BBC news 2010-03-26

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BBC news 2010-03-26

BBC News with Kathy Clugston.

Relatives of children sexually abused by an American Roman Catholic priest have accused Pope Benedict of failing to act over the case during the 1990s. The New York Times says Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as he was known at the time failed to respond to letters in which the priest Lawrence Murphy was accused of molesting 200 pupils at school for deaf children between 1950 and 1974. Christ Ferrando reports.

These latest allegations suggest that the Vatican department led by the then Cardinal Ratzinger decided not to conduct church trial against Father Lawrence Murphy. This case highlights the current Pope's previous responsibilities in the church leading the Vatican department where such disciplinary cases were considered. The decision not to take action against Father Murphy, is seen as another example of the church’s desire to cover up such cases. A strategy with which Pope Benedict is now intimately associated. The Vatican has condemned Father Murphy for the abuse, but said the US civil authorities have dropped the case.

The leaders of France and Germany have agreed that the International Monetary Fund should be involved in providing a safety net for the debt burden Greek economy. The Franco-German plan was agreed at talks in Brussels ahead of European Union Summit and must to be approved by other eurozone countries. From there, ...

For the first time, the International Monetary Fund may be called in to rescue a country that uses the euro, a move which the French and others feared was undermining the single currency. To ease those fears, the deal makes clear that Germany and the rest of the eurozone would provide the lion’s share of a package estimated at around 29 billion dollars. But Chancellor Merkel insisted on tough conditions, Greece would only get help as a last resort if it can no longer borrow from financial market.

Alexander Lebedev, a Russian businessman and a former KGB officer has bought The Independent, one of Britain's leading national newspapers. Mr.Lebedev for already owns London's daily newspaper, the evening standard.Its editor Geordie Greig says Mr.Lebedev who financed the last remaining opposition paper in Russia Novaya Gazeta believes the independence of newspapers.

"These approved that in Russia with which is not an easy market to have a democratic free, independent thinking newspaper, ... with the standard where I can handle now ...
those been absolutely zero interference near the ... department."

The French authorities say they've resumed the search for the flight record of an air France jet that crashed off the coast of Brazil last June, killing all 228 people on board. Sweeps of the ocean in the month after the tragedy turned up some debris and studies of this material have now given experts a better idea of where to look.

World News from the BBC.

The head of a pro-opposition television station in Venezuela says he has been arrested over a criticism he's made about the government of President Hugo Chavez at an international forum. The Attorney General said members of Venezuela's Congress had called for Guillermo Zuloaga to be prosecuted for what they called offensive and disrespectful comments against the president.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern that the current political climate in Burma is unsuitable for credible elections. He was speaking after a meeting of a group of nations supporting the UN's efforts to promote democracy in Burma. Bob Replate has the details.

The meeting of 15 nations was held amidst growing unease that Burma's new election laws would not allow a vote that free in fair. One of the newly published election laws bans prisoners convicted of a crime from voting or running for office. This just qualifies the detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from taking part in the poll. Mr.Ban said he told Burma's military government that without full participation of political prisoners, especially Mrs. Suu Kyi, the election may not be regarded as credible.

A United Nations' report says that the rate of deforestation around the world has fallen in the past decade. Some of the improvement was due to the planting of new forests, particularly in China, India and Vietnam. But despite this positive news, the UN said the rate of deforestation remained alarmingly high in many countries.

An American built replica of the slave ship Amistad has arrived in the Cuban capital Havana as the centerpiece of  events commemorating the victims of the transatlantic slave trade. The replica of the 19 century Cuban ship flew the flags of the United Nations, Cuba and the United States in a symbolic active international friendship, but also to mark the countries’ shared history of slavery. The original Amistad whose name means friendship in Spanish, set sail for Havana in 1839, carrying a cargo of slaves from Sierra Leone.

BBC News.