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BBC News with Nick Kelly.

Less than six months before a general election in Britain, the governing Labour Party is embroiled again in internal strife. Two former cabinet ministers have called for secret ballot of members to decide whether the Prime Minister Gordon Brown should continue as party leader. Mr Brown has called a general election by June this year. Our political correspondent Rob Watson reports.

The two former cabinet ministers Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt had stunned everyone at Westminster with their last-minute efforts to challenge Gordon Brown's leadership. But Downing Street and Labour Party officials have moved quickly to quash any revolts. Most importantly, current cabinet ministers have come out and backed the prime minister, albeit in some cases with little apparent enthusiasm. So the latest challenge looks likely to be short lift. Although many within the Labour Party doubt Mr Brown's leadership qualities, they also seem to think it would only make things worse to get rid of him before the general election.

A grand jury in the American city of Detroit has formally charged the Nigerian man in connection with an alleged attempt to blow up an American airliner on Christmas Day. Among the six charges filed against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab are attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Richard Lister reports from Washington.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been indicted on six counts including the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and the attempted murder of the 278 other passengers and 11 crew aboard the plane. Northwest Flight 253 had taken off from Amsterdam. And it was about 20 minutes from landing at Detroit on December 25th, when it's alleged the young Nigerian tried to detonate bomb he had concealed in his underwear.

Shia Muslim rebels in Yemen have said the West's strategy to counter Al-Qaeda there almost certainly failed unless it is changed. The rebels,who oppose Al-Qaeda, said the plans to strengthen the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh against Jihadi organizations wouldn't work because its government had itself nurtured such groups. Yemeni officials denied this.

In Argentina, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has called on the Central Bank governor Martin Redrado to resign after he refused to allow the bank's reserves be used to repay government debt. Here is our economics correspondent Andrew Walker.

Argentina's government finance is stretched and President Fernandez wants to dip into Central Bank's reserves to ease the debt burden. The Central Bank governor has resisted and the president has called for his resignation. The Central Bank governor's reluctance to comply probably reflects the fact that \ Central Bank's reserves are usually meant for stabilizing the value of the national currency. Using Central Bank funds to finance government activities is also widely seen by economists as a policy that can cause inflation. AndArgentina has a long history of serious inflation problems.

World News from the BBC

The outgoing United Nations special representative to Afghanistan Kai Eide has delivered a strongly word at a very negative assessment of the situation in Afghanistan to the UN Security Council. From the UN headquarters in New York, our correspondent Matthew Price reports.

Almost a decade now into United Nations' mission in Afghanistan and there is a growing acknowledgement that things are a mass. The UN special representative there didn't use that word of course, but Kai Eide's assessment paints a bleak picture indeed. He is worried about certain negative trends which he fears could become unmanageable. Afghans are frustrated with the situation, he says, so to international donors. And like many,he worries that the insurgency is growing stronger.

A leading Democratic Party member of United States Senate Christopher Dodd says he won't be standing for re-election this year, a senator for over 30 years. Mr Dodd has faced questions about his links with the financial industry. His decision to stand down clears the way for another leading Democrat Richard Blumenthal to run for the seat.

French police were investigating reports that passengers on an Air France Flight from Tokyo to Paris had nearly 6,000 dollars stolen from their wallets. The thief is alleged to have struck while the victims all in business class were asleep. Police briefly searched the plane on landing but failed to make any arrests. Air France said such events almost unheard of, but stressed that passengers were responsible for their own carry-on belongings.

And as a row intensifies about a huge statue being built in the Senegalese capital Dakar, an architect involved in the project has said the woman featured in the monument should be dressed more decently. The architect said he'd submitted a proposal to President Abdoulaye Wade to cover the woman's bare-legs with a concrete skirt. The 27-million-dollar statue has been denounced as idolatrous by Muslim leaders.

And that's the latest BBC News.