英国石油公司(BP)宣布，已和俄罗斯国营企业俄罗斯石油工业公司 (Rosneft) 达成换股结盟协议，BP将以5%股份交换Rosneft的9.5%股权，双方将共同开发俄罗斯北极海的石油和天然气资源，并在俄国成立北极科技中心。兼任Rosneft总裁的俄罗斯副总理塞钦表示，这项交易价值80亿美元，BP执行长杜德利则强调，结盟协议代表未来非常庞大的利益，将共同开发世界上仅存的未开发区域。这是去年墨西哥湾漏油事故以来，BP最主要的一项交易，也是杜德利去年10月接任执行长以来的一大成绩。
BBC News with David Legge.
The Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has been forced from power after a month of protests over unemployment and high food prices. The announcement was made on state TV by the prime minister Mohammed Ghannouchi, who said he was now assuming power. He said that Mr Ben Ali was temporarily unable to exercise his duties.
"And I promise, throughout the period in which I assume this responsibility, to respect the law and to carry out the political, economic and social reforms that have been announced." It’s still not clear where the former Tunisian president is, but he’s left the country. A government spokesman in Malta said that the plane believed to be carrying Mr Ben Ali had earlier requested to fly over the country’s airspace. Wyre Davies has been following the day’s events in Tunis.
At the end of a dramatic day here in Tunisia, President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled with his family, no longer able to hold back the growing tide of public discontent and anger with his regime. Thousands of protesters had earlier descended on the hated Ministry of Interior in Tunis, the symbol, for many, of a corrupt and discredited government. The protesters have paid a heavy price. Overnight, several people were killed or injured in clashes with the army and police. More than 60 have died in nationwide protests in recent weeks. But tonight they ignored the curfew to celebrate in the streets.
The events in Tunisia are being watched closely by countries throughout North Africa and the Arab World, as Jon Leyne reports from Cairo.
As news of President Ben Ali’s departure emerged, Egyptian state television moved quickly to live coverage. They’ve been watching events unfold, so far with no comment. Countries across the region have also been suffering from the spiraling food prices and tough economic conditions that were the immediate spark for events in Tunisia. And like Tunisia, most have only the thinnest veer of democracy and little way for the people to express their frustration. But so far, there’ve been only limited protests elsewhere-none at all reported from Egypt, some demonstrations in Algeria which ended when the government gave a reassurance over food price subsidies.
At least 60 pilgrims have been killed in a stampede after a religious festival in the southern Indian state of Kerala. A state minister said 75 others have been treated for injuries. The pilgrims were returning from the Hindu shrine of Sabarimala. Ailsa Auchnie reports.
A police officer in the state of Kerala told the Associated Press news agency that the stampede began when a jeep filled with pilgrims lost control and smashed into a crowd of other worshippers. They’d been returning from offering prayers at a shrine in a remote mountainous, densely forested area. Hundreds of thousands of people had gathered at the shrine for an annual Hindu religious festival.
World News from the BBC.
Continuing heavy rain is slowing down rescue work in southeastern Brazil, where flooding and landslides have killed more than 500 people. In one of the worst hit towns, helicopters were grounded, making it difficult to reach hillside neighbourhoods. The governor of Rio de Janeiro State said there was a threat of more rain over the next two days.
The international oil company BP is to link up with Rosneft, the Russian state-run energy giant. The agreement will allow BP to drill for oil and gas in areas under the Arctic Sea that until now have not been explored. BP’s chief executive was in Moscow on Friday for talks with the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin. Daniel Sanford reports from Moscow.
At the meeting in his country residence outside Moscow, Vladimir Putin said he welcomed what could be a very lucrative deal for Russia and for the two oil companies BP and Rosneft. It’s an agreement to exploit undersea reserves in the Arctic Shelf off the north coast of Siberia in particular, in the South Kara Sea. Geologists say there could be some 5 billion tons of oil and 10 trillion cubic metres of natural gas there.
Fourteen people have been killed in Mexico in a shootout between the security forces and suspected gang members. Officials say around 100 soldiers, marines and police had surrounded a house in Xalapa in the eastern state of Veracruz, which, it was thought, was being used as a safehouse by a gang. The occupants opened fire, and a 6-hour gunbattle followed.
The founder of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia has been speaking of his ambitions for the website ten years after it was set up. Wikipedia is now available in 270 languages, covers 17 million topics, and is read by hundreds of millions of people around the world. But the man behind the site, Jimmy Wales, says he expects its future growth to come from emerging nations like India and Brazil.