President George Bush on Thursday announced a suspension of United States troop withdrawals from Iraq this summer to allow the military to reassess the security situation. The announcement came amid a spike in violence in Iraq in recent weeks.
United States air strikes killed 10 people in the eastern Baghdad militia stronghold of Sadr City, Iraqi police said on Thursday, but street fighting eased after four days of clashes that have killed close to 90 people. The Sadr City slum has since Sunday been the focal point of battles between black-masked Mehdi Army militiamen and security forces.
World powers said they would have to overcome key differences on Tuesday to agree on a new sanctions resolution against Iran that aims to ratchet up pressure on Tehran to curb sensitive nuclear work. The West has been engaged in a diplomatic showdown with Iran over its nuclear programme since 2002.
Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy were expected to form the perfect couple -- a pair of like-minded conservative leaders who would work hand in hand to heal Europe after its Iraq divisions and failed constitution. From his first day in office the Frenchman's bullish diplomacy has grated on his German partners.