US President George W. Bush said he was committed to expanding US programs linking trade benefits and aid for Africa to reforms as he welcomed five African leaders he cited as models.
The European Union's presidency appealed to all EU governments to make "sacrifices" to secure a high-stakes budget deal this week, but there were few signs of compromise days ahead of a crunch summit.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair met Russian President Vladimir Putin and emerged saying he saw a "real prospect" of achieving his G8 summit goals of dramatically cutting African debt and fighting global warming.
At least 14 people were killed and 100 injured when a powerful car bomb blamed on Islamic rebels exploded outside a roadside school in a busy southern Kashmir town, Indian police and the army said.
Burundi has begun forcibly repatriating thousands of Rwandan Hutus who fled their homes fearing prosecution by local genocide courts despite appeals to delay the operation, aid agencies said.
The Iraqi court set up to try Saddam Hussein released a tape showing the ousted leader being interrogated, in an apparent bid to assert its independence after the government called for a swift trial.
Iran made its first arrests over a string of deadly pre-election bombings blamed on Iraq-based extremists, vowing the presidential poll would go ahead without disruption.
A boycott call spearheaded by the powerful Roman Catholic Church trounced an attempt to relax Italy's stringent fertility and bioethics law, with the turnout reaching barely half of the 50 percent needed for the vote to be valid.
An Ethiopian opposition group said that police had killed one of its lawmakers elected in last month's disputed elections as thousands were reported detained by security forces after deadly clashes in the capital. afp