World news: Anger at film screening boils over into protests in Tunis

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Police in Tunisia have fired tear gas at hundreds of Islamists demonstrating in the capital Tunis over the screening of a controversial film on television.

The rallies were against a private TV station that has angered Islamists by screening the animated film Persepolis, which critics says is blasphemous for including an image of God.

The owner of Nessma TV, Nabil Karoui, said Islamists had tried to burn down his house.

Tunisia goes to the polls next week to vote for a constitutional assembly. They will be the first polls in Tunisia since long-time President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in an uprising in January.

The demonstrators were angered by fantasy scenes in the film in which God is shown talking to a young girl. The film is about the 1979 revolution in Iran.

Mr Karoui apologised for broadcasting the film, but many mosque preachers devoted their Friday sermons to the issue. The protest started peacefully at a central Tunis mosque after Friday prayers, with hundreds of people shouting “Allahu Akbar” or “God is greatest” and demanding the imposition of Islamic law.

Berlusconi’s power in balance

QUESTIONs have been raised over how long Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi can cling to power, after he narrowly won a key confidence vote in parliament.

He faces trial on sex, bribery and abuse of power charges.

Rena salvage teams line up

Salvage teams in New Zealand were hoping to begin pumping the remaining fuel out of a cracked cargo ship, which is listing badly off the coast.

On Friday, the teams worked to install equipment and platforms on the high side of the Rena to provide a level base for the operation.

Arrests over casino scam

French police say they have arrested three Italians and a Frenchman over a sophisticated casino scam in Cannes.

The Frenchman is accused of marking a deck of cards with invisible ink and ensuring the three Italians played from the deck. The Italians wore special lenses to enable them to see the markings, according to police.

The gang are accused of swindling one casino out of up to 64,000 euros, and may have used the technique elsewhere in Europe.

Mexican drug trafficker caught

An alleged Mexican drug trafficker has been captured in connection with a deadly arson attack on a casino which killed 52 people, the army says.

Carlos Oliva Castillo, known as “The Frog”, appeared at the defence ministry in Mexico City. He is said to be the third highest-ranking figure in the Zetas drug cartel.

Teacher dies after setting herself alight

France: A teacher has died after setting herself on fire in the playground of her school. The woman, 44, set herself alight during morning break. She was airlifted to hospital in Montpellier but died of her burns.

Cuba: The Communist Party of Cuba has announced it will consider President Raul Castro’s unprecedented call for term limits for all government officials, and would discuss a maximum of two five-year terms.