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BBC news with David Auston.
Street fighting as reported to have begun in a Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane as Islamic State fighters entered the Eastern district after a three-week siege. Hours after two IS flags were hoisted on the edge of the town, Syrian activists and local reports said that urban guerrilla warfare had started. Civilians crowded onto trucks and ambulances carried wounded fighters. Paul Admas reports.
"At the end of a long day of constant gunfire, we approach Kobane across an open field, the city lay spread-out before us, smoke drifting across the rooftops, and occasional thunderous explosion reverberating across the valley. On a low hill on the very edge of the city, I saw several Islamic State fighters climbing up to a flagpole where there a black banner now fluttered. One of two went up on the east edge of the city this morning marking the group’s entry into Kobane after a three-week siege. Street fighting has now begun, the Kurdish defenders say they relish the challenge, but feels like the beginning of the end."
A nurse in Spain has become the first person known to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus outside West Africa. The nurse treated two missionaries who died of Ebola after being flown home from the region. One of the men died in August, the other priest died in September. The nurse is now being treated in a specialized unit in Madrid where her condition is described as stable. The Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato made the announcement.
“This afternoon we have identified a case of Ebola in a patient in our country. Both health ministry and public health authorities are working together to give the best care to the patient and to guarantee the safety of all citizens.”
Officials said other nurses and doctors who work with her would be monitored. Meanwhile, an American cameramen infected with Ebola in Liberia has been flown home and admitted to hospital in the United States, the fifth American to return for treatment. Ashoka Mukpo who was diagnosed early was taken to a bio-containment center.
Gay rights groups have welcomed the ruling by the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage as a momentum step forward for a quality. The court rejected appeals against lifting the ban on gay marriage in the states of Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana. The ruling means same-sex couples can now marry immediately in those five states. The Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said the ruling would make a real difference.
“This is the outcome that we have hoped for, it is the outcome we have fought for and it is the outcome that the constitution requires. Today’s decision will change the lives of thousands of loving couples, their children in their families in a positive and transformative way.”
This is the World News from the BBC.
Student leaders and the Hong Kong government have agreed to hold formal talks about ending the pro-democracy demonstrations which are still blocking some roads in the city. No firm date has been set for the talks. The BBC correspondent in Hong Kong says Beijing has made clear that it’s unwilling to give up the right to decide who can stand for election as the territory’s leader in 2017. The protestors have lifted a blockade of government offices, but hundreds remain on the streets.
Pope Francis has urged clerics to speak their minds frankly at a two-week conference of the Vatican on controversial subjects, such as contraception, divorce and same-sex marriage. Our Vatican correspondent David Willy reports.
“Pope Francis launched a discussion of what for many clerics are still taboo subjects by calling for a frank and open debate. He told more than 200 church leaders and experts not to mince their words, not to be afraid of offending him and to listen with humility. Vatican meetings are not normally like this. The language used to restrain them full of church jargon, but Francis wants his church to show more compassion to divorced or separated couples without modifying basic church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.” David Willy reporting.
The Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has vowed to identify and punish those responsible for the recent disappearance of 43 students after clashes with police at a protest. In a televised address, Mr. Pena Nieto described the incident as shocking, painful and unacceptable. The students, all trainee teachers, went missing after a protest over job discrimination in the central city of Iguala. On Saturday, a mass grave was discovered on the outskirts of Iguala and forensic experts are now trying to establish whether the burnt bodies retrieved there are from the missing students. That’s the latest BBC News.