The UN Security Council voted Thursday to impose sanctions on anyone contributing to violence and instability in Somalia. The resolution, adopted unanimously by the 15-nation council, is a framework that does not identify individuals or entities to be sanctioned. That will be decided later by a sanctions committee, diplomats said.

Russia's economy is protected against a sharp change in the ruble rate by large foreign currency and gold reserves, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday at a congress of the United Russia party. While the reserves help in maintaining macroeconomic stability, Putin added that the nation's economy is still too dependent on natural resources.

The leader of a long-running, antigovernment street movement in Thailand called for a major rally Sunday to protest the death of one its supporters in a grenade attack Thursday. The government denied Sondhi Limthongkul's accusations of official involvement in the blast, which occurred in the prime minister's compound, which has been occupied by the People's Alliance for Democracy since August.

The Palestine Liberation Organization took the unprecedented step of placing full-page ads in four major Israeli newspapers Thursday to promote a six-year-old Arab peace plan for the region. The campaign, a PLO spokesman said, was meant to inform Israelis about an initiative that has been "misinterpreted by the extreme Israeli right wing as an Arab conspiracy against Israel and its future."

The New Zealand Air Force said Thursday there were no signs of the life rafts or the 29-man fishing crew of a charred, deserted boat found drifting near Kiribati's Phoenix islands on Nov. 9. The last radio transmission from the Taiwan-registered vessel occurred Oct. 28, when the ship's captain spoke to his wife.

To coordinate Iraqi, Turkish, and US efforts to fight Kurdish separatist guerrillas, the three sides have agreed to establish a permanent commission, a senior US Embassy official in Baghdad said Thursday. Some 40,000 people have been killed since 1984, when the Kurdistan Workers' Party took up arms to carve out an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.

The US opened its first new consulate in China in 20 years on Thursday as part of a shift of diplomatic resources away from Europe and toward the "new front lines of diplomacy." The consulate in the central industrial center of Wuhan brings the number of US diplomatic installations in mainland China to six, just ahead of the 30th anniversary of renewed US-China diplomatic relations.

A Japanese naval destroyer failed to intercept a dummy ballistic missile in a test simulating a North Korean ballistic missile attack, Japan and the US said Wednesday. The test took place in Hawaiian waters. There was no immediate explanation for the failure.

Australian police will lift restrictions placed on former Guantánamo Bay detainee David Hicks, authorities said Thursday after his public plea for the police to let him "get on with" his life. Hicks, a former Australian cowboy turned Taliban foot soldier, pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism at a US military tribunal in exchange for a nine-month sentence in Australia. He had spent 5-1/2 years in the US military prison in Cuba, and has been subject to movement and communication restrictions while under Australian supervision.

The killing of 12 peacekeepers in an African Union camp will not go unpunished, an International Criminal Court prosecutor in Amsterdam said Thursday in asking for an arrest warrant against rebels for war crimes in Sudan's Darfur area.

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