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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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IRAN

Bomb explodes in mosque, 9 killed

TEHRAN — A bomb exploded yesterday in a mosque in southern Iran, killing at least nine people and wounding more than 100, Iranian media reported.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency said the bomb exploded during an address by a cleric in the Shohada mosque in the city of Shiraz.

Fars news agency said that on Saturday nights the cleric usually gave speeches on the Baha’i faith, an offshoot of Islam considered heretical by Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim establishment and its members claim they face discrimination and persecution in Iran.

KENYA

Leaders report accord on Cabinet

NAIROBI — Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga struck a deal on a power-sharing Cabinet yesterday after secret one-on-one talks to end a six-week impasse, sources close to the talks said.

The formation of a coalition Cabinet is the crux of a deal to end the East African nation’s post-election crisis. Once the Cabinet is named and sworn in, Mr. Odinga will become Kenya’s prime minister.

The two leaders had agreed to announce a 40-member coalition Cabinet on April 6, but the deal fell apart at the last minute.

CHINA

Taiwanese, Hu hold historic meeting

BOAO — Taiwan’s next vice president sat down with Chinese President Hu Jintao for a brief but historic chat yesterday, raising hopes that the rivals would begin to ease six decades of hostilities.

The meeting between Mr. Hu and Vincent Siew marked the first time such a high-ranking elected figure from Taiwan visited a Chinese president since the two sides split in 1949, when communists took over Beijing and Taiwan refused to be ruled by the new government.

The 20-minute talk at a tropical island resort was largely symbolic, focusing on boosting economic ties. Beijing appears to favor Mr. Siew and his Nationalist Party political partner, President-elect Ma Ying-jeou. They were elected last month after promising voters they would soothe relations with China.

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