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No US pressure will stop Turkey from an incursion into Iraq to crush Kurdish separatist rebels, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. He spoke as a high-level Iraqi delegation was expected to arrive in Ankara for urgent consultations on the matter. The US has urged against an incursion that could destabilize Iraq's Kurdish north, the quietest region of the country. Turkish forces thwarted an impending attack on a border post Thursday, killing at least 30 more rebels, a spokesman said.

A suicide bomber targeted another convoy of Army troops in northwest Pakistan Thursday, killing at least 19 people and wounding 29 others, many of them critically. The attack was the second in two days since government troops were ordered to the area to confront a militant pro-Taliban Muslim cleric. Above, a troop truck lies on its side after the blast.

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Each time a Palestinian rocket falls on Israel, the latter will cut electricity to the Gaza Strip – and the longer the attacks continue, the longer the interruptions will last, officials announced Thursday. They didn't indicate when the new policy would begin but said it would stop short of a total blackout. The word came as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert confirmed that he'll meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas again Friday for more talks on the impending regional peace conference.

Democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi was summoned to a meeting Thursday at a government residence in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar), apparently with the ruling junta's new liaison, Aung Kyi. There were no details on what was covered, and an hour later, she returned to house arrest, with no sign that she was about to be freed. The new liaison is believed responsible for coordinating Suu Kyi's contacts with the government and with the UN.

Saying, "I'm doing this to show that we want peace," rene-gade Gen. Laurent Nkunda announced that he'll return up to 500 followers to the Army of the Congo. Nkunda quit the Army and formed a militia in 2002, claiming his ethnic Tutsi minority in eastern Congo needed protection from Rwandan Hutu rebels. But in recent weeks, an Army offensive has forced him to retreat, and President Joseph Kabila repeatedly has called on him to disarm.

Former Philippines President Joseph Estrada is expected to walk free Friday after his successor pardoned him from convictions for accepting bribes and embezzling money from the national treasury. A spokesman for current head of state Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said the pardon was granted because of Estrada's age (70) and because he agreed not to pursue further political office. He won the presidency in 1998 by the largest margin in Philippine history.

Some outdoor events in next year's Olympic Summer Games may have to be postponed due to poor air quality in Beijing, officials of the sports festival said Thursday. On an inspection tour of the host city, however, they expressed optimism that measures being taken to improve air quality could still take hold in time for the Aug. 8-24 games. Some nations plan to delay the arrival of their teams until the last minute to limit the exposure of athletes to the air pollution.

A powerful storm slammed two offshore oil rigs together in the Gulf of Mexico, killing at least 18 workers and causing leaks of both crude and natural gas, reports said Thursday. Sixty-one others were rescued, but seven employees of Pemex, Mexico's state oil monopoly, were listed as missing. Plugging the leaks could take up to five days, Pemex said.


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