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INDEPENDENCE OF SOUTHERN SUDAN
TUNIS – Southern Sudan proclaims its independence from the Khartoum authorities. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, foreign ministers of France and Great Britain, as well as leader of 30 African states are expected to attend the ceremony in Juba.
SITUATION IN LIBYA
CAIRO – Two powerful explosions were reported overnight in Libya’s capital Tripoli. Witnesses say the blasts were heard in a quarters located in the immediate vicinity to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s residence.
AID TO NORTH KOREA
PYONGYANG – The European Union has agreed to render food aid to North Korea, the North Korean Central News Agency reports. The move will “help overcome food shortages in the country and will promote mutual understanding and trust, and encourage cooperation between the sides,” the news agency says.
ASHGABAT – Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said on Friday the country should begin getting ready for the presidential elections in 2012.
FORMER U.S. FIRST LADY BETTY FORD DIES
LOS ANGELES – Betty Ford, the wife of the late U.S. President Gerald Ford, died on Friday at the age of 93.
MOSCOW – The first international Georgy Garanyan jazz festival opens in Moscow.