BBC World News 2012-09-24

BBC news with Nick Kelly.

The Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan have began direct talks aimed at resolving differences that took them to the brink of war earlier this year. South Sudan became independent from Sudan last year following a peace deal that ended decades of civil war. James Copnall reports from Addis Ababa.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir told state media he hopes for a celebration after meeting Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir. Negotiating teams say they made progress on several of the outstanding issues before the heads of state arrive, but several blockages remain. The topics on the table included demilitarized buffer zone, exact location of the border, oil and the disputed region of Abyei. The aim of the summit is to agree a comprehensive solution to all these difficult issues. This may not be possible, but both countries are under pressure come up with some thoughts of agreement. The UN has threatened sanctions and the deal would help the economies of both countries.

The Libyan army has issued a 48-hour deadline for all unauthorized armed militias to vacate state properties. Officials say one militia has already been dislodged from the complex on the road to the airport in the capital Tripoli. But BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says the government will find it hard to disband the many militias that emerged in last year's conflict.

It's not a matter of militias being opposed to the government. It's much of militias and brigades that don't feel they need to take orders from the government even though they support them on some level. They all want to control their own little patches whether it's small towns or cities. And the lack of a proper state authority structure allows them to grow in authority where they will rule.

At a rare meeting in Damascus, Syrian opposition parties inside the country have urged the overthrow of President al-Assad through peaceful struggle. The parties under the umbrella of the national body for democratic change have largely been sidelined by the opposition outside Syria for supporting a negotiated settlement to the conflict.


World news from the BBC.

At least nine climbers have been killed in an avalanche on the Mount Manaslu in northern Nepal. The French union of mountain guide said four of those who died were French. Earlier report said seven French were killed. The bodies of a Nepalese guide and a German man had been recovered. Rescue efforts have now been called off because of poor weather. The climbers were inside a camp when the avalanche hit earlier on Sunday. Mount Manaslu is the world's 8th highest peak.

People in Belarus have been voting to elect a new Parliament. The two main opposition parties boycott the election, saying it would't be free and fair under President Alexander Lukashenko who has governed since 1994. The opposition leader Stanislau Shushkevich says he thinks the election results have been decided in advance.

The counting will be done by those people who know in advance what results they should return, and they will ensure that this happens. There are no democratically minded people at any level of the election commission, nor are there any representatives of opposition parties which comprise only 1% of all the candidates able to stand for a election. This is a joke.

A human rights group in Honduras says a prominent lawyer who represented peasants in disputes with large land owners has been shot dead at a wedding in the capital Tegucigalpa. Reports say the lawyer Antonia Trejo was killed by unknown gunmen after walking outside the church to answer a mobile phone call.

And the former England football captain John Terry has announced his retirement from international competition. Terry said his position with the national team had become untenable because of the football association's decision to pursue disciplinary charges against him over accusations of racism. Earlier this year, a British court cleared Terry of racially abusing the footballer Anton Ferdinand. The football association's hearing into the matter is due to begin in the next few days.

BBC news.