by MONITOR
IN Iraq, fighting between the two biggest Shia militias resulted in the deaths of more than 50 people during celebrations in the holy city of Karbala. The cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told his militia, the Mahdi Army, to “suspend its activities” for six months although the significance of this decision was not immediately clear.

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said that American power was fading in Iraq and Iran was ready to fill the vacuum. In Baghdad US troops arrested a group of Iranians at one of city's leading hotels but released them within hours after protests from the Iraq government.

In Turkey foreign minister Abdullah Gull was elected president despite opposition from the military and others who feared his Islamist past might prevent him from defending Turkey's secular constitution.

Prime minister Gordon Brown maintained his strong lead in opinion polls over the Conservative leader David Cameron despite controversy over his refusal to hold a referendum on the EU reform treaty which many said was simply a rewrite of the abandoned 2005 constitution.

Bulletin Headlines of the Week l SUNDAY/MONDAY: 75'000 British Pensioners Are Living In Spain (Official UK figures showed that about one million pensioners claimed their pensions abroad). l TUESDAY: Hollywood Stars In Majorca For Charity Event (Majorca was hosting the first International Philanthropic Summit). l WEDNESDAY: Save the Coast Campaign (Balearic leader Francesc Antich announced plans to try and buy chunks of the Balearic coastline in an effort to maintain the islands' dwindling undeveloped areas. l THURSDAY: Car Park Outrage (Residents in the El Terreno district of Palma protested at a new car park for lorries which was causing noise and damage in their streets). l FRIDAY: Balearic Beaches Battered (Inspectors had temporarily downgraded the status of several beaches following damage by recent storms). l SATURDAY: VIP Majorca (Paris Hilton was among the celebrities on Majorca for the International Philanthropic Summit).

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