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28th June; 19:30

ITER

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France is to host the experimental ITER nuclear fusion reactor, a multi-billion-dollar project designed to emulate the power of the Sun, an international consortium agreed in Moscow after Japan withdrew its rival bid in return for compensation.

US

President George W. Bush was to give a key speech in a bid to convince an increasingly sceptical American public to support him over the presence of US troops in the war in Iraq, a year after the handover to a civilian administration.

Iraq

The oldest member of the Iraqi parliament, Dhari al-Fayadh, was killed with his son and three bodyguards in a suicide bombing north of Baghdad.

Iraq

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani distanced his government from US talks with insurgent leaders, insisting they were strictly a US affair despite protestations from Washington that it was acting only as a facilitator.

Pakistan

Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered the rearrest of 13 men linked to the internationally condemned gang rape of a woman, including members of a village council that sanctioned the assault.

China

United Nations experts called for the urgent testing of a flock of migratory birds in China after they found an outbreak of deadly avian flu was more lethal than previously thought.

Iran

Iran warned Europe against judging ultra conservative president-elect Mahmood Ahmadinejad too soon, after his election victory rattled European leaders worried about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

US

The United States is ready for the launch next month of its first space shuttle since the Columbia disaster in 2003, NASA chief Michael Griffin told a congressional committee.

China

China raised the number of killed and missing in this year's floods to 771 and warned scorching temperatures in previously inundated areas create "ideal" conditions for infectious diseases.

Philippines

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo faced escalating calls to quit after she sensationally owned up to improperly calling an election official during the 2004 presidential vote count.

Russia

Some 260 inmates mutilated themselves at a prison in western Russia in protest against conditions at the facility, Russian officials said, while human rights campaigners put the number of inmates involved as high as 700.

Egypt

Prominent Egyptian opposition leader and possible presidential candidate Ayman Nur used the opening of his trial for forgery to challenge the regime of veteran President Hosni Mubarak.

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