Putin dissolves state news agency

President Vladimir Putin tightened his control over Russia's media on Monday by dissolving the main state news agency and replacing it with an organization that is to promote Moscow's image abroad. The head of the new agency, to be built from the ashes of RIA Novosti, is a conservative news anchor, Dmitry Kiselyov, who once caused outrage by saying the organs of homosexuals should not be used in transplants. (Reuters)

Atheists face death in 13 countries, global discrimination: study

In 13 countries around the world, all of them Muslim, people who openly espouse atheism or reject the official state religion of Islam face execution under the law, according to a detailed study issued on Tuesday. Even some of the West's apparently most democratic governments at best discriminate against citizens who have no belief in a god and at worst can jail them for offences dubbed blasphemy, it said. The study was issued by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) to mark United Nations' Human Rights Day on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Thousands gather for Mandela service

Thousands of people are arriving at a stadium in Johannesburg for a memorial service for Nelson Mandela. The crowds will be addressed by South African President Jacob Zuma and there will be tributes from other heads of state, including President Obama, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Cuban President Raul Castro. (BBC)

North Korea images confirm removal of Kim Jong-un's uncle

North Korea has broadcast images of the once-powerful uncle of leader Kim Jong-un being removed from a meeting, confirming reports of his dismissal. It is the biggest upheaval in North Korea's leadership since Mr Kim succeeded his father two years ago. Seen as an economic reformer, Mr Chang handled talks with Pyongyang's only major ally, China. (BBC)

Women scientists less likely to receive funding, study finds

In a finding that poses uncomfortable questions for the UK scientific establishment, researchers uncovered evidence of women scientists working in the field of infectious diseases being disadvantaged in crucial funding allocations for more than a decade. Out of more than 6,000 funding grants between 1997 and 2010, less than a quarter were awarded to studies led by women. Male scientists received nearly £1.8bn of funding in the time period, compared to just £488m for women. (Independent)