IRAQ: The U.S. military in Iraq says five American troops have been killed in western Anbar province, raising the death toll among U.S. forces in Iraq to 96 this month. The five include four marines and one sailor. A military statement issued today (Thursday) said all died as a result of enemy action on Wednesday, but did not specify if they were killed in the same incident. Also Wednesday, the U.S. military says Iraqi forces backed by coalition advisers carried out several early morning raids on militant targets across Iraq.
IRAN NUCLEAR: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says a European-drafted U.N. resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran does not match the common position of the world's six major powers. Russian news agency Interfax quotes Lavrov as saying the objective of the six powers should be to prevent Iran gaining access to sensitive nuclear technologies, until U.N. inspectors clarify all the issues of interest to them.
CHINA-FRANCE: French president Jacques Chirac and Chinese president Hu Jintao have signed an agreement for China to buy more Airbus passenger aircraft. The head of the European aircraft maker (Luis Gallois) announced the order for 150 mid-size Airbus A320 planes today (Thursday), the second day of the French delegation's visit to China.
The leader of Thailand's coup says investigators have not yet found enough evidence to charge deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra with corruption. General Sondhi Boonyaratglin says it will be difficult to implicate Mr. Thaksin. He says the corruption probe is a long, difficult process that might not yield anything.
US-SOLAR OBSERVATORIES: The U.S. space agency has launched an unmanned spacecraft on a mission to study solar eruptions, called flares. NASA launched the spacecraft Wednesday from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It contains two observatories that will revolve around the sun for two years in different orbits, providing the first-ever three dimensional views of the sun. The eruptions can spew one billion tons of the sun's outer atmosphere into space.
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