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African Union Expresses 'Grave Concern' Over Zimbabwe


ZIMBABWE: The head of the African Union Commission says Zimbabwe's violent election crisis is of "grave concern," and that the AU has begun discussions with its African partners on what action to take.

AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping said in a statement today (Monday) that he has initiated consultations with the presidents of Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. They hold key positions in the African Union and the 14-nation Southern African Development Community.

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from Friday's runoff election against President Robert Mugabe, saying his supporters would be risking their lives if they voted.

PHILIPPINES FERRY: The Philippines coast guard says at least 31 of the more than 800 people on a capsized ferry have managed to make it to shore.

The Philippine coast guard says many of the survivors from the ship, the Princess of Stars, made it ashore Sunday after drifting more than 24 hours in a rubber boat and in life jackets.

Rescuers are continuing their efforts to find the more than 800 other people who were on board the ship when it went down and remain missing.

SAUDI-OIL MEETING: Saudi Arabia has pledged to produce more oil to ease an energy crisis that has sparked protests in several countries.

Speaking at an oil summit in Jeddah Sunday, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said his country will add 200-thousand barrels per day next month, raising the total daily output to nine-point-seven million barrels of oil.

Crude oil prices rose more than one dollar today (Monday) to about 136 and one-half dollars a barrel, despite Saudi Arabia's pledge.

LEBANON: Lebanese officials says fighting between government supporters and opponents in the city of Tripoli has continued for a second day, killing six people since the violence erupted.

The officials say the warring sides fired machine guns and rocket propelled grenades today (Monday).

More than 30 people have been wounded in the two days of fighting. Several homes and shops have been damaged

Greek police officials say a prominent Greek industrialist was released by his kidnappers early today (Monday), two weeks after his abduction.

GREECE KIDNAP: Police say Giorgos Mylonas was released after his family paid a ransom. The French News Agency reports the ransom was 19 million dollars. His kidnappers had originally demand 47 million dollars.

Police say three gunmen stopped Mylonas in the northern city of Salonika on June ninth as he drove to his home with his wife. The kidnappers forced his wife out of the car and drove off. The vehicle was found abandoned several kilometers from where he was abducted.

Audio in Lao.

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