7th April; 07:00

Vatican

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A vast security operation to protect world leaders attending the funeral of John Paul II was in top gear, as US President George W. Bush paid his last respects to the late pope.

Iraq

Iraq's new presidential council was set to name a Shiite prime minister after choosing a former Kurd rebel leader as the country's first freely elected president.

Afghanistan

A US military helicopter went down in southeastern Afghanistan, killing at least 16 people, in the worst crash suffered by US-led forces since they toppled the Taliban in late 2001.

India

The first bus service to link divided Kashmir in almost 60 years, a powerful symbol of the ongoing peace process between India and Pakistan, was set to roll under tight security after an attack by Islamic militants on a complex housing passengers.

NIreland

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams urged his party's military wing, the IRA, to take an "historic" decision to abandon the armed struggle and engage in the democratic political process in Northern Ireland.

Italy

Italy ratified the European Union's constitution, becoming the first large country in the 25-nation bloc to do so.

Taiwan

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian will attend Pope John Paul II's funeral in Rome, a move sure to anger China which regards the island as part of its territory, the foreign ministry said.

SAfrica

Ivory Coast leaders declared an end to a two-and-a-half-year civil war that has left the west African country, once one of the continent's most prosperous and stable nations, divided and ruined.

Monaco

Monaco was in mourning for Prince Rainier as the tiny Mediterranean microstate faced its full first day without the monarch who modernized the tiny Mediterranean microstate and touched the world with his fairy-tale marriage to Grace Kelly.

Angola

Angola's parliament passed a resolution asking the government of President Eduardo dos Santos for rapid measures to combat the outbreak of the deadly Ebola-like Marburg virus, which has now killed 159 people.

China

China said it "strongly objected" to new measures taken by the European Union against imports of Chinese textiles.

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