BBC news 2011-07-18

BBC News with Iain Purdon

Britain's top police officer Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned, the latest casualty in the scandal over phone hacking and alleged corruption by journalists at Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group. Sir Paul said he was stepping down because of associations about the links between the police and Rupert Murdoch's News International media group. He denies any wrongdoing. Naomi Grimley reports.

Sir Paul Stephenson is just the latest high-profile casualty of this scandal. As commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, he was having to field difficult questions about his force's failure to uncover the true extent of wrongdoing at the News of the World. And he personally had been under pressure to explain his force's links with a public relations company run by a former journalist at the newspaper. In a statement announcing his resignation, Sir Paul defended his own conduct, but said he was going because the scandal was becoming a distraction.

Earlier, Rebekah Brooks, formerly one of Mr Murdoch's most senior executives, was arrested in London on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption.

Police in Afghanistan say a senior adviser to President Hamid Karzai has been killed in an attack on his home in the capital Kabul. The adviser, Jan Mohammad Khan, was a former provincial governor. Earlier, Afghan security forces took over control of security in the province of Bamiyan from Nato troops, the first transition of its kind. Sanjoy Majumder reports from Kabul.

The attack took place at eight o'clock local time in a western district of Kabul. Eyewitnesses say gunmen dressed in military uniforms attacked the home of Jan Mohammad Khan, a former provincial governor and key presidential aide. Mr Khan and a member of parliament were among those killed. Afghan security forces immediately surrounded the building and turned off power in an attempt to control the situation. The killing comes as a major setback to President Hamid Karzai, who lost his brother last week.

Doctors treating the former President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, have denied a claim by his lawyer that he's gone into a coma. Many opposition supporters are sceptical about reports that Mr Mubarak's health is deteriorating. They say Egypt's military rulers are trying to prevent his trial next month. Jon Leyne reports from Cairo.

It was Egyptian state TV that first carried the report from Hosni Mubarak's lawyer. The lawyer said that the health of the former president had deteriorated rapidly and he was now in a full coma. The report was swiftly denied by a number of doctors. Now his lead doctor has insisted Mr Mubarak is in a stable condition. The doctor said that Hosni Mubarak had merely become dizzy after suffering from low-blood pressure, but the condition was now being treated. The former Egyptian leader is already in hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh. He's due to go on trial on 3 August for corruption and ordering the killing of protesters.

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Reports from Syria suggest the armed forces have surrounded an eastern town after defections from the army. Video images from Bukamal, near the Iraqi border, show protesters mounted on army tanks, chanting "the people and army are one." Meanwhile, the security forces were reported to have raided houses and arrested dozens of dissidents in western Syria.

The man who launched a legal battle that led to the unearthing of treasure worth billions of dollars in the Indian state of Kerala has died. The huge treasure trove lay undetected for centuries before it was brought to light earlier this month. Sanjay Dasgupta reports.

TP Sundar Rajan was a retired police officer from the elite Indian Police Service. He was 70. It was Mr Sundar Rajan who started the legal campaign that ultimately led to the vaults of the 16th Century Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple being opened. Even in a society where fabulously rich religious trusts and temples aren't unheard of, the extent of the wealth surprised many. Gold, silver, jewellery and precious stones worth, according to some estimates, more than $20bn. The treasure came to light only after a prolonged court battle between the state government and a local aristocratic family. The former royal family of what was once the princely state of Travancore, who controlled the temple through a religious trust.

The former leader of Uruguay, Juan Maria Bordaberry, has died at his home where he was serving a 30-year sentence for crimes committed when he was in power. Mr Bordaberry was elected president in 1971. Two years later with the backing of the military, he suspended the Uruguayan constitution, outlawed political parties and ruled by decree till he was ousted in 1976.

The final of the women's football World Cup is taking place in the German city of Frankfurt with Japan taking on the favourites, the United States. Sixteen teams have taken part in the three-week-long tournament playing in nine cities in Germany.

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