UN unveils plans to step up efforts in Iraq
BAGHDAD - Five years after bombings forced the United Nations to pull out of Iraq, the world body is back. It announced plans Wednesday to help Iraq rebuild and create jobs following complaints the government has been unable or unwilling to spend its oil riches.
An agreement signed by the U.N. and the Iraqi government outlined a series of steps to help the Iraqis improve spending. The U.N. will also aid in the funding of reconstruction, development and humanitarian projects.
With a budget of $2.2 billion through 2010, the U.N. hopes to use its know-how to train Iraqi bureaucrats and create incentives to develop the country's private sector.
Syria, Lebanon to establish diplomatic ties
DAMASCUS, Syria - Syria and Lebanon agreed Wednesday to establish full diplomatic relations for the first time in a step toward healing tensions that have fueled decades of turmoil in Lebanon.
The two countries have not had full relations since they won independence from France in the 1940s - seen by many Lebanese as a sign Syria never gave up historic claims that its smaller neighbor is part of its territory.
The decision to open embassies came during a landmark visit to Syria by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman.
Pressure mounts on Zimbabwe opposition
HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader faced mounting pressure Wednesday to agree to a power-sharing government with autocratic President Robert Mugabe, but insisted that this must reflect 'the will of the people.'
'We need a government that transfers power to the elected representatives of the people to carry out the people's mandate for change,' Movement for Democratic Change president Morgan Tsvangirai said.
Missiles kill 9 in Pakistan
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan - A missile strike in a Pakistani tribal region killed at least nine suspected insurgents, officials said Wednesday, raising suspicion that the U.S. was again targeting militants in Pakistan.
A spokesman for the U.S. military denied it was behind the four missiles that struck the compound late Tuesday in a remote and mountainous area near Angore Adda in South Waziristan.