IRAQ: President Bush is set to hold high-level meetings on Iraq today (Saturday), as he prepares to unveil a fresh strategy for stemming sectarian violence in Iraq. New Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley are among those expected to brief the president at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland. Gates left Iraq Friday after a three-day visit to Baghdad where he held talks with U.S. military and Iraqi leaders on reducing sectarian violence.
IRAN NUCLEAR: The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote today (Saturday) on a resolution that would impose sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program. U.N. diplomats say the 15-member council will vote on an amended version of a resolution drafted by Britain, France and Germany. The resolution demands Tehran end all uranium enrichment work and halt research and development that can make or deliver atomic weapons.
AFGHANISTAN: U.S.-led coalition forces say they have killed Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani, a Taleban leader in southern Afghanistan who was a close associate of Osama bin Laden. A coalition statement released today (Saturday), said credible intelligence led coalition forces to Osmani's location in Helmand Province, near the border with Pakistan. The statement said Osmani and two unidentified associates were killed instantly in an air strike on Tuesday as their vehicle traveled in a deserted area.
UN-SUDAN-DAEFUR: Outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he is optimistic that Sudan will agree to a joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur. Addressing the Security Council Friday, Mr. Annan said reports from his special envoy to Sudan encourage him to think Khartoum may approve the proposed force on Saturday. He said he also is hopeful that Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, will approve a full ceasefire and a renewed effort to bring all Darfur rebel groups into the political process.
PALESTINIANS: Palestinian hospital officials say gunmen have shot and seriously wounded a senior security officer allied with President Mahmoud Abbas. Authorities say the assailants opened fire on Hassan Jarbouh today (Saturday) in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip near the border between Gaza and Egypt. Two other people, including a body guard and a young girl were also wounded in the attack.
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