Published: Friday 15 July 2005

Through the Cairo Declaration on June 10, 2005, the African Union has said the US must end its cotton subsidies by December 2005. It has also called for a "credible end date" to eliminate export subsidies on agricultural products, reduce domestic subsidies and tackle preferenec erosion in agricultural market access.

On June 10, 2005, the national electricity companies of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan agreed to form an electricity-coordination council to formulate a strategy to develop electrical power and rational use of water and energy resources in Central Asia.

Nepal's Siraha district has of late reported a high number of leprosy cases. Media reports quoted Siraha District Health Office as saying that 135 cases were diagnosed recently; 84 people were inflicted with the disease's contagious variety. Children form a high-risk group.

The EU said on June 16, 2005 that it will end farm export subsidies only if more advanced developing nations like Brazil and India free up trade in industrial goods. The bloc had earlier promised to phase out these subsidies. "We stand ready to flesh out our plans...but this can only be done on the basis of fair reciprocity," said the EU trade chief.

Thousands of squatters have been evicted from their farms in Kenya's Mau forest following a government order. These people demand their land back and allege human rights violations.

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