Authorities in Haiti say the death toll from tropical storm Hanna,which skirted the Bahamas Thursday, has more than doubled to 61. Flooding is responsible for most of the deaths. A Forecasters have warned that another storm, hurricane Ike, could hit the Western Hemisphere's poorest country as a major storm next week.

Thailand's cabinet agreed Thursday to hold a referendum on a civic group's street campaign to oust the prime minister, which has paralyzed the government for 10 days and raised concerns about violence and economic chaos. The decision came hours after a defiant Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej went on national radio and vowed he would not step down. The announcement was met with skepticism from the antigovernment protesters camped in the compound of Samak's office, at Government House.

Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison will be the site of a new museum meant to document the crimes committed there during Saddam Hussein's regime, the government said Thursday. Exhibits will include torture chambers and execution materials. Allegations of abuse at the prison also erupted in 2004 with the release of photographs showing US guards abusing and humiliating detainees.

Gold production in the world's leading supplier, South Africa, fell more than 10 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, the industry said Thursday, blaming electricity shortages since the beginning of the year on poor government planning.

International talks about a contentious US plan to sell nuclear technology for peaceful uses to India resumed Thursday in Vienna, with a deal possibly in the offing by Friday. Critics contend that a deal would reverse decades of progress in discouraging nations from potentially developing weapons of mass destruction. India has tested nuclear weapons, but has refused to sign international nonproliferation accords.

A lack of reinforcement was a key problem in the collapse of about 7,000 Chinese classrooms, a Chinese scientist who studied the devastating May 12 earthquake said Thursday. The 7.9 quake killed nearly 70,000 people in Sichuan Province. A rush to build schools probably led to the use of poor quality materials, the official said in explanation of why schools collapsed while nearby buildings were left standing.

A deadly raid on a village by American and Afghan commandos has put new strain on relations with the US, said Afghan President Hamid Karzai Thursday as he vowed to punish those responsible. US officials have said that no more than seven civilians were killed during the Aug. 22 raid. Afghan officials, backed by the UN mission, insist that more than 90 civilians died, including dozens of children.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe set a Thursday deadline for the opposition to sign on to a power-sharing deal, the state-controlled Herald newspaper said. Otherwise he will form his own government. Mugabe blamed Britain for the refusal of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to agree to the deal, saying Britain wants to "punish" him by forcing him into an agreement that would endanger his policy of taking white farmland to resettle blacks.

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