Despite claims of an assassination plot against him, opposition presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai announced he'll return to Zimbabwe Saturday. He said he wanted to work to end the political violence that has caused millions of people to flee the country. Tsvangirai has been abroad since claiming victory in the March election. He was expected to return last weekend to prepare for a runoff against incumbent Robert Mugabe but called off the trip because of the alleged plot.Skip to next paragraph
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In an unusual move, a senior Chinese official went on national TV Thursday to refute criticism that foreign donors have done little to help victims of the May 12 earthquake. Commerce Minister Chen Deming said, "We have seen the greatest ... donations from the international community ever in history." Complaints on Internet sites have called foreign companies "misers" and exhorted consumers to "support Chinese companies instead."
President Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia claimed a strong victory by his United National Movement in Wednesday's parliamentary election and said he hoped international observers would confirm that voting had been "free and fair." But Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitors only partially agreed, citing alleged intimidation of voters and other concerns. Opposition leaders vowed to challenge the results in court.
An arm of the US government joined the Palestinian revitalization effort Thursday, committing itself to help back the risks taken by investors in the West Bank. The Overseas Private Investment Corp. agreed to guarantee all but the first $10,000 of a claim filed by exporters – up to a maximum $75,000 – due to trade restrictions imposed by Israel. More than $2 billion in investment opportunities are being offered at an international conference in the West Bank this week. On Wednesday, a Saudi company pledged to build $250 million worth of malls, hotels, and residential towers.