BBC news 2011-10-05

BBC News with David Austin

On the first day of a visit of the Afghan President Hamid Karzai to India, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said they've agreed a strategic partnership between the two countries. Mr Singh said his discussions with Mr Karzai were another example of the strong and broad-based partnership between India and Afghanistan. Our South Asia editor Shahzeb Jillani reports.

The strategic partnership signed by India and Afghanistan is being seen as a major step in deepening their friendly ties. India is already one of Afghanistan's biggest donors, investing in roads, hospitals and energy projects. But under the new partnership, it's believed India would take on a greater role in helping train the Afghan national police. This latest security dimension to their ties is unlikely to go well in Islamabad, which is deeply suspicious of Delhi's growing presence in Afghanistan.

The Islamic militant group al-Shabab says it carried out a suicide bombing in the Somali capital Mogadishu, which killed at least 70 people and injured 90 more. It's the deadliest single attack in the group's five-year history and one of the worst seen in Somalia in 20 years of civil war. A truck packed with explosives blew up near the Ministry of Higher Education, close to the centre of Mogadishu.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has expressed anger at the news that the Tibetan spiritual leader, the ** Lama, was calling off a visit to South Africa because he did not expect to get a visa. Archbishop Tutu had invited him to his 80th birthday celebrations. Archbishop Tutu accused the ANC government of behaving as badly as the apartheid system it had fought in the 1980s.

"People believe that we South Africans would automatically be on the side of those who are being oppressed. Tibet is being oppressed. Our government, representing me, says it will not support Tibetans who are being oppressed viciously by the Chinese."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The government in Tokyo has announced that the Japanese whaling fleet will return to the Antarctic this year. The fisheries minister said it'll be protected by escort vessels. Our environment correspondent Richard Black reports.

The last time Japanese whaling ships went to the Antarctic earlier this year, they were driven out by boats of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The choice for next time was either to send a stronger fleet or to withdraw. With the national budget drained by March's earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster, many observers thought withdrawal was the likely option. It was openly discussed by government advisers. Sea Shepherd has pledged to be there too. This was the closest Japan has come in 25 years to ending its Antarctic whaling programme.

Richard Black reporting

World News from the BBC

Shares in the electronics giant Apple fell by almost 5% within minutes of the eagerly anticipated launch of the company's latest smartphone. Analysts say investors and Apple fans had expected the new iPhone 4S to be a more radical improvement over its predecessor. The launch in California was the first product presentation led by Apple's new chief operating officer Tim Cook, who took over from the firm's ailing co-founder Steve Jobs, who's credited with driving much of Apple's innovation.

Forces of the transitional government in Libya have used tanks to pound the centre of the city of Sirte, the hometown of the fugitive Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. His supporters have been putting up stiff resistance for weeks. Residents have continued to flee the city, and humanitarian agencies say a full-scale assault would put many lives at risk.

This year's Nobel prize for physics has been won by American and Australian scientists for discovering that the universe is expanding faster than previously thought. The Nobel Committee said the team's findings came as a complete surprise, as one of the winners, Professor Brian Schmidt explains.

"The fact that we were getting an answer that was exactly the opposite of speeding up and that the universe should not be speeding up was pretty perplexing, and so it was a very bit of trepidation that we ended up telling our group and then eventually telling the world that we have this crazy result: the universe seems to be speeding up."

The British Home Secretary Theresa May has found herself at the centre of a row after saying an illegal immigrant had avoided deportation because he had a pet cat. Mrs May said immigration rules needed to be changed to prevent criminals from using the European human rights convention to stay in the country by saying they had rights to family life. But the justice secretary disputed her claim, and the court involved in the case said the decision to allow the man to stay was taken because of his relationship with a British citizen.

Those are the latest stories from BBC News.