding a rare emergency debate on Wednesday on the scandal engulfing the media group News International. One of its papers, the News of the World, is said to have paid for the hacking of the mobile phone of a murdered girl, Milly Dowler, while she was missing, an allegation that the paper's then editor Rebekah Brooks said she was appalled by. Naomi Grimley reports.

It's a sign of how serious the phone hacking scandal has become that the House of Commons will now debate the latest allegations. This is no longer about the privacy of a few celebrities or politicians. It's instead become a much bigger question about journalistic ethics. The latest claims suggest a private investigator acting for the News of the World hacked into the voicemails of the murdered schoolgirl while she was missing. In a separate case, the parents of two girls who were murdered by a paedophile have also been told that their voicemails may have been accessed.

An appeals court in the Netherlands has found the Dutch state responsible for the deaths of three Muslim men in Srebrenica in 1995 during the Bosnian conflict. Nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed. This report from Chris Morris.

The court ruled the Dutch UN troops should not have handed the three men over to the Bosnian Serb forces who killed them. "The state of the Netherlands," the judge said, "is responsible for their deaths." The role of the Netherlands and its troops has always been under scrutiny. It is 16 years ago next week that the Srebrenica massacre took place. And successive Dutch governments have always said they could not be held responsible; their troops were not given sufficient support by the United Nations. Now a Dutch court has taken issue with that argument and raised the prospect of multiple compensation cases.

Pakistan's Human Rights Commission has criticised the authorities in the southern city of Karachi for failing to stop multiple targeted killings. It says more than 1,000 people have been shot dead there since the start of this year. Here's Shahzeb Jillani.

The city, which generates nearly half of Pakistan's total revenue, is plagued by extortion rackets, mafia-run land-grabs and turf wars waged by armed groups fighting for their share of resources. But the commission's chairwoman Zohra Yusuf said the main reason why the violence was allowed to continue was political. She said that armed gangs who carry out planned killings with impunity operate with the backing of the city's main political parties.

The former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has taken over as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. She's the first woman to run it and was appointed following the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sex charges in May. Mrs Lagarde takes over at a time of formidable challenges with the IMF needing to make sure that the Greek debt crisis doesn't spread to other vulnerable economies.

World News from the BBC

Libyan rebels say they've succeeded in creating a defensive arc south and west of the city of Misrata by linking up two fronts. From Misrata, here's Gabriel Gatehouse.

Rebel commanders say that the fighting started in the early morning, and along the frontline, firing and shelling continued from both sides well into the afternoon. Anti-Gaddafi forces have been dug in here at the village of Dafniya, west along the coast from Misrata for more than six weeks. Now their commanders say their fighters have managed to link up with a second front to the south of Misrata, creating a defensive arc around the city's southwestern flank. The BBC was also shown a number of soldiers from Colonel Gaddafi's army who had been wounded and captured in the fighting.

The countdown has started for the final launch of an American space shuttle. Atlantis is due to blast off on Friday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, bound for the International Space Station. Its 12-day mission, the 135th, will bring to an end 30 years of shuttle flights.

Venezuela is celebrating its declaration of independence from Spain 200 years ago with a focus - a colourful parade along a ceremonial avenue in the capital Caracas. President Hugo Chavez, who returned on Monday from an extended absence in Cuba following emergency cancer surgery, made a live televised address from the presidential palace ahead of the parade, but he was not there to witness it in person.

One of the most famous American painters of his generation, Cy Twombly, has died at the age of 83. He'd been suffering from cancer for a number of years. Twombly was best known for his canvases that combined painting, drawing and calligraphic texts, many of them reflecting classical themes and motifs. After an early career in the United States, where he became part of an influential group of artists that included Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, Twombly worked in Europe from the late 1950s onwards.

That's the BBC News.