World News: Dozens hurt as protesters fight riot cops

Egyptian security forces clashed with more than 5000 rock-throwing protesters in central Cairo last night, leaving dozens injured, witnesses said.

Clouds of tear gas engulfed Tahrir Square as security forces in riot gear battled to regain control from the demonstrators, many of them family members of the more than 850 people killed during the revolution that toppled Egypt's longtime ruler, Hosni Mubarak.

Nato helicopters blast hotel gunmen to end deadly siege

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NATO helicopters fired rockets at gunmen on the roof of a besieged Kabul hotel early today, ending a four-hour stand-off between militants and police that left at least ten dead and eight others wounded, Afghan officials said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said six suicide bombers attacked the Inter-Continental hotel frequented by Afghan officials and foreign visitors. He said two were killed by hotel guards at the beginning of the attack and four others either blew themselves up or were killed in the airstrike or by Afghan security forces.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the rare, night-time attack in the capital - an apparent attempt to show that they remain potent despite heavy pressure from coalition and Afghan security forces.

The attackers were heavily armed with machine guns, anti-aircraft weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades and grenade launchers, the Afghan officials said. Afghan police rushed to the scene and firefights broke out. They battled for hours with gunmen who took up positions on the roof.

Some Afghan provincial officials were among the 60 to 70 guests staying at the hotel.

Pope makes debut on Twitter

Pope Benedict XVI has tweeted for the first time, announcing the launch of a Vatican news information portal.

Benedict's tweet read: "Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI."

Gang tattoo kidnap victim

Four people charged in the US state of Oklahoma with kidnapping a man, tattooing "rapest" on his forehead and shocking him with a stun gun have pleaded guilty to kidnapping and maiming.

Richard Dellert, Zachary Provence, Kimberly Kirchler Vergara and Lorena Hodges were accused of attacking 18-year-old Stetson Johnson on April 17.

Police have said they were punishing Johnson after one of the women accused him of trying to have sex with her.

Boat abandons tourist on reef

Australian safety officials are investigating a dive boat company that accidentally left a US tourist behind while he was snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.

Ian Cole said he panicked when he realized the boat had left without him on Saturday. He managed to swim to a nearby boat and was not hurt.

Recovering Chavez on TV

Hugo Chavez has reappeared on state television, chatting with Fidel Castro in Cuba after a prolonged seclusion following pelvic surgery that has left Venezuelans guessing about their president's health.

The images aired last night were the first to be released in ten days.