This is the BBC News. Hello, I'm Jonathan Izard.
The man who was declared himself President of Venezuela Juan Guaido says the opposition has been holding secret meetings with the military as it seeks to force Nicolas Maduro from office. David Willis reports.
Juan Guaido said clandestine meetings have been taking place between the opposition and members of the military and the security forces, the majority of whose members he claimed regarded the current situation in Venezuela as untenable. The United States, which recognizes Mr. Guaido as Venezuela's interim president, is using economic pressure in an effort to persuade the military to switch sides, freezing assets belonging to the Maduro administration and searching the world for additional assets that could turn into humanitarian funding for the opposition.
German media reports say the three biggest EU member states have officially set up a payment channel to facilitate business transactions with Iran and circumvent US sanctions. The intergovernmental Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges or INSTEX was set up by Britain, France and Germany. That'll be based in Paris and managed by a German.
A leaked government report in India says the country's unemployment rate has risen to record levels. The assessment published in the Business Standard Newspaper showed the unemployment rate stands at 6.1 percent, the highest since 1972. Here's our South Asia editor Anbrathan Antirajon.
Though the Indian economy has been expanding by more than seven percent annually, the uneven growth has meant there are not enough jobs created for millions of young Indians entering the workforce each year. It's not good news for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi just months before a general election. The job survey also became a political issue after the chairman of the National Statistical Commission and his colleague resigned on Wednesday saying they were unhappy at the government's decision not to publish the data that had been due for release in December. The data is significant because this was the first comprehensive assessment of Indian's employment situation conducted after Mr. Modi's decision in November 2016 to withdraw most of the country's banknotes from circulation overnight.
The conservative American Senator Rand Paul has won five hundred and eighty thousand dollars in damages and medical expenses after being attacked by his neighbour in a dispute over lawn maintenance. Mr. Paul, a former presidential hopeful, said he had feared for his life after Rene Boucher assaulted him and broke several of his ribs because he was unhappy at piles of branches the Senator had left on the boundary between their lawns in Kentucky. Mr. Boucher is to appeal.