BBC news with Lopaco Tary.

President Barak Obama has called on the government of Iran to halt what he desCRIbed as the violent and unjust action against those opposing the results of the recent elections. The president, using his most forceful language so far in the present CRIsis, said the Iranian government must understand that the world was watching. John Donaldson reports from Washington.

The president’s statement comes after the CRIticism from some quarters here, saying Mr. Obama has not been out-spoken enough, both in his support of the protesters and his condemnation of the Iranian government. Driven on by Republicans, both Houses of Congress overwhelmingly passed the resolution this week, strongly condemning the actions of Iranian government, putting pressure on the president to do the same. But Mr. Obama is treading a fine line. He doesn’t want to be seen to be interfering, something which could stir up anti-America sentiment within Iran and work against the protesters.

The main opposition challenger in the disputed presidential election, Mir-housein Mousavi has urged his supporters to continue their protests, but stressed that they should be peaceful. In a message on his website, Mir-housein Mousavi said he didn’t want anyone to put their lives in danger, but stressed that they had a constitutional right to demonstrate. He said he would stay with the people to the end. He also insisted the election result must be annulled.

Forensic tests are being carried out to identify the remains of the two bodies which have been handed over to British diplomats in Iraq. Scientists were also trying to establish how and when they were killed. Earlier, the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the government’s thought with the families of the five men who were kidnapped in Bagdad two years ago. He also called for the immediate and safe release of all remaining hostages in Iraq. Our security correspondent, Frank Gardner reports.

Almost everyone involved in trying to resolve Britain’s longest running hostage crisis for a generation is in shock. Only a few days ago, they thought that most, if not all, of the five British hostages in Iraq were alive and will eventually be released, but later on Friday night, the Iraqi authorities delivered the remains of two bodies to British embassy in Bagdad. Together with that, they believe they belong to two of the Britains kidnapped by Shiite militia in 2007. It’s still not known how, when or where the men died.

More than 60 people have been killed and 200 others injured in a truck bomb attack in Iraq, the deadliest for more than a year. The blast occurred near the northern city of Kirkuk. * William reports.

The bomb went off in a busy market area shortly after the midday prayers. Many of the casualties were worshippers who have been living a Shiite mosque run by the minority Turkmen community. Witnesses said the blast badly damaged the mosque and destroyed several mud-brick buildings nearby, burying people in the debris. The attack was in an oil-rich part in Iraq, but Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen are competing for power.

BBC news.

Ethiopia has said it won’t provide military support requested by neighboring Somalia unless there is an international mandate for such an intervention. A spokesman for Ethiopian government also said the international community, not just Somalia neighbors, should assist its transitional government in its fight against Islamist insurgents. Earlier, the speaker of the Somalia parliament called on neighboring countries to send troops.

The southern African regional organization SADCC has called on the political rivals in Madagascar to commit themselves to peaceful negotiations. At the end of a special summit in South Africa held three months after Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana was ousted, SADCC urged all sides to refrain from violence.

The arctic island of Greenland is assuming self-rule on Sunday in the latest step towards independence from Denmark. The move follows a referendum on greater autonomy in November. Shawn Fanny reports.

Greenland’s 57,000 people now gain greater control over the territory’s future. Self-rule means a bigger proportion of profits from the mineral resources, precious stones, oil and gas stays at home, though Denmark still get some. Those mineral resources becoming easier to get out as the ice-sheet melt. Greenlandic, an Eskimo-based language becomes the official idiom. Greenlanders are recognized as a distinct people and the territory takes on responsibility for police and justice. But Denmark will still determine foreign defense and monetary policy.

The American tobacco firm Philip Morris has agreed to pay the Colombia government 200 million dollars annually for a 20-year period as part of an out-of-court tax evasion settlement. The firm said that it recognized that its business practices have been the object of serious criticism in Colombia. Philip Morris is accused along with British America Tobacco as having support activities in Colombia of tobacco smugglers.

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