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8/22/2006 World News: World Powers Await iran's Response on Nuclear proposal


Iran Nuclear: World powers involved in the effort to persuade Iran to give up key portions of its nuclear program are awaiting Tehran's formal response today (Tuesday) to their proposals.
Reports from the Iranian capital say the country's leadership is expected to deliver its reponse shortly to an international offer of incentives in return for an end to Iran's uranium-enrichment program.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Monday that his country has made its decision, and will continue along the path toward nuclear energy. He denied once again that Iran has any plans to develop nuclear weapons.

Israel – Lebanon: Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema says Italy may contribute up to three-thousand troops to a U.N. force in Lebanon, provided Israel respects the ceasefire.
D'Alema made the comment in an interview with Italy's La Repubblica newspaper published today (Tuesday).
He said it is right to demand that Hezbollah give up its weapons, but Italy cannot send troops while Israeli "armed forces continue to fire."
Israeli commandos staged a raid Saturday in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley.

Congo – Unrest: Rival factions in the Democratic Republic of Congo fought another gun battle in the capital Kinshasa today (Tuesday).
Gunfire was heard near the residence of Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba, and European peacekeepers say supporters of Mr. Bemba exchanged fire with soldiers loyal to President Joseph Kabila. The two are rival candidates in Congo's presidential elections.
Their supporters have been shooting at each other since Sunday, when election officials said Mr. Bemba and Mr. Kabila will compete in a run-off election in two months (Oct. 29) following June's inconclusive first round.

Sri Lanka: Reports from Sri Lanka say military forces and Tamil rebels are exchanging artillery and mortar fire today (Tuesday).
Clashes have been reported in the northern peninsula of Jaffna, where rebels are trying to break through government lines to reestablish access to their former stronghold. Violence has also been reported in the eastern district of Batticaloa.
In the capital, Colombo, police say they found a bomb planted on a bicycle in a busy shopping district. Bomb disposal experts defused the device, and no injuries were reported.

Japan Politics: The front-runner to become Japan's next prime minister has called for changes in the country's pacifist constitution.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said today (Tuesday) the country's next leader should use his leadership to create a new constitution, to begin a new era for Japan.
The United States drafted the existing constitution following Japan's surrender in World War Two. The charter restricts Japanese military action.
Japanese government officials have discussed revising the document to allow the military to act in self-defense and take a greater role in overseas missions.

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