IRAQ-IRAN: Visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his trip to Iraq has opened a new chapter in relations between the two former enemies. After his arrival in Baghdad today (Sunday), Mr. Ahmadinejad was taken directly to a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. At a joint news conference after the meeting, the Iranian leader said the talks were very positive. He said the two leaders had a mutual understanding of things, and were determined to strengthen political, economic and cultural ties. Mr. Ahmadinejad said a developed, powerful and united Iraq is to the advantage of everyone.
ARMENIA PROTEST: Armenian authorities say eight people have died in clashes between police and protesters in Yerevan - the capital. A police spokesman said today (Sunday) 33 police were also wounded in the overnight violence. Armenia's president, Robert Kocharian, declared a 20-day state of emergency Saturday, after political tensions erupted into violence following the disputed February 19th presidential election.
RUSSIA ELECTION: Russians are voting today (Sunday) for a successor to President Vladimir Putin. It is generally expected that Mr. Putin's handpicked candidate - 42-year-old First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev -will win the election. Mr. Putin - who is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term - has made it clear that he intends to be a powerful prime minister if Medvedev wins.
THAILAND ELECTION: Thais are going to the polls today (Sunday) to vote in the first Senate elections since a military coup that ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Voters will choose one senator to represent each of the country's 76 provinces. The other 74 senators have already been appointed, by a government commission that was established last year by a new, military-backed constitution. Mr. Thaksin, who returned from exile Thursday, is not eligible to vote. He was banned from political activities for five years after a court found him guilty in absentia of electoral fraud.
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