BBC news 2011-08-17

BBC News with David Austin

The Indian government has offered to free the veteran Indian anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare just hours after his arrest sparked a wave of protest across the country. Earlier, thousands of his followers were detained, mostly for a short time, around the country. From Delhi, Mark Dummett reports.

The Indian government has bowed to public pressure in ordering Anna Hazare's release, and hundreds of his supporters have gathered outside Delhi's Tihar jail to celebrate. But according to one of his close aides, the 74-year-old anti-corruption campaigner is refusing to leave and has gone on hunger strike. He says he won't move until the police can guarantee that his original protest is allowed to go ahead. Government ministers had earlier ruled that out because of the police's concerns over law and order.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy have proposed several measures to strengthen the euro and attempt to end the continuing debt crisis in the eurozone. They said they'd propose more political integration with the creation of a common economic government for the eurozone. Here's Andrew Walker.

The main theme from Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Sarkozy was a call for more integration in the economic management of the eurozone. There was a proposal for a new council of leaders with unspecified powers. They also want all euro-area countries to commit to balanced government budgets. In the financial markets, more integration is seen as part of the long-term solution, but they think common euro-area bonds, shared government debts and more resources for financial rescues would do more to ease the immediate crisis.

A British parliamentary committee investigating the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World says it may want to question Mr Murdoch's son James again in the light of new evidence. The group has published a letter from the paper's former royal correspondent Clive Goodman, who was jailed for hacking. One of the MPs on the committee, Therese Coffey, said the evidence opened up a new line of inquiry.

"There are(There's口误) very strong allegations made by Mr Goodman that hacking was discussed daily at editorial meetings. That's the first time that's been revealed publicly. And although of course Mr Goodman was sent to prison for certain things and will have to allow the police to do full inquiry on this, clearly opens up a brand-new line of questioning, which is why we've agreed to write to some people but also to call some people to the committee in September."

Officials in Afghanistan say that at least seven people have been killed in a bomb explosion in the south of the country. They say several others were injured by the blast at a market in the province of Uruzgan. The explosives, which are believed to have been hidden in a motorcycle, went off just as the sun was setting and people were breaking their fast for the month of Ramadan.

This is the World News coming to you from the BBC in London.

Ivory Coast has reopened the main prison in the city of Abidjan five months after it was closed following a mass prison break. The first 16 inmates were transferred from a military camp to the refurbished prison, which was built for 1,300 people. More than 5,000 inmates who were at the jail escaped at the end of Ivory Coast's civil war in March.

There are reports of continued fighting in the Libyan coastal town of Zawiya as forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi battle with the rebels for control of the strategic area 45km west of Tripoli, from where Matthew Price reports.

Both government and opposition sources claim they have control of Zawiya, which lies on the strategically important coastal highway connecting Tripoli to Tunisia. Government forces are said still to be in control of the town's oil refinery. Reports of gunfire and shelling have been emerging from the town all day. The government has admitted that it's lost control of the town of Gharyan to the south of the capital. It says it will reclaim it. It will need to if it is to win this war.

Reports from London say the owners of Manchester United football club have appointed the bank Credit Suisse to prepare a share offering in Singapore. It's thought that a stake of around 25% could be on offer. The American owners, the Glazer family, angered fans by borrowing heavily to buy the club in 2005, landing it with debts of about $800m. Correspondents say a floatation in Asia, where the club has a huge following, could go a long way to wiping out the debt. Credit Suisse has declined to comment.

The premier of the Canadian province of Quebec, Jean Charest, has laughed off a report on the website of a Montreal daily that he'd died of a heart attack. The report caused immediate consternation before it was discovered that it had been posted by a hacker. Mr Charest said the paper, Le Devoir, had often written him off, but never quite in this way.

Those are the latest stories from BBC News.