BBC news 2011-08-12

BBC News with David Austin

The British Prime Minister David Cameron has told parliament that riots and looting of the kind that spread across England in the last week will not be tolerated. He blamed a culture in which children were not taught right from wrong rather than poverty. Rob Watson reports.

The prime minister said the whole country had been shocked by events and that the government would not put up with such violence. He promised tough action against youth gangs and others involved in the violence, which he blamed on a culture of irresponsibility rather than spending cuts or the economic downturn.

"The young people stealing flatscreen televisions and burning shops - that was not about politics or protest; it was about theft."

Parliament united in condemning the rioting, but there was criticism of police tactics and government plans to cut public spending and the numbers of police officers.

The French market regulator has warned it'll investigate and punish what it called the spreading of unfounded rumours, which have been blamed by some for big fluctuations in the value of French bank shares. Concerns about US debt have caused wild swings on the stock market in the US. Today it was up sharply. Here's our business reporter Duncan Bartlett.

After several weeks of extreme volatility, Thursday saw another dramatic session on Wall Street with investors pushing the Dow Jones up more than 500 points. That made up for its huge loss of yesterday but not for the ground it's lost since America's sovereign debt rating was downgraded at the weekend. President Obama has acknowledged that the wild swings on the market are challenging the US economy. He also warned that Europe's debt problems were "lapping up on our shores". Shares in Europe were up earlier despite continued concern about the spreading debt crisis.

The Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti has told parliament that government costs are to be cut, state companies privatised and taxes raised on savings. The measures will be part of a programme to satisfy the European Central Bank that Italy is controlling its debts.

The governing body of world football, Fifa, has announced it's investigating 16 Caribbean Football Union officials over allegations of attempted bribery that involve the former presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam. Mr Bin Hammam was banned from football for life in July after he was found guilty of trying to buy votes in the Fifa presidential election. From Switzerland, Imogen Foulkes.

Among others, officials from Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are implicated. They are alleged to have been offered envelopes containing $40,000 in cash in return for backing Fifa presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam, and then to have denied any attempted bribery took place. Fifa says all 16 will be invited for fresh interviews, and it does not rule out further disciplinary action in the future.

Imogen Foulkes reporting

World News from the BBC

Opposition activists and residents say Syrian security forces have killed at least 12 civilians, mainly in a town in the province of Homs, as the authorities continue to try to stop protests against President Assad's rule. Communications and electricity in the town of Kassir are reported to be cut off, and security forces are carrying out mass arrests. Elsewhere in Syria, there are reports that the army has gained control of the city of Deir al-Zour, close to the border with Iraq.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast says 26 people have been killed in the past month, mainly by armed groups loyal to President Alassane Ouattara, who assumed office in April. The killings took place in the south and west of the country, where some groups remain loyal to the former President Laurent Gbagbo. The UN says a small number of the killings were carried out by pro-Gbagbo militia groups.

The International Maritime Bureau says piracy has become more common off the West African state of Benin with 15 attacks in the first half of this year. The head of the bureau, Captain Pottengal Mukundan, explained how the pirates operated.

"The vessels are taken over by armed pirates and then forced to sail to an unknown destination, where the cargo is discharged into a smaller tanker, and then the vessel is brought back and released. In some cases, two or three crew members have been kidnapped and are taken ashore and held until a ransom is paid."

Captain Pottengal Mukundan

High waves heading for the coast of Ecuador have triggered an alert for the whole of the country's coastline. Officials warned people not to fish, whale watch, bathe or practise water sports while the alert was in place. Forecasters said the waves, which are caused by high winds, are heading north from Chile and could batter the coastline from Thursday evening for up to three days.

And those are the latest stories from BBC News.