The President of the Maldives has resigned. President Mohamed Nasheed has resigned after weeks of protests have escalated in recent days with up to 50 police officers standing down and joining protesters.
The protests follow on from the decision by the president to order the arrest of the chief judge of the criminal court, Abdulla Mohamed. The chief judge had ruled that a critic of the government should be released saying that his arrest was illegal.
The arrest of the chief judge last month sparked protests in the capital, the only large settlement in this low lying group of islands in the Indian Ocean with a population of around 400,000 people.
Vice President Mahammed Waheed Hassan has taken over and the government has called for calm.