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In brief: EU foreign policy chief meets Burma's Suu Kyi in wake of positive reforms

The European Union foreign policy chief has met Burma's pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Catherine Ashton, who is in the country to show the EU's support for recent political reforms, said she would open a new, embassy-level office in Rangoon.

Last week the EU suspended sanctions against Burma for a year in recognition of "historic changes".

Roadside bomb in Afghanistan kills 10

A ROADSIDE bomb in eastern Afghanistan has killed 10 members of the country's security forces, officials say.

Wardak province officials said the dead belonged to the Afghan local police. Taliban representatives have claimed the attack late on Friday.

Elsewhere, two suspected Taliban militants were shot dead just outside the governor's office in southern Kandahar province. The militants slipped into a provincial governor's compound in southern Afghanistan yesterday, setting off a fierce gun battle that left two security guards and both attackers dead.

Tougher rules for US Secret Service

The US Secret Service has tightened staff guidelines in an attempt to stop any repeat of the Colombia sex scandal. The move comes after 12 Secret Service agents and several US military officers were implicated in a night of sex and drink in Cartagena ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit for a regional summit earlier this month.

Somali pirate hijack numbers falling

Somali pirates took in almost £95.5m (€117.2m) in ransom last year but their ship seizures have dropped significantly since mid-2011, the head of the EU's anti-piracy fleet said. There were only three successful Somali pirate seizures in the first half of 2011, Rear Admiral Potts told the EU's United Nations Mission.

US plans to sell fighter jets to Taiwan

US President Barack Obama's government has for the first time raised the possibility that it could sell new jet fighter aircraft to Taiwan to help redress the island's air power deficit with China. If the move goes through it would infuriate Beijing, which claims the island as its territory.

Ten die in Haiti after unabated rainfall

The Haitian government says up to 10 people died last week because of almost unabated rainfall in parts of the country. Joseph Edgard Celestin of Haiti's Civil Protection Office said 10 were reported dead, eight of whom perished trying to cross rivers.

Gere criticises private leader meeting

Actor Richard Gere has criticised Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for meeting the Dalai Lama privately rather than publicly. Mr Harper met the exiled leader in his Parliament Hill office in Ottawa, which billed the meeting as a "private courtesy call".

Public 'misled' on Iran strike merits

The former head of Israel's domestic intelligence agency has accused the country's leadership of "misleading" the public on the merits of a possible military strike on Iran. Yuval Diskin said an attack might speed up any attempt by Iran to obtain a nuclear bomb.

Millionaire's wife let killers into room

The wife of a Florida millionaire let two attackers into her hotel room, pointed them to her sleeping husband and gave them a pillow to muffle his screams as they beat him with dumbbells, one of the attackers told a court.

Alejandro Garcia, who has already been convicted, gave evidence for a third day at the murder trial of Narcy Novack, 55, of Fort Lauderdale, and her brother Cristobal Veliz, 58, of Philadelphia. They are accused of hiring Garcia and others in a plot that included the killing of hotel heir Ben Novack and his mother Bernice in 2009.

Sunday Independent