Manmohan Singh arrives in Japan

Manmohan Singh arrives in JapanTokyo, Oct 21 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh arrived here on Tuesday for summit talks with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso during which they are expected to discuss a joint strategy to overcome the global financial crisis and possible cooperation in the civil nuclear energy sector.

Dr. Singh visit will bolster the India-Japan strategic and security ties. Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone accorded the Prime Minister a warm welcome upon his arrival at the Tokyo International Airport.

Namibia wants German universities to return skulls from colonial era

Namibia, WindhoekWindhoek  , Namibia - Namibia's government is calling for the repatriation of dozens of skulls that have been stored in German universities since the colonial era.

The Namibian government in a statement on Tuesday said it designated the National Monuments Council to deal with the matter in which it wants Germany "to pay for the repatriation of the remains and all related costs."

Saudi minister: trial of hundreds of terrorist suspects underway

Prince Nayef Bin Abdel Aziz Riyadh  - Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef Bin Abdel Aziz confirmed Tuesday that the trial of 991 terrorist suspects is underway.

The number is significantly higher than the 70 defendants reported in Saudi media Monday. Legal proceedings are believed to have started on Monday.

The minister said the defendants were responsible for more than 30 attacks in the conservative Muslim kingdom since May 2003, the Saudi News agency reported.

Kazakhstan decides to pull troops out of Iraq

KazakhstanAstana  - Kazakhstan has decided to pull its troops out of Iraq after five years of fighting alongside the US army, the Central Asian state's Defence Ministry said Tuesday.

Kazakhstan had deployed about 30 mine-clearing troops in Iraq a few months after the US-led invasion in the spring of 2003.

"At the request of the Iraqi government and in connection with the considerable stabilisation of conditions there, Kazakhstan's troops will come home," the ministry said in a statement.

Bangladesh may relax emergency rule month ahead of December polls

Bangladesh Election CommissionDhaka,  - Bangladesh's military-backed government may relax the prolonged state of emergency early November to hold the country's stalled parliamentary polls in December, an adviser to the interim administration said on Tuesday.

After a meeting with a European Commission delegation in Dhaka, the country's foreign affairs adviser said that the government would make an announcement relaxing the emergency rule in November, when a 10-member EU-core team will visit Bangladesh to assess the election atmosphere.

Brussels approves Germany's rescue of IKB bank

IKB BankBrussels - The European Union's executive body on Tuesday gave its blessing to the German government's rescue of troubled mortgage bank IKB, the country's first major victim of the current financial crisis.

The European Commission "has approved, under (EU) treaty state-aid rules, a 9-billion-euro (12.1-billion-dollar) restructuring package for German bank IKB," a statement released in Brussels said.

The bail-out "will allow for the restructuring of the bank, while the significant scaling back of IKB's activities will limit the distortion of competition created by the state support," it said.