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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joins his Kazakh, Afghan, Russian and Tajik counterparts at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. Photograph: Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images Iran 's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , has called for a security alliance of several former Soviet nations and China to form a united front against the west. Ahmadinejad's address to heads of state at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), in Kazakhstan could deepen suspicions that the bloc is intended as a counterbalance to US influence across the region. In a summit declaration signed by all the member states, the organisation also attacked missile defence programmes. "The one-sided and unlimited development of missile defence systems by one government, or a narrow group of governments, could cause damage to strategic stability and international security," the document says.
Reducing nuclear power will lead to more pollution and higher energy costs, says the IEA. Photograph: Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters The International Energy Agency has warned that the world faces higher energy costs, more carbon emissions and greater supply uncertainty if it turns its back on nuclear power . Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the IEA, signalled that the organisation was likely to cut its estimates of atomic power when it finalises its latest World Energy Outlook this year. The IEA previously believed nuclear would generate 14% of all electricity by 2035 but this figure is under revision in the light of Germany and Japan abandoning the sector following the Fukushima crisis. This week, in a referendum, Italy also voted overwhelmingly – and against the advice of Silvio Berlusconi's government – to reject any return to nuclear power.
Unterweser nuclear power plant in Esenshamm, Germany, which will be shut down along with 16 other nuclear plants by 2022. Photograph: Carmen Jaspersen/AFP/Getty Images Angela Merkel has committed to shutting down all of the country's nuclear reactors by 2022, a task said by one minister to be as mammoth as the project to reunite East and West Germany in 1990.
People celebrate following results in Italian referendums on water and nuclear power in Rome. Photograph: Roberto Monaldo/AP The anti-nuclear movement won a crushing victory in Italy on Monday when well over 90% of voters rejected Silvio Berlusconi 's plans for a return to nuclear power generation. The result represented an overwhelming setback for the prime minister, who had tried to thwart the outcome by discouraging Italians from taking part.
Demonstrators in Athens give their reaction to Greek PM George Papandreou's offer to stand down to make way for a unity government Link to video: Greece's protests continue after PM George Papandreou offers to quit Greece 's 18-month sovereign debt crisis brought the government to the brink of collapse as public fury over savage austerity measures erupted in pitched battles with riot police on the streets of Athens. The escalation of the Greek crisis had instant European and global impact, sending world stocks tumbling and exposing European Union paralysis over whether and how to launch a second attempt in a year to save Greece from insolvency. George Papandreou, the socialist prime minister, announced he would seek a vote of confidence on a new government after offering to resign and broker a new national unity coalition with opposition conservatives.
A protester in Omaha, Nebraska, demonstrates against the Keystone XL pipeline. Photograph: Nati Harnik/AP Congress took a first step on Wednesday to fast-track a controversial Alberta tar sands pipeline, ordering Barack Obama to reach a decision on the project by 1 November. The bill, voted through a panel of the house energy and power subcommittee, would compel Obama to over-rule demands for a further review of the project from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and disregard local opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline from landowners along its 1,700-mile route. Republicans in Congress are planning further action to push ahead on the pipeline next week, environmentalists said. Senator James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who is the main force among climate change sceptic in Congress, is working on a bill that would repeal a 2007 provision restricing the federal government's use of high-carbon fuels, such as those from the Alberta tar sands.
The unresponsive CIA website during the attack on Wednesday evening. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters The CIA has become the latest target of self-styled "pirate ninja" hackers LulzSec .
House speaker John Boehner warned Barack Obama he is on 'thin legal ice' over Libya campaign. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images The White House has told Congress that President Barack Obama has the legal authority to press on with US military involvement in Libya and urged sceptical lawmakers not to send "mixed messages" about their commitment to the Nato -led air war. Delivering a detailed report to Congress on Wednesday to justify Obama's Libya policy, the administration argued he had the constitutional power to continue acting against Muammar Gaddafi 's forces even though lawmakers had not authorised it.
Greek anti-austerity protests in Athens. Photograph: Kostas Tsironis/AP Greece 's Socialist government began power-sharing talks with the opposition conservatives as violent clashes ripped through Athens , state television has reported.
In an earlier life, David Daniel jumped through fire and performed a motorcycle stunt called the Wheel of Death. For his second act, he picked a fight with a $7bn oil pipeline set to run through Texas . He is not doing badly for a man taking on big oil in the home of black gold. Growing opposition to a Canadian project to pump crude from tar sands in Alberta across six American states to the Gulf coast could force the Obama administration to reconsider – and possibly delay – the project.
'Cameron and Osborne have often said that the UK won’t participate in the rescue of a eurozone member state,' a European commission official has said. 'But it cannot veto this.' Photograph: Ray Tang/Rex Features
American and Afghan officials are locked in increasingly acrimonious secret talks about a long-term security agreement which is likely to see US troops, spies and air power based in the troubled country for decades. Though not publicised, negotiations have been under way for more than a month to secure a strategic partnership agreement which would include an American presence beyond the end of 2014 – the agreed date for all 130,000 combat troops to leave — despite continuing public debate in Washington and among other members of the 49-nation coalition fighting in Afghanistan about the speed of the withdrawal. American officials admit that although Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, recently said Washington did not want any "permanent" bases in Afghanistan, her phrasing allows a variety of possible arrangements. "There are US troops in various countries for some considerable lengths of time which are not there permanently," a US official told the Guardian.
The Zvi Goffer and Raj Rajaratnam cases are part of a crackdown by US prosecutors on insider trading in Wall Street. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP A former hedge fund trader know as "Octopussy" was found guilty of orchestrating an insider-trading scam on Monday in the latest victory for US prosecutors cracking down on insider dealing on Wall Street. After five days of deliberation a New York jury found Zvi Goffer, 34, guilty of 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud. His brother Emanuel Goffer, 32, and Michael Kimelman, 40, another trader at their firm Incremental Capital, were each convicted of conspiracy and two counts of securities fraud.
An Israeli soldier stands on a tank near the Gaza border. Photograph: Ariel Schalit/AP The Gaza Strip enters its fifth year of a full Israeli blockade by land, air and sea on Tuesday with unemployment at 45.2%, one of the highest rates in the world, according to a UN aid agency report ( PDF ). The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) found that by the second half of 2010, real wages had fallen 34.5% since the first half of 2006, when sanctions were imposed by Israel after Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip, won a Palestinian legislative election. The UN says the strict blockade began a year later. "These are disturbing trends," said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, "and the refugees, who make up two-thirds of Gaza's 1.5 million population, were the worst hit."
The European Union has just released a positive ‘ENP Country Progress Report' on Jordan, praising the Kingdom's substantial progress in areas related to political reform, governance, and transparency. According to the EU Ambassador to Jordan Patrick Renault , Jordan is on the right track. The EU is far from alone in presenting the small Hashemite Kingdom as one of the few success-stories in the recent years' efforts in democracy-promotion in the Middle East. In a discussion about democratic reforms in the so-called ‘moderate Sunni Arab' states Condoleezza Rice stated that "Jordan is making really great strides in its political evolution." When Barack Obama had a one-to-one dinner with King Abdallah II during his presidential campaign, the story goes that he was so impressed with the visionary and reform-eager young Hashemite ruler that he told him: " Your Majesty, we need to clone you."
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