BBC news. Hello, I'm Jerry Smit.
Prosecutors in Paris say the blaze that devastated Notre Dame Cathedral overnight was an accident, not arson. There's speculation that it may be linked to a two-hundred-million-dollar project to restore the nineteenth century spire. Temperatures reached eight hundred degrees Celsius. From there, Hugh Schofield sent this report. The extent of the damage to Notre Dame is both shocking and reassuring. Nearly the entire roof has been destroyed. It consisted of hundreds-of-meter thick oaken beams and was in itself a rare feat of craftsmanship. The spire too has gone, collapsing dramatically into the inferno, and some of the stone vaulting inside the cathedral has also been destroyed. But the essential structure of Notre Dame emerges from its ordeal unscathed.
A court in Moscow has sentenced a Norwegian to fourteen years in prison on charges of spying on Russia's nuclear submarine programme. Sixty-three-year-old Frode Berg had denied the charges. Sarah Rainsfield reports. Frode Berg's lawyer said the Norwegian reacted calmly to the guilty verdicts and he now hoped diplomatic efforts will help him avoid the fourteen-year sentence he's been given. Mr. Berg has decided not to appeal his conviction, but to push for a pardon instead from president Putin. This tale of espionage has baffled observers ever since Frode Berg's arrest, accused of posting envelopes containing cash and instructions from Norwegian intelligence. Prosecutors have said the information sought concerned Russian submarines. His Norwegian lawyer has said he didn't realize the risk he was running.
The Russian Parliament has given its final approval to a bill creating a domestic autonomous Internet. Under the new law, it will no longer be up to local Internet providers to block access to banned information. This will now be done by the state. Critics are concerned the law will allow censorship.
Events have been held across South Korea to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sewol-ho ferry disaster, which killed three hundred people, most of them children. At the main ceremony held in the city of Anseong，a one minute memorial ceremony sounded followed by a silent prayer. Elsewhere, a group of buried family members took a boat to where the ferry went down.
There's been an angry response in Kenya to a decision by the authorities to introduce a new tax to build low-cost homes. Next month, employers and employees will have to pay the one point five percent levy, although no one will contribute more than fifty dollars a month. Correspondents say many Kenyans are opposed to the tax because of the amount of public funds that are lost to corruption. BBC news.