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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 April 2007, 20:39 GMT 21:39 UK
The world this week
A look at what could be dominating the headlines around the world this week - and some key background on those events.


Indian policewomen in the UN's first all-women peacekeeping unit, deployed to Liberia
A special series on peacekeeping with features on K-For's work in Kosovo, South Asia's Blue Helmets, peace enforcement in DR Congo and Haiti, and comment from John Bolton

Pope turns 80: Officials from Pope Benedict XVI's southern German homeland will present a charitable fund that has been created for the pontiff for his 80th birthday. It is aimed at supporting projects of the Pope's choice in the Middle East.

Somalia reconciliation: In a bid to bring about reconciliation in a country where inter-clan fighting is common, delegates from Somalia's myriad clans are scheduled to gather for a government-backed conference in the capital, Mogadishu.

'Fertiliser plot': The jury at the trial of seven men accused of plotting to carry out a series of bombings in the UK resumes its deliberations. The defendants were arrested after 600kg of chemical fertiliser was found in a storage depot in London in 2004. They deny conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life.


Nuclear power plants
More and more countries are looking to nuclear power
Energy summit: Everyone who is anyone in the nuclear industry will gather in Budapest, Hungary, as the World Nuclear Association discusses how best to meet the huge surge in demand for nuclear power.

Iraq refugees: The UNHCR will convene an international conference in Geneva to assess the problems and needs of displaced people in Iraq and neighbouring countries. Earlier this year, the agency said almost four million Iraqis had been displaced.


Abhishek Bachchan and Ashwariya Rai
Abhishek Bachchan and Ashwariya Rai: Three-day wedding extravaganza
Superstars wed: The three-day wedding of one of Bollywood's hottest on-screen pairs - Abhishek Bachchan and Ashwariya Rai - begins in Mumbai (Bombay). The media went overboard when the superstars got engaged at the beginning of the year, so expect maximum coverage of the event.


Terror trial: Sentencing begins for 100 people convicted in connection with the 1993 Mumbai train explosions, which killed 257 people. The attacks were allegedly ordered by the Muslim-dominated underworld after Hindu-Muslim riots.

Portrait of Jane Austen
One of the world's most intriguing literary portraits goes on sale
Literary portrait: The only known painting of British author Jane Austen will be auctioned at Christie's in New York. The painting, believed to have been commissioned around 1790 by Austen's great-uncle, is owned by one of her descendants. The authenticity of the portrait, which is expected to fetch between $400,000 and $800,000, has previously been disputed but Christie's says it is a "true depiction" of the author.

Moving forward: Thailand's military government is set to unveil a draft of the new constitution for public debate before putting it to a referendum in September. A military coup in September 2006 saw the ousting of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.


Down to Earth: The Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying US software pioneer Charles Simonyi and two Russian cosmonauts is expected to return to the Baikonur space station in Kazakhstan.


Democracy in Nigeria: National elections will be held in Nigeria, which should see the first democratic transfer of power from one civilian administration to another since independence in 1960.


French vote: The first round of the French presidential elections will take place. If, as is usually the case, no candidate wins 50% or more of the vote, the election goes to a second round between the two leading candidates on 6 May. The campaign has been almost entirely focused on domestic issues, with fears over joblessness and a stagnant economy the main worries.

This guide to the week ahead is not intended as an exhaustive list, and the events noted may be cancelled or postponed.

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