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16th June; 15:30

China

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Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are among 40 US senators who have written a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao calling on him to free high-profile dissident Yang Jianli amid claims he had been tortured.

Iraq

Al-Qaeda frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's most-trusted operations man, Abu Talha, has been captured in Iraq's northern city of Mosul, the US military said.

Iraq

Six US servicemen were killed amid a spate of violence that left more than 40 Iraqis dead, as Australia hailed the role of Iraq's fledgling security forces in freeing hostage Douglas Wood.

EU

European leaders, shaken by twin reversals over the landmark EU constitution, converged for a two-day summit facing a more pressing emergency: a Britain versus rest-of-Europe scrap over the bloc's long-term financing.

EU

EU leaders were expected to put the bloc's comatose constitution in the deep freeze at a crucial summit, as they grappled with the main item on their plate, a high-stakes budget row.

Cambodia

A Canadian child was shot dead after police stormed an international school in the northwest Cambodian town of Siem Reap where gunmen were holding around 30 people hostage, police said.

Mideast

The first batch of hundreds of mobile homes for Gaza settlers who are to be uprooted from the Palestinian territory this summer were being installed in a coastal area of southern Israel.

Iran

Iranians vote Friday in the tightest presidential election in the Islamic republic's history, with conservative frontrunner Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani facing a tough twin challenge both from pro-reform and hardline candidates.

Mideast

The European Union said that it had opened contacts with officials from the radical Palestinian movement Hamas despite its status as a blacklisted terrorist organisation.

Russia

A Chechen rebel leader ordered the slaying of the editor of the Russian edition of US business magazine Forbes in retaliation for a book describing the leader as a criminal, Russia's prosecutor general's office said.

HongKong

Veteran civil servant Donald Tsang was declared Hong Kong's new leader after securing the overwhelming support of a Beijing-backed committee that selects the Chinese territory's chief executive.

India

Moderate separatist leaders from Indian Kashmir returned home from a historic trip to Pakistan in upbeat mood, saying they were ready to hold a new round of talks with New Delhi on the future of the troubled Himalayan region.

Qatar

Leaders of developing countries at the Second South Summit in Doha were expected to endorse a multi-million dollar development fund, amid some criticism over lack of cooperation between poor countries.

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