Afghanistan - Talks to stave off Afghan showdown

Defiant Afghan lawmakers met President Hamid Karzai yesterday for last-minute talks to stave off a showdown over when to open parliament that has brought political turmoil to Kabul. Karzai announced on Wednesday that he would delay the inauguration of the legislature by a month. Lawmakers say the country has gone long enough without a parliament and plan to meet for an opening today.

Algeria - Several injured in Algiers protest

Several people have been injured as police broke up a banned opposition demonstration calling for democracy in Algeria's capital Algiers. Many people were also arrested, members of the opposition party which organised the march said. Algeria has witnessed a number of protests in recent weeks, mainly sparked by rising food prices.

Iran - 'Disappointment' over nuclear talks

Foreign powers negotiating with Tehran on its nuclear programme sad they were "disappointed" after a round of talks ended without progress in Istanbul.

Haiti - Baby Doc fails to apologise for abuse

Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, in his first public statement since his surprise return from exile, offered his sympathies to those who suffered abuses under his rule. But Duvalier, who faces charges of corruption and crimes against humanity, stopped short of making a clear apology for the killings and torture that occurred during his years in power.

Austria - Fritzl house to be demolished

The house in which Josef Fritzl locked his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathered seven children by her is to be razed. The town's mayor said he would prefer the house to be knocked under cover of darkness, to deter the media.