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Turkey-Iran Ties Continue to Worry West

Relations between Turkey and Iran appear to be getting closer and those ties are raising concerns among some of Turkey's Western allies. This past weekend, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said at a meeting in Ankara that his country is keen to bolster relations with neighboring Iran.   Increasing closeness between Turkish leaders and Iran, and Turkey's quest for better ties in the broader Muslim world, have fueled concerns in the West that this key U.S.

ECOWAS Resumes Talks on Niger's Political Crisis

The mediator appointed by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS has been meeting with a coalition of Niger's opposition and civil society groups in Abuja in a bid to find a solution to the West African country's constitutional crisis. A meeting involving a 41-member opposition delegation and ECOWAS-appointed mediator, former Nigerian military ruler Abdulsalam Abubakar, explored ways of narrowing differences between Niger's government and the opposition before a wider stakeholder forum at a later date. Abubakar held talks on Monday with a 22-member government delegation

N. Korea Says South Will Pay 'Expensive Price' for Naval Clash

North Korea says South Korea will pay "an expensive price" for firing at a North Korean patrol boat on Tuesday. The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper published a commentary Thursday saying the clash in the Yellow Sea was not an accident, but instead was a "premeditated act of aggression" by the South.

Russian Gas: Pipelines, Politics and Money

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has warned Ukraine he will cut off the country's gas supplies if it siphons fuel from export lines. Mr. Putin made the statement in Moscow following a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann. His warning carries an implicit threat that Europeans this winter could again face shortages of gas they receive from Russia via pipelines that go through Ukraine.   Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been discussing energy with European leaders much of this past year.

Pirates Seize Cargo Ship in Indian Ocean

Somali pirates have seized another ship, this one a cargo vessel with 22 crew members. The Greek-owned MV Filitsa was hijacked Wednesday in the Indian Ocean, 750 kilometers northeast of the Seychelles islands. The vessel was carrying cargo from Kuwait to South Africa.

US Urges North Korea Not to Escalate Tensions in Yellow Sea

Washington has urged North Korea not to escalate tensions in the Yellow Sea following a naval skirmish between the North and South Korean navies Tuesday. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says Washington hopes Pyongyang will not take any further actions in the area that could be seen as an escalation. South Korea's military says one of its warships first fired warning shots at a North Korean boat that it says crossed the Korean maritime border off the west coast of the Korean peninsula. South Korea says the North K

Eritrea is Focus of Brussels Meeting

International experts and politicians are in Brussels for a two-day meeting on ways to harmonize European and American policy on Eritrea and other parts of the Horn of Africa.   The meeting is sponsored by Europe External Policy Advisors, a Brussels-based research group.  It is being held amid mounting international concern about Eritrea's human-rights policy and allegations the Eritrean government supports Islamist insurgents in neighboring Somalia. In August, U.S.

'Assassination' of Kenyan Gang Spokesman Condemned

A Kenyan human rights body is calling for an investigation into the killing of the spokesman of a major Kenyan gang, saying the leader told the group a few weeks prior that his life was in danger from a government hit squad.

Sri Lanka to Boost Investment in Tamil Provinces Devastated by Civil War

Sri Lanka plans to pour development money into Tamil-dominated provinces that suffered economically during years of civil war.