The world's top diplomats threw their weight behind Washington's efforts to build a democratic Iraq and crush a rebellion raging more than two years after the US-led ouster of Saddam Hussein.
The release of a Filipino held hostage in Iraq was revealed as an international forum trumpeted support for Baghdad's efforts to cement democratic foundations and order amid unyielding violence.
A US Air Force U-2 spy plane has crashed in southwest Asia killing its pilot, the military said in a statement released in Baghdad.
Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas tried to rally international support after coming away with no tangible results from a humiliating summit with Israel's Ariel Sharon, who lectured him at length over militant violence.
The sense of crisis engulfing the European Union deepened as Britain came under fresh fire from France and Luxembourg over the failure of budget talks and its economic vision for the bloc.
South Korea pressed North Korea to return to six-party nuclear talks in July "without fail" in a bid to break the deadlock over its nuclear weapons drive.
The camp of moderate cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani made a last-ditch effort to sway undecided voters in Iran's tense presidential election, saying his rival was a reactionary extremist bent on overturning reform.
US and Afghan forces backed by warplanes and attack helicopters have mounted a major offensive in the south in which up to 60 suspected Taliban and three Afghan policemen have been killed, officials said.
There is still hope that Cosmos 1, the experimental solar sail ship launched Tuesday from the Barents Sea, is not lost, project director Louis Friedman told AFP, despite reports from the Russian space agency that the vessel had been lost.
Americans reacted with a collective sigh of relief at the manslaughter conviction of a former Ku Klux Klan leader and former Baptist preacher in the killings of three civil rights activists on the 41st anniversary of their deaths.
Japan vowed to increase its research whaling programme and extend it to two threatened species, despite condemnation by the International Whaling Commission.
US Congress critics of Vietnam's human rights record introduced a bill demanding greater political and religious freedom in the communist country as it prime minister pursued a historic tour.