the Context


49 members of a Sicilian Mafia syndicate are jailed in Italy in what the government describes as a landmark case.


BBC staff's expenses claims are revealed to include candles, flowers, champagne and a hamper.

The heads of BBC radio and TV stations and senior corporation management figures used public money to pay for flowers, champagne, hampers for stars and "thank you" lunches and dinners.


22 prominent figures, including Poland's Lech Wałęsa and the Czech Republic's Václav Havel, warn in an open letter to the Barack Obama administration against developing closer ties with Russia.

In an open letter to the Obama administration Thursday, America’s Eastern European allies voiced deep concern over improved relations between Russia and the United States.


At least 14 people, including 11 Serbian tourists, are killed and at least 10 tourists are injured in a bus collision with a lorry on a road near Port Safaga, Egypt.

Fourteen people, including 11 Serb tourists, were killed in Egypt Thursday when their tour bus crashed, a security source said.

Iranian President

Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani holds Friday prayers in Tehran and calls for the release of political prisoners from the election protests.

Suicide attacks on two hotels

Bombings at the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia, kill at least nine people and injure at least 50 others.

National Portrait Gallery

An argument between the National Portrait Gallery and online encyclopedia Wikipedia over use of images escalates.

World Bank

The World Bank approves a US$76 million loan for Mozambique.


Ghana is set to receive a US$600 million three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Ghana will receive around$1.1 billion in resources from the International Monetary Fund,as the country tries to reduce its widening budget deficit, asenior IMF official said on Thursday.

Ruslan Balayev

Ruslan Balayev, Ingushetia's minister for sport, is shot dead in his car.

A senior official in the volatile Russian province of Ingushetia was shot dead today, police said, in the latest high-profile…

Hong Kong

Hong Kong appoints a new chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

South Africa

Two journalists from South Africa and the United Kingdom are due in court after being allegedly attacked and then arrested while filming seal hunters in Namibia.


Brazil complains of 64 containers with over 1,400 tonnes of British used condoms, syringes and rotting nappies located in three of the country's ports.

Republic of Ireland

Irish President Mary McAleese announces her intention to convene a meeting of the Council of State on 22 July.

President Mary McAleese is to convene a meeting of the Council of State next Wednesday at which the constitutionality of both…


A second person dies from the collapse of a stage being built in Marseille for Madonna's forthcoming tour to France.


Pope Benedict XVI slips in the bath in his mountain chalet and is treated for a fractured wrist in Aosta, Italy.

Pope Benedict slipped in the bath today and broke his wrist but aides said there was no cause for concern about the 82-year-old…

Timothy Kirkhope

Timothy Kirkhope MEP defends alleged homophobic remarks made by European Conservatives and Reformists' leader Michał Kamiński in a television interview.


Footage of FARC leader Jorge Briceño saying he financed Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa's 2006 campaign is broadcast on Colombian television.