AfghanistanWeeks after Iraq's August 20 presidential election, with disputed returns giving incumbent President Hamid Karzai more than 50 percent of the vote — enough to avoid a runoff against challenger Abdullah Abdullah — charges of vote fraud are still being investigated by the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission. As the process of determining Afghanistan's new government goes on, officials from the United States and the United Kingdom, who together form the bulk of the NATO forces that helped provide enough security to hold the election, have taken a strong interest in what comes next.

coat and tieSheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh, has ordered male government employees to stop wearing suits, jackets, and ties to save electricity. By abandoning the traditional business attire, Hasina reckons that men in government office jobs will be cooler and therefore air conditioners can be turned up a bit.

Hamid KarzaiOn September 7, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Lieutenant General Karl W. Eikenberry briefed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the status of that nation's presidential election. However, despite vote tallies indicating that incumbent President Hamid Karzai had passed the 50-percent mark needed to avoid a runoff, a report in the New York Times for September 9 noted that Eikenberry had given an unequivocal message to Kazai on the day he spoke with Clinton: "Don't declare victory."

West BankIsraeli officials announced on September 4 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will approve the construction of hundreds of new Israeli housing units in settlements in the occupied West Bank in upcoming days.

In EnglandIn England, as of September 1, 2009, lesbian women in same-sex partnerships who conceive a child as a result of in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other similar fertility techniques, may have their names listed as parents on the baby's official birth certificate.

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