BBC World News 2012-10-23

BBC News with Stewart Macintosh

A court in Italy has jailed six scientists and a government official for underestimating the risk of the biggest quake of a few days before once struck central Italy in 2009 killing more than 300people. But the experts who were each sentenced to six years argued that was impossible to be definitive. Alan Johnston reports.

The prosecution maintained that after many minor of tremors around L'Aquila, the scientists have failed to away the risks properly. Instead they made reassuring statements that gave local people a dangerous for a sense of security. The defendants, on the other hand argued that the earthquakes simply couldn't be predicted. And some in the scientific community have warned that this case might set a damaging precedent deterring experts from sharing their knowledge with the public for fear of being targeted in lawsuits.

The two presidential candidates in the United States argue to meet later for their third and final televise debate. It will happen in Florida and will focus on foreign policy. Paul Adams has more.

Traditionally, foreign policy does not decide the outcome of American elections. This year with the economy still slowly recovering, most voters are firmly focused on issues close to home. But since recent waves of anti-American violence in the Middle East, including the killing of ambassador Christopher Stevens in the Libyan city of Benghazi, foreign policy has inserted itself into the later stages of this campaign. The Republican challenger Mitt Romney has sought undermine Mr. Obama's credentials as a strong leader on the world stage, arguing the president handling over the events in the Middle East has been inconsistent and weak.

The Russian state energy giant Rosneft has agreed an agreement to buy up the private owned joint energy venture TNK-BPwhich will make Rosneft the largest publicly-traded oil firm in the world. From Moscow Steve Rosenberg reports.

BP has agreed to sale its half of TNK-BP to Rosneft for more than $70bn in cash. They will also receive Rosneft shares given it near 20% stake in the Russian oil giant as well as two seats on Rosneft's border directors. BP maintains that the deal will deliver the value to shareholders. In Moscow, President Putin welcomed the news, the agreement, he said, would benefit not only the Russian energy market but the whole of the Russian economy.

The editor of the BBC's flagship television current affairs programmed News night has to step aside while an investigation is carried out into why he decided not to put on the air a reporting to child sex allegations. The allegations were against the late BBC's television and radio personality Jimmy Savile. A BBC's statement said the editor, Peter Rippon had given an inaccurate and incomplete of explanation of his decision not to run the program. The police are investigating allegations against Jimmy Savile over several decades.

 World News from the BBC

Three British men have gone on trial in London accused of plotting a series of bombings across the country, they deny all the charges. Prosecutors told the jury the men were at a heart of what was described as a home-grown terror cell planning to carry out suicide attacks on the biggest scale then those which killed 50 people in London in 2005.

The authorities in Benin have arrested three people over an alleged attempt to poison the President Thomas Yayi Boni. Prosecutors say the President's personal doctor Ibrahim Mama Cisse and one of the president's nieces Zouberath Kora-Seke were arrested on Sunday. The status of the third man is not clear. Some reports say he is a former capital minister A BBC correspondent in Cotonou says suspicion was aroused when the president started vomiting.

The governing body of World Cycling has announced that it's stripping the American rider Lance Armstrong of what his titles and banning him for life. The International Cycling Union said it had accepted the findings of the US Anti-Doping Agency which accused Armstrong of leading the most sophisticated doping program ever seen in sport. However the head of the Union Pat McQuaid said the sport would recover.

This is not the first time the cycling has reached a crossroads or that it has had to begin anew and to engage in the painful process of confronting its past. It will do so again with renewed vigor and purpose and its stakeholders and fans can be assured that it will find a new path forward.

The oldest known survivor of the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz Antoni Dobrowolski has died at the age of 108. A spokesman at the Auschwitz state museum said Mr Dobrowolski who was from Poland passed away in a Polish town of Debno. Until he's arrested by the Gestapo - secret police in 1942, he continued to teach Polish in secret in defense of his country's German occupiers.

BBC News.