Iran's president says his country is open to what he calls "new conditions" to resolve the standoff with the West over Iran's nuclear program. Speaking to reporters in Dakar, Senegal, today (Thursday), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran wants to resolve the issue through dialogue, and is ready for new conditions. However, he did not elaborate on his remarks (before boarding a flight to Cuba, where he will attend the Nonaligned Summit). Mr. Ahmadinejad says he does not believe the United Nations will impose sanctions on Iran, because -- as he puts it -- there is no reason to have sanctions.
IMF-World Economy: The International Monetary Fund says the world economy will enjoy strong growth in 2006, marking the fourth consecutive year of expansion. The I.M.F. released its twice-yearly report on the global economy today (Thursday) at a joint meeting with the World Bank in Singapore. The lending agency predicts the world economy will grow five-point-one percent this year and four-point-nine percent in 2007. Both forecasts are slightly higher than previous estimates in April. But, the I.M.F. also warns of several economic threats, such as rising inflation, increasing oil prices, and a slowing of the U.S. housing market.
US-SOKOR: South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun meets today (Thursday) with President Bush at the White House for talks expected to focus on North Korea's nuclear program. Mr. Bush favors using economic sanctions to get North Korea to abandon the program, but Mr. Roh prefers engagement with Pyongyang. Their White House meeting is also expected to focus on trade and U.S.-South Korean military issues. Mr. Roh met with members of Congress on Wednesday. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert said the lengthy, closed door meeting touched on the stalled six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program.
Thailand-Politics: Thailand's new election commission says upcoming parliamentary elections must be postponed. The elections chief said today (Thursday) voting originally scheduled for October 15th will be held November 19th or 26th. The upcoming election is a rerun of a vote held in April. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra called that poll months ahead of schedule to put an end to weeks of street demonstrations calling for his resignation. Critics accuse Mr. Thaksin of corruption and abuse of power.
Amnesty-Hezbollah: Human rights group Amnesty
International is accusing the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of committing war crimes in its month-long conflict with Israel. In a report released today (Thursday), Amnesty says Hezbollah's rocket attacks on northern Israel amounted to deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian objects.
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