BBC news 2011-08-13

BBC News with David Austin

At the end of a volatile week on global stock exchanges, shares in Europe and the United States have ended the day higher. European bank shares halted their slide after regulators in France, Italy, Belgium and Spain temporarily banned some short selling, a practice that allows traders to profit by gambling that a stock price will fall. But as Theo Leggett reports, it's unlikely to be the end of the matter.

After several days of turmoil, share markets in Europe have closed on a high note, having recovered much of the ground lost earlier in the week. But while that may have calmed the nerves of traders, the turbulence on the markets has merely been a reflection of wider concerns about the economic situation in Europe and the United States. Those concerns remain with renewed fears that European banks could lose the confidence of investors and struggle to fund themselves now taking centre stage. If that were to happen, Europe could face a new banking crisis. Against that backdrop, analysts say the markets are likely to remain unsettled for some time.

The Italian cabinet has approved an austerity plan to improve public finances and reduce the nation's budget deficit. Twenty billion euros will be cut from government spending next year, and another 25 billion in 2013. The plan set out a wide range of measures including what is termed a "solidarity tax" on high earners. Regional and local authorities will also receive less funding from Rome.

Police in Britain say that more than 1,600 people have been arrested in connection with the riots and looting in England over the past week. They say about 800 suspects have already appeared before court and that almost a fifth of those charged have been under the age of 18. Earlier, the British Home Secretary Theresa May toured a warehouse in north London destroyed by rioting, where she announced there will be more police officers on the streets for some time to come in affected areas.

"We will be sustaining the numbers for a period of time. We've had some quieter nights. We are not complacent about that. We will sustain the numbers. The police will maintain their tough arrest policy, their presence on the streets."

Theresa May

A court in Pakistan has sentenced a paramilitary soldier to death for fatally shooting an unarmed man in the southern city of Karachi two months ago. Five other paramilitaries were sentenced to life imprisonment. The incident sparked a public outcry when video footage surfaced showing the paramilitaries shooting the young man at point-blank range in a public park. Shoaib Hasan reports from Karachi.

The special terrorism court judge read out his verdict to a packed audience. He said that evidence conclusively proved the case against the accused. All of them had denied the charges. Their lawyers had argued the men were just carrying out their duties. Salik Shah, brother of the victim Sarfaraz Shah, was present at the time of the verdict. Expressing his satisfaction with it, he said he and his family now felt relieved. He also said he hoped the higher courts would uphold the sentence.

Shoaib Hasan reporting

World News from the BBC

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged other countries to "get on the right side of history", as she put it, by cutting ties with the government in Syria. Mrs Clinton said President Bashar al-Assad could be isolated by a concerted international effort involving an end to arms sales to Syria and sanctions on the purchase of Syrian oil and gas. In Syria itself, there's been further bloodshed. Reports say at least 10 people have been killed by the security forces in a number of locations. Jim Muir is monitoring developments from Beirut.

Another Friday in nearly five months into the uprising, and again people came out onto the streets after midday prayers to chant slogans calling for President Assad and his regime to go. Activists said that security forces opened fire in a number of places. The highest casualties reported were in Duma, a suburb of Damascus, where a woman and a 16-year-old were named among those who died. Despite all the killings and arrests, the protesters are still braving the dangers to keep the uprising alive even in the areas where defiance has been repeatedly and ruthlessly suppressed.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been out on the streets of towns and cities across Yemen as part of the continuing campaign for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. Supporters of the president also turned out in force.

A serial killer in the United States who hid the remains of 11 women in his home and garden has been condemned to death. Watched by dozens of relatives of victims, the judge in Ohio dismissed defence arguments that Anthony Sowell had a troubled childhood and mental health issues that mitigated his actions.

A Brazilian judge known for her work against organised crime has been shot dead in Rio de Janeiro state. Judge Patricia Acioli was gunned down outside her home in the city of Niteroi by masked men travelling on two motorbikes. She was best known for convicting members of vigilante gangs with links to corrupt police officers. Brazil's Supreme Court has condemned her killing.

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