News in English
Chemical weapons group wins Nobel Peace Prize
The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the body overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical arsenal. The Nobel Committee said it was in honour of the OPCW's extensive work to eliminate such weapons. The organisation, which was established to enforce the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, had largely worked out of the limelight until this year. Daniel Hyslop is from the Institute of Economics and Peace: "I think in terms of negative peace, the prevention of violence, the prevention of the fear of violence, chemical weapons and removing them from stockpiles is a really important thing." The most coveted of the Nobel honours is worth just over 900,000 euros.
Rebel massacre reported in Syria
Human Rights Watch says rebel forces in Syria killed as many as 190 civilians and seized more than 200 hostages during a military offensive near Latakia in August. A report by the New York-based group says the majority of victims were members of President Bashar al-Assad's minority Alawite sect. The findings are said to be the first evidence of crimes against humanity by opposition forces
President Obama meets US House Republicans
Republicans in the US House of Representatives have met President Barack Obama, amid renewed efforts to avert a looming debt crisis. Both sides described the 90-minute meeting as useful, but said no decision was made. The Republicans have, however, offered the president a short-term debt limit increase to stave off default. The Republican House Majority leader, Eric Cantor, says they´ve agreed to keep talking: "We´ll have more discussion and the president has said that he will go and consult with the administration folks, and hopefully we can see a way forward."
India braces for a severe storm
The east coast of India is bracing for a cyclone, which forecasters say covers an area roughly half the size of the country. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes. Cyclone Phailin is expected to make landfall on Saturday evening, with gusts of up to 300 kilometres an hour. Some forecasters have likened its size and intensity to that of hurricane Katrina, which devastated the US Gulf coast and New Orleans in 2005.
Snowfall causes chaos in western Austria
Winter has arrived in the west of Austria, causing severe problems in Tyrol. Train services ground to a halt. Vehicles have reportedly been stranded. There've also been power cuts affecting thousands of households. Many schools are closed for the day.
The snowfall should ease in the west and there should be some sunshine there, but rain is forecast for the east and south. Top temperatures today ranging from just 5 in the west to 19 in the east.