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Iraq's Cabinet Approves Security Pact wih US


IRAQ: Iraq's Cabinet has approved a security agreement governing the U.S. troop presence in the country.
The action came at a meeting today (Sunday). The pact will allow U.S. forces to remain in Iraq after the U.N. mandate expires at the end of this year, but requires that they withdraw by the end of 2011.
The agreement now goes to Iraq's parliament for approval.
Iraqi officials had been calling for changes to the draft security agreement, including an amendment that would give Baghdad more authority over U.S. troops. Officials also wanted a guarantee that Iraqi territory will not be used to attack other countries.

DRC UNREST: The U.N.'s special envoy on Congo began talks today (Sunday) with the Democratic Republic of Congo's main rebel leader, as heavy fighting erupted in the eastern part of the country.
The U.N. says the fighting broke out just hours before the envoy, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, began discussions with rebel leader Laurent Nkunda.
It was not immediately clear which armed groups were involved in today's (Sunday's) fighting in Ndeko, about 90 kilometers north of Goma, the capital of the North Kivu province. Rebels, the army and pro-government militias are all operating in the region.

WORLD ECONOMY: Leaders from industrial and developing countries have agreed on a set of principles to keep financial markets open and to prevent further economic weakening.
The leaders of the G-20 countries resolved at a summit in Washington Saturday to take whatever further actions are necessary to stabilize the financial system. They pledged to strengthen the regulation of financial markets and committed to protect financial markets by bolstering investor and consumer protection.

PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN: Pakistan says it has temporarily closed the strategic Khyber Pass to fuel tankers and food trucks supplying NATO and U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan.
Pakistani officials say they hope to reopen the major supply route Monday, with armed escorts for the vehicles.
Last week, a convoy carrying supplies for Western forces in Afghanistan was ambushed by gunmen in the Khyber tribal district. Thirteen trucks were hijacked. The trucks were later recovered, but their contents had been looted.

Somalia-South korea: Pirates have hijacked a cargo ship off the coast of Somalia, even as other pirates were setting free another vessel after being paid a ransom.
South Korea's Foreign Ministry said today (Sunday) Somali pirates hijacked the Chemstar Venus Saturday. The crew of the cargo ship includes five South Koreans and 18 Filipinos.
There is no word on the condition of the crew.
Also today, officials said Somali pirates released the chemical tanker Stolt Valor late Saturday. The ship had been captured in September.

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