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BBC News with Julie Candler

Violent confrontations have again broken out on the streets of Turkey’s main city Istanbul on the fourth day of anti-government protests. Police have used tear gas and water cannon against the protesters who were trying to march on the prime minister’s office. The BBC’s Paul Mason is in Istanbul.

Once you get beyond the masks and the goggles and the hoodies, you do find a lot ofprofessional people—doctors, teachers, students, educated people are out there. So it’s got that mix of what you might call the urban middle class and elements of the urban poor. But what unites them all is their opposition to, first of all, Prime Minister Erdogan’s, they would see it as, you know, autocratic and arbitrary decisions about things, but there is a creeping worry about what they see as the Islamisation of society.

The American Secretary of State John Kerry has warned that Syria is at risk of total implosion. He said the US wanted to help bring peace and stop the Syrian state from fragmenting.

"This is a very difficult process, which we come to late. We are trying to prevent the sectarianviolence from dragging Syria down into a complete and total implosion, where it has broken up into enclaves and the institutions of the state have been destroyed with God knows how many additional refugees and how many innocent people killed.”

At the trial of Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of passing secret documents to the WikiLeaks website, prosecutors say they will present evidence that Osama bin Laden asked for and received information he passed on. But Manning’s lawyer described his client as young andnaive and said he had good intentions. Paul Adams reports from Fort Meade in Maryland.

This long-awaited trial is finally under way more than three years after Bradley Manning’sarrest. He’s already pleaded guilty to leaking hundreds of thousands of military anddiplomatic documents which could land him in jail for 20 years. But the government accuses him of the far more serious charge of aiding America’s enemies, which carries a possible lifesentence. Bradley Manning’s supporters, some of them outside this military base today, regard him as a brave whistle-blower and his trial as an assault on freedom of speech in America. To the government and other sections of the public, he is a traitor who deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

German media say floodwaters in the south-eastern town of Passau have now reached a level not seen since the 16th century. With much of the town inaccessible on foot, residents have been evacuated by boat. Inmates at a prison in danger of being flooded have also been moved. The German army has been drafted in to help reinforce the country’s flood defences. Two months of rainfall has fallen across the region in a few days. In the Czech capital Prague, the Charles Bridge, normally packed with tourists, has been closed as well as schools.

World News from the BBC

The relatives of workers who died in a fire at a poultry processing plant in China have gathered outside the factory to demand a quick investigation into the cause of the blaze. At least 119 people died in the fire in Jilin province. Many of those who escaped said the exits had been locked or blocked. This employee told reporters what happened to him.

"It was so fast. We first saw a flash, then a big banging noise. We knew it was bad, so then we all ran. We didn’t know what happened. We didn’t know it’s an explosion.”

The International Criminal Court has announced that the Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto will go on trial for crimes against humanity in September. It has also recommended that parts of the trial should be held in Kenya or Tanzania. Anna Holligan reports from The Hague.

Though the decision is yet to be approved, it is a huge blow to the prosecution that has fought to force the suspects to face justice in The Hague. The news comes after weeks ofpressure applied from other African states and even the African Union to drop the charges against Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy in the interest, they say, of peace and progress. All deny charges of fuelling and funding the 2007 post-election violence, in which more than 1,000 people lost their lives.

A new study has found that more than a third of marriages in the United States began with online dating. The survey also concluded that such couples were more likely to stay together than those who met through other means. The couples who said they had met their spouses online tended to be between 30 and 49 years old and from higher income brackets. Thepsychologist who led the research said the results suggested online dating and the internet might be altering the dynamics and outcome of marriage itself.

BBC News


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