U.S. first lady Laura Bush -- on an unannounced visit to war-torn Afghanistan Sunday -- is meeting with the country's president Hamid Karzai. Mrs. Bush told reporters the international community cannot drop Afghanistan now at what she called "this very crucial time." The first lady is in Afghanistan to highlight signs of progress it has made, and to urge international support for the country, which the Bush administration has declared a main front in the battle against Islamic extremists. During her visit, Mrs. Bush is to visit several projects, including a road construction site. She also planned to visit female recruits at a police training academy and U.S. troops.
Iranian officials say Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has assured Tehran that a proposed U.S.-Iraq security agreement will not harm Iran. Iranian media say Mr. Maliki made the comment today (Sunday) after a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran. The prime minister's comment comes amid discussions between U.S. and Iraqi officials about a security deal that would allow American forces to remain in Iraq beyond December 31st, when their U.N. mandate expires.
US POLITICS: Democratic U.S. presidential contender Hillary Clinton has ended her campaign and declared her full support for her former opponent Barack Obama. Addressing her supporters Saturday in Washington, Clinton urged them to work as hard to elect Obama as they had worked for her. Clinton called for an all-out effort by a united Democratic Party to elect Obama, who will face Republican John McCain in the November general election.
itnesses in Mogadishu say fierce artillery battles between allied Somali-Ethiopian troops and Islamist insurgents in Somalia's capital have killed at least 11 people, mostly civilians. Local residents said today (Sunday) the fighting began when Ethiopian and Somali government soldiers attempted to raid the Bakara Market in central Mogadishu when they were attacked by Islamist insurgents.
ZIMBABWE: Officials with Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change say the party will hold two rallies today (Sunday) following the country's High Court ruling that overturned a police ban on selected MDC events. Saturday's ruling came in response to an MDC petition that challenged the ban on rallies scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Harare. An MDC spokesman (Nelson Chamisa) says the court's action has limited impact, since it does not affect a ban on opposition campaign events nationwide.