Hello, I'm Neil Nunes with the BBC news.

In a case that has divided Pakistan, the Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a Christian woman who had been facing execution for blasphemy. Judges allowed Asia Bibi's appeal and ruled that she should be acquitted and released. Secunder Kermani has this report.

Asia Bibi, from a small village to the west of Lahore, was accused of blasphemy following an argument with two muslim women who refused to drink water from the same glass as her. She's now spent nearly a decade in jail. Her case became particularly prominent after the murder of a politician who'd expressed support for her and talked to the need to reform the country's controversial blasphemy laws. Blasphemy is legally punishable by death in Pakistan, but no one has ever been executed for it. There are fears that right-wing clerics who wanted Asia Bibi's death sentence to be carried out will react violently to the verdict.

The US Defense Secretary James Mattis and the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both called for a swift ceasefire in Yemen. Mr. Mattis said the US wanted to see all sides around the negotiating table and an end to dropping bombs within thirty days. Steve Jackson reports.

The Trump administration has been facing growing pressure over its support for the Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemeni government in the civil war. Critics say coalition bombing is causing an unacceptable number of civilian deaths and fueling a humanitarian catastrophe. The murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi has intensified the focus on the US-Saudi relationship. This ratcheting up of US pressure for a peace deal in Yemen is one result. Secretary Mattis blamed Iran for perpetuating the conflict through its support for Houthi rebels, but he also demanded an end to coalition airstrikes in populated areas.

Sri Lanka's newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has started carrying out official duties in spite of the refusal of his oustered predecessor to stand down. Ranil Wickremasinghe says his unexpected sacking last week by the President was unconstitutional as Ditaylor Mar reports.

Outside the Prime Minister's official residence in Colombo, supporters of Ranil Wickremasinghe continue to keep vigil day and night. The house is a symbol of political power in Sri Lanka, and the sacked Prime Minister has refused to leave it. He's been asking for Parliament to be assembled so that he gets a chance to prove his majority. President Sirisena has suspended Parliament under the 16th of November. He says his decision to sack the Prime Minister was legal.

World news from the BBC.











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