5th April; 20:15



Pope John Paul II left a final testament, the Vatican said as cardinals convened in secret for a second day and a sea of humanity packed the streets round Saint Peter's Basilica to file past the body of their beloved pontiff lying in state.


Millions of candles, minutes of silence, buttonholes and badges and poems by mobile telephone text message were just just a few of the ways John Paul II's Polish compatriots have been paying tribute to their late beloved pope.


British Prime Minister Tony Blair, eager for a third straight term in power for his Labour Party, called a general election for May 5 amid signs that the race will be tighter than he would like.


At least nine Islamist gunmen including two most-wanted Al-Qaeda leaders have been killed in fierce fighting with security forces that raged on in the kingdom for a third day.


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with soon-to-be evicted settlers from the Gaza Strip, after an Israeli was shot and wounded in the first violent incident in the occupied territory for weeks.


An Iraqi general was kidnapped in Baghdad while a series of bombs killed a civilian and a US soldier, as talks on forming a new government dragged on more than two months after historic elections.


Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said the country's ruling coalition would survive a split on the far-right, which saw Joerg Haider form a new party and persuade MPs to defect to his side.


The rescheduled wedding of Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will take place around lunchtime on Saturday, just 90 minutes before another couple marry, royal aides said.


Police in Zimbabwe went on high alert after youths took to the streets in Harare to urge Zimbabweans to reject the outcome of elections overwhelmingly won by President Robert Mubage's party.


Angolan health workers in a slum outside Luanda were treating a new suspected case of the Marburg virus as a senior UN official warned that the outbreak of the Ebola-like epidemic was not yet under control.




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