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Iran Hands Over Response to Uranium Deal


IRAN NUCLEAR: Iranian state media say the government has presented its response to a United Nations-brokered nuclear fuel deal. The state-owned Al-Aram television station said an envoy delivered the response Thursday to the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, which is based in Vienna. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country is "ready to cooperate" with Western powers, but details of the response to the IAEA were not immediately released. Mr. Ahmadinejad said during a televised address in the northeastern city of Mashhad that Western nations have moved from "confrontation to cooperation."

PAKISTAN: U.S. President Barack Obama made an overnight trip to a military air base in (the state of) Delaware to meet a plane carrying the bodies of 18 U.S. soldiers and civilian personnel recently killed in Afghanistan. Mr. Obama took off from the White House lawn aboard the presidential helicopter late Wednesday night for Dover Air Force Base. The trip was revealed only to a small group of reporters on condition of secrecy. The president held a private meeting with the families of the fallen Americans at a base chapel after his arrival.

OBAMA - WAR DEAD: U.S. President Barack Obama made an overnight trip to a military air base in (the state of) Delaware to meet a plane carrying the bodies of 18 U.S. soldiers and civilian personnel recently killed in Afghanistan. Mr. Obama took off from the White House lawn aboard the presidential helicopter late Wednesday night for Dover Air Force Base. The trip was revealed only to a small group of reporters on condition of secrecy. The president held a private meeting with the families of the fallen Americans at a base chapel after his arrival.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan election officials say they are planning to increase the number of voting stations in next week's presidential runoff election, despite concerns that it could lead to even more fraud than the first vote. Foreign election observers had recommended scaling back the more than 6,000 polling centers used in the first round after auditors found more than one million fraudulent votes. Many fake ballots are believed to have come from remote polling stations that either never opened or did not have observers monitoring the vote.

CHINA - US - TRADE: The United States and China have opened trade talks as the two sides search for common ground on a range of issues from climate change to trade disputes. In his opening remarks at the talks, in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said it is critical that the two sides make concrete, demonstrable progress during the meetings. Locke said it is important the two countries show their people that the U.S. and China can work together. The annual meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade comes just weeks before President Barack Obama makes his first visit to China.

ASIA - ECONOMY: The International Monetary Fund says that while Asia is leading the world out of its economic slump, it must adapt to softer demand from major Western export markets. In its latest economic outlook, released Thursday, the IMF forecast what it called an "impressive recovery" for Asia, with regional growth speeding up to 5.75 percent in 2010, up from a projected 2.75 percent this year. The IMF cautioned, however, that demand from large G-7 economies was likely to stay weak for some time, limiting demand for Asian exports. It said that this would keep growth next year well below the region's 6.6 percent average over the past 10 years.

AUSTRALIA - CHINA: China is sending a top-level official to Australia this week for the first time since a series of disputes this year raised tensions between the two countries. Premier Li Keqiang, who is considered to be a potential future candidate for president in China, will arrive in Australia late Thursday for talks with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Li's trip to Australia is part of a three nation mini-tour that includes stops in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

SOMALIA - PIRACY: The European Union naval force says pirates have seized a Thai fishing boat off the east coast of Africa. In a statement Thursday, the naval force said pirates on two fast boats, or skiffs, attacked the Thai vessel more than 1,000 kilometers off Somalia's coast. The EU said a naval force plane spotted pirates on board the Thai ship taking it back to Somalia. They say they are monitoring the ship. In the same area on Tuesday, the EU naval force stopped the hijacking of a French vessel and captured seven pirates involved.

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