Tens of thousands have gathered in London's Hyde Park, dressed in royal-themed costumes, to launch Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The 86-year-old monarch chose the Epsom Derby as the starting point for marking her 60 years on the throne. Festivities will last four days with the high point on Sunday – a river pageant on the Thames. The royal barge will carry the queen as she leads a flotilla of more than a thousand boats – the biggest river gathering for 350 years.
An American drone fired two missiles at a motorbike in northwest Pakistan, killing two suspected militants. The incident happened on Saturday near the town of Wana in South Waziristan, one of seven districts in Pakistan's tribal region. It was the 19th drone strike in Pakistan this year. The continuing strikes have complicated negotiations between Islamabad and Washington over reopening supply routes through the country to NATO troops in Afghanistan.
Armed clashes have killed seven people and injured 30 others in northern Lebanon. The Saturday violence is further proof that Syria's conflict is encroaching into its neighbor – with fighting between supporters and opponents of President Assad. Gun and rocket fire forced some residents to flee to safety, while Lebanese troops were deployed to calm the situation.
A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has acquitted four men who had been charged with terrorist activities. The men were accused of assisting a Pakistani-American man who in May 2010 attempted and failed to detonate a truck bomb in New York's Time Square. The four suspects have spent two years in custody, but were found not guilty due to the lack of evidence. It remains unclear if Pakistan has any other suspects in custody.
Qatar has called on the UN Security Council to take the necessary measures to protect Syrian civilians and to apply Chapter VII, which permits military intervention. "We demand the UN Security Council to refer the six-point to Chapter VII so that the international community can assume responsibilities," Qatar's PM Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani was quoted as saying. The call has been voiced as Arab League members are meeting with UN peace envoy Kofi Annan in Qatar. Annan has warned that the conflict in Syria is taking a “sectarian dimension” and the country is moving closer to “all-out war.” The head of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabiu, has suggested changing the mandate of the unarmed UN peace monitors, turning them into peacekeepers.
The former Egyptian president, 84-year-old Hosni Mubarak, has reportedly had a heart attack after being sentenced to a life term in prison. The security offices reported that ex-leader suffered a “health crisis” while being taken to Tara security prison in Cairo from the trial. The diagnosis has not been officially confirmed yet. Mubarak has been charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the killing of 225 anti-government demonstrators and wounding of more than 1,800 in January last year. The defense lawyer said he will appeal life sentence.
Four aid workers, including a British woman, a Kenyan and two Afghans, have been rescued by American and British special forces in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province. The group, employed by Swiss-based Medair, were kidnapped by militants on May 22 and held for ransom and the release of a local criminal leader.
Beijing has finalized revamping of its nuclear safety standards and inspecting power plants. It may soon give the green light to projects currently in construction or under consideration. China put development of its nuclear power industry on hold after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
The former Egyptian president is to appeal the court’s ruling, which sentenced him to life for complicity in the mass killings of opposition demonstrators in 2011, Hosni Mubarak’s defense team said.
At least one person was killed and five wounded overnight after violent clashes between pro and anti-Syrian groups in the northern Lebanese city Tripoli, unnamed officials told AP. The Lebanese population is split in their attitude to the ongoing crisis in neighboring Syria along sectarian lines. Last month eight people died in Tripoli in similar clashes.
Two people have been killed and two wounded in an outbreak of violence in the Iraqi capital on Friday. There were two incidents in the city – a drive-by shooting and a roadside bomb. This is the second wave of deadly attacks in Baghdad in the last 24 hours. The previous attack claimed at least 14 lives and left 55 wounded.