Duty Editor: Joe Sinclair Tel: +852 2829 6211
-- TOP STORIES --
+ Cyprus MPs pass first parts of bailout measures
+ Philippine militants free Australian hostage
+ Pope prepares historic meet with predecessor Benedict XVI
Cypriot deputies are facing increasing pressure to rethink their rejection of a levy on bank deposits, as a deadline to rescue an EU bailout looms ever closer Saturday.
850 words 0600 GMT by Charlie Charalambous. Picture. Graphic. Video.
Also moved: Cyprus-economy-EU-finance-banking,FOCUS
Australian Warren Rodwell emerges withered from 15 months as a captive of Islamic militants in the lawless southern Philippines, his ribs protruding but able to smile.
700 words 0530 GMT by Hirohito Cadion. Picture. Video
Pope Francis prepares to go face to face with his predecessor Benedict XVI in a historic meeting between two men with very different styles but important core similarities.
700 words 0530 GMT by Dario Thuburn
-- ASIA --
Troops patrol the streets of a central Myanmar town after Buddhist-Muslim unrest tore through the area leaving at least 20 dead and spurring the government to declare emergency rule.
550 words 0700 GMT. Picture. Video.
The toll from a blaze that swept through a camp in northern Thailand rises to 42, officials say, as rescue workers comb through the burnt wreckage of hundreds of temporary homes for refugees from Myanmar.
500 words 0800 GMT
One minute brightly lit, the next plunged into darkness -- famous landmarks around the world such as Sydney's Harbour Bridge will turn out their lights later for the "Earth Hour" campaign against climate change.
550 words 0600 GMT by Madeleine Coorey
-- MIDDLE EAST --
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologises to Turkey for a deadly 2010 raid on an aid flotilla to Gaza, ending a bitter rift, in a diplomatic coup for President Barack Obama.
750 words moved by Jonah Mandel
Also moved: Israel-Turkey-US-diplomacy,CHRONO
Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati announces the resignation of his government, citing divisions on several issues, and calls for the formation of a national unity government.
650 words moved. Picture
US President Barack Obama expresses strong concern in Jordan that Syria could become an enclave for extremism, as his policy on the war-torn country comes under scrutiny on the last stop of a Middle East tour.
800 words moved by Stephen Collinson. Picture. Graphic. Video
-- AFRICA --
Congolese war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda spends his first night in the custody of the International Criminal Court, having turned himself in to face charges ranging from murder and rape to using child soldiers.
700 words 0600 GMT by Charles Onians. File picture.
Rebels in the Central Africa Republic advance on the capital claiming they are at "the gates of Bangui", as they resume an offensive in the mineral-rich country after the collapse of a two-month-old peace deal with the government.
750 words moved. File Picture
-- EUROPE --
Italy enters uncharted waters as centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani scrambles to find a parliamentary majority even though his coalition failed to get enough votes in elections that have left the country in deadlock.
700 words moved by Dario Thuburn
-- AMERICAS --
The Organization of American States reaffirms the financial autonomy of Latin America's premier human rights body, rejecting attempts by Venezuela and its allies to block US-financed programs.
600 words 0530 GMT by Diego Urdaneta