Centre-left takes hold of Bundesrat
GERMANY: A centre-left government has taken power in one of Germany's biggest states, giving opposition parties a majority in the federal parliament's upper house ahead of September's national elections.
The Social Democrats and Greens won a one-seat majority in Lower Saxony's legislature in a regional election last month, ousting Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition.
They elected Social Democrat Stephan Weil as governor today.
SWITZERLAND: The outgoing chairman of drug-maker Novartis has agreed to cancel a much-criticised deal under which he stood to earn up to £50 million for not advising competitors for six years.
Daniel Vasella, also a former Novartis chief executive, is to quit at the firm's AGM on Friday.
News of the "non-compete deal" emerged last week and met with widespread criticism.
SRI LANKA: Christian pastors and nuns from the ethnic Tamil majority north have urged the UN human rights council to push for an independent international probe into war crimes committed during the country's civil war.
A letter signed by 133 clergy says the government lacks the will to resolve the causes of the conflict.
They also want UN officials alleged to have failed to protect civilians at the height of the war to be held accountable.
RUSSIA: Prosecutors have begun an investigation into illegal organ trafficking in Kosovo.
The EU is also conducting a probe into claims that rebel Kosovo Liberation Army commanders, including Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, were involved the illegal trade of human organs during Kosovo's independence war against Serbia.
Mr Thaci denies the allegations.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that "the crimes" must "be thoroughly investigated."
BELGIUM: Police were looking for eight men who drove onto the tarmac of Brussels's international airport and stole tens of millions of pounds worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane.
Brussels prosecutor's spokeswoman Anja Bijnens said today that the armed and masked men used two vehicles to make their way to the plane, take the cache of stones and drive off into the darkness.
The heist was estimated at £33 million in diamonds, said Caroline De Wolf of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
AUSTRIA: A top European human rights body has said that Austria has far to go in ensuring that its freedom of information laws are transparent and properly enacted.
The Council of Europe said it "very much regrets" that Austria has not followed up on its recommendation of clarifying when exactly the state can deny requests for information and how such denials can be appealed.
Austrian authorities claim that no clarification is needed.
IVORY COAST: A military spokesman said today that Guinean soldiers have occupied a border village the country's west.
Colonel Cherif Moussa said that the seizure of Kpeaba was part of a territorial dispute dating back to Ivory Coast's independence in 1960.
He said Ivorian troops were in position but hoped the clash would be resolved diplomatically.
FRANCE: Food and drink company Danone said today that it will still cut 900 jobs across 26 countries despite its revenues growing by 5.4 per cent last year.
The Paris-based maker of Activia yogurt and Evian bottled water claimed it faced sharply higher tax bills, especially in France.
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