10th June; 15:00



A crisis in the European Union sparked by French and Dutch voters' rejections of the EU's constitution worsened when France and Germany ganged up on Britain ahead of a summit next week meant to reorganise the bloc's budget for 2007-2013.


Bolivia's supreme court chief, Eduardo Rodriguez, took office as president and vowed to hold early elections, fighting to quell a three-week uprising by masses of poor people demanding a share of the country's natural gas riches.


Iranian presidential frontrunner Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said it is logical for Iran and the United States to put an end to 25 years of hostility, but urged Washington to first return billions of dollars in frozen assets.


US President George W. Bush was to meet his South Korean counterpart Roh Moo-Hyun with North Korea's nuclear weapons programme again worrying the world.


Top finance officials of the Group of Eight industrialized nations will try to clinch agreement on debt relief for the world's poorest countries at a meeting that begins here.


Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni flew home after spending more than three weeks as a hostage in Afghanistan, amid reports the Afghan government cut a deal with the kidnappers for her release.


European Union countries want time to restructure their textile industry amid soaring cheap exports from China, Luxembourg's employment minister Francois Biltgen said after talks on how to cope with low wage competition in the globalised economy.


A new poll showed support for the Gaza Strip pullout is ebbing, as the former head of Israel's domestic security service warned that a Jewish suicide bomber could target Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to stop the withdrawal.


The bodies of 11 people shot dead execution style were found near the Iraqi desert city of Al-Qaim, local sources said, bringing to 17 the number of corpses found in this Sunni area on the Syrian border.


African Union-mediated talks to resolve the civil war in Sudan's western region of Darfur which has claimed between 180,000 and 300,000 lives and displaced 2.4 million people resumed in Nigeria after six months.


Ethiopia's ruling party and the country's two main opposition groups agreed on a mechanism to handle allegations of fraud in last month's disputed elections, an AFP reporter said.

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