Hello,I'm Daniel Yavoyaska with the BBC News.Two Western hostages held by Taliban militants for more than three years have been freed as part of a prisoner exchange agreed with the Afghan government.The release of an American Kevin King and an Australian came after the Taliban confirmed that three of its senior commanders had landed in Qatar.Shovi Shriffy in Kabul has this assessment.The swap includes Anas Haqqani,a leading figure and fundraiser in the Haqqani militant group and two other senior commanders.Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called this a tough but important decision.It really is indeed a good gesture from both sides and it's hoped that the immediate impact of this deal would be a reduction in violence and hopefully leading to resumption of peace talks,including the Taliban accepting the Afghan government to sit on the negotiation table with them face-to-face.
The Lebanese Parliament has been forced to postpone a debate on a controversial amnesty law,which critics say could have allowed corrupt officials to evade justice.Anti-government protesters are hailing this as a victory.Sebastian Usher reports from Beirut.Protesters in Beirut have been determined to stop the parliamentary session going ahead.They blocked roads from early in the morning while the security forces have been mobilized in strength.The two sides have been facing off against each other at various points around the center of the capital.Lines of women have again stood in front of a police as a kind of buffer zone.Rumors have gone around that MPs have tried to get in inside ambulances,while at least one tried by motorbike,but only a handful appeared to have made it and the session has now been cancelled.
The UN says reports from Iran suggest that dozens of people may have been killed in days of protests that was sparked by a sharp rise in petrol prices.A human rights spokesman in Geneva expressed deep concern at the use of live ammunition by the security forces.He also called on the authorities to restore internet services.There have been reports of protesters setting ablaze banks and petrol stations in cities across the country.
German prosecutors say special forces in Berlin have arrested a radical Islamist suspected of the plotting to blow up as many people as possible.They said he had in recent months bought the chemicals needed to make an unstable explosive that takes a long time to prepare.Prosecutors said the suspect had also sought information in internet chat rooms on how to make bombs.
India's Upper House of Parliament is reviewing the new uniform for its marshals after the outfits for criticized for looking too military.The new design complete with gold aiguillette and brass buttons quickly drew alarm from MPs and military officials.The former Indian Army Chief General VP Malik tweeted a spot of the difference picture of the two outfits side by side,pointing out that copying military uniform is illegal in India.