BBC news 2011-09-20

BBC News with Marion Marshall

President Obama has outlined his plan for cutting America's huge budget deficit, saying that corporations and the wealthiest citizens must pay higher taxes. Speaking at the White House, Mr Obama said it was wrong that someone earning only $50,000 a year should pay the same rate of tax as a person who earned $50m. He said the pain of reducing the deficit had to be evenly spread.

"I will not support any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans, and I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share. We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable."

Republican opponents have described Mr Obama's plan as "class warfare" and say they'll oppose any tax increases.

The Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has taken part in a two-hour emergency conference call with international lenders as Greece comes under further pressure to avoid defaulting on its debt repayments. The auditors from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund have been assessing the Greek government's deficit reduction plan. They are deciding whether to release more money to bail out the Greek economy. Officials say further talks will be held on Tuesday. More from our Europe editor Gavin Hewitt in Athens.

The Greek government knows that without further financial aid, it will run out of cash by mid-October; it also knows that no more bailout money will come its way unless it lives up to its promises and reduces its budget deficit to 7.6%. It has raised taxes and cut spending, but staffing in the public sector has not been reduced; tax collection is a shambles, and its privatisation programme has barely started. The question is whether Greece has reached a tipping point where further austerity will be resisted, whatever the consequences for the country.

Libyan fighters loyal to the country's interim government say they've captured key parts of the southern city of Sabha from forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi. A spokesman for the National Transitional Council, Ahmed Bani, told a news conference in Tripoli that the council's forces had captured the airport as well as a fort in Sabha.

"Our forces there in the airport and the Libyan canal since two hours ago. Our flags are waving there over the airport and another part of Sabha, we call it the castle Fort Elena, traditional Fort Elena the castle."

At least 27 people have been killed in the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, in escalating violence between opponents of President Saleh and forces loyal to him. A journalist in Sanaa told the BBC that protesters were caught in artillery clashes between defecting soldiers and Mr Saleh's supporters. He said he'd seen several bodies and many wounded people at a makeshift hospital at a mosque.

World News from the BBC

Gunmen in Burundi have shot dead at least 36 people in an attack on a bar. Survivors said dozens of men armed with automatic weapons and grenades entered the bar close to the capital Bujumbura. President Pierre Nkurunziza declared three days of mourning during a visit to the scene near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

State television in Iran says the authorities have arrested six people suspected of working for the BBC Persian service. The authorities allege that they were paid to film secret reports in Iran. The BBC said no one in Iran worked for the Persian service and that the arrested people were independent film-makers. The arrests came a day after the Persian service broadcast a documentary about Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Residents of the largest illegal traveller settlement in Britain have won a last-minute court injunction, delaying their planned eviction. Bailiffs had already arrived at the Dale Farm site in southern England, which is home to more than 400 Irish travellers. Jeremy Cooke reports.

It was supposed to be the day when years of legal wrangling and courtroom battles came to an end when the eviction process at the illegal Dale Farm traveller site began. But even as dozens of security guards, bailiffs and police officers gathered at the scene, a last-gasp High Court hearing granted an injunction which effectively blocks the eviction from proceeding until Friday at the earliest. There have been cheers inside the barricaded site as travellers and their supporters celebrate their victory, however short-lived it may prove to be.

More than 30 prisoners have broken out of three jails in Mexico. The breakouts in the eastern state of Veracruz happened almost simultaneously. Prisoners overpowered the guards in the early hours of the morning and forced them to open the doors. Mexican officials said 14 of the fugitives have already been recaptured. Soldiers are hunting for the remaining 18.

BBC News.