World leaders, wrapping up a summit rocked by a new United States corporate bookkeeping scandal and dissension over President George W Bush's Middle East policy, on Thursday turned their attention to Africa and a far-reaching programme to provide billions of dollars of assistance.
India this week looked set to anoint as its next president the man responsible for carrying out the country's controversial nuclear tests four years ago -- a Muslim scientist with no political experience. Dr Kalam met the country's Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
India could consider pulling back some of its troops from its international borders with Pakistan once it is convinced Islamabad has permanently stopped the flow of Islamic rebels into Kashmir and dismantled their camps, an official said on Thursday.
A United States envoy said Pakistan's president assured him that he wants to do everything he can to avoid war with India. Richard Armitage also said the US military effort against al-Qaida has not been affected by the rising tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat emerged apparently unhurt on Thursday from his damaged headquarters compound after Israeli troops ended a six-hour siege that left one of his security guards dead -- flashed a victory sign as he was greeted by about 100 cheering civilians.