(FT) -- Leaders from the G20 group of leading economies will next month seek to agree specific guidelines on reducing global trade imbalances, in a fresh attempt to head off a potential "currency war".
Finance ministers and central bank governors, meeting this weekend in the South Korean city of Gyeongju, agreed on a policy framework to contain large current account surpluses and deficits, but a proposal to set specific targets ran into opposition.
The dollar traded near a one-week low against the euro or $1.3997 against the single currency in Asian time trading after the meeting, before coming back .
The meeting also announced significant progress in reforming the International Monetary Fund, shifting power away from Europe and towards emerging nations like China and Brazil.
Analyst reaction was muted. Eswar Prasad, a former IMF official now at Cornell University in the US, said a previous attempt to impose tougher IMF surveillance of current account imbalances had achieved little while the threat of such monitoring was unlikely to trigger policy changes in countries with large surpluses and deficits.
Todd Elmer, of Citigroup, said: "The meeting produced little pressure for the US to back away from its accommodative stance which has fuelled dollar depreciation, it does not call more strongly for increased flexibility in Asia and it appears to leave an out for some countries, like Japan, to pursue intervention or capital controls".
Jerusalem, Israel (CNN) -- A top Israeli official on Sunday criticized a new statement from Catholic bishops on the Middle East and blasted the remarks of a Catholic archbishop who spearheaded the statement as "libel".
On Saturday, Catholic bishops from the Middle East concluded a two-week conference in Rome, Italy, with a call for the international community, especially the United Nations, to work "to put an end to the occupation" of Palestinian territories.
On Sunday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon criticized that concluding statement of the conference, called a synod.
"We express our disappointment that this important synod has become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda," Ayalon said in a statement. "The synod was hijacked by an anti-Israel majority".
Ayalon singled out the remarks of a Catholic archbishop who said at the conference that Israel is not the Jews' promised land.
"We Christians cannot speak of the 'promised land' as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people," Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, who leads the Greek Melkite Church in the U.S., said at the conference's final press conference on Saturday. "This promise was nullified by Christ".
"There is no longer a chosen people -- all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people," Bustros said.
On Sunday, Israel's Ayalon said that "We are especially appalled at the language used by Archbishop Bustros during his press conference".
Bustros led the committee that drafted the synod's concluding statement on Israel and the Palestinians.
(CNN) -- Severe, continuous flooding in Thailand has claimed 32 lives, Thailand's official news agency reported Saturday.
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation listed fatalities in 10 out of 30 affected provinces. Hardest hit is the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, the official MCOT news agency reported.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has informed all six provincial governors of plans to send more officials in to ease relief efforts and work on an alert system, according to the Thai government.
Six points along the Chao Phraya River are being monitored. Residents in the Bangkok area are planning to strengthen the banks alongside the river channel, Thailand's Department of Agriculture reported.
Apirak Kosayodhin, former governor of Bangkok, has been appointed to chair a flood coordination center, MCOT said.
London, England (CNN) -- The British nuclear submarine that got stuck on the Scottish coast is heading back to port under its own power, escorted by tugs and a minesweeper, the Ministry of Defence said.
The HMS Astute -- which the United Kingdom calls its most powerful attack submarine -- ran aground off the Isle of Skye last week.
Its nuclear propulsion system was not damaged and its reactor is "completely safe," the ministry said, adding: "There was no environmental impact".
The sub was pulled free as the tide came in Friday afternoon.
It's heading back to Faslane, Scotland, the port it sailed from on October 5, where a "full service inquiry" will follow, the ministry said.
HMS Astute was commissioned in August.
The craft is a "highly complex feat of naval engineering" that is "at the very cutting edge of technology, with a suite of sensors and weapons required to pack a powerful punch," the ministry said.
The submarine was undertaking sea trials when it ran aground. People were transported out of the craft.
The ministry said the sub can carry a mix of up to 38 Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes and Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles.
(CNN) -- An opposition Shia Muslim party increased the number of parliamentary seats it holds in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain in elections, results indicated Sunday.
The Islamic National Accord Association won all 18 seats it campaigned for in the 40-seat legislature of the Sunni-run kingdom, it said after polls closed Saturday. That's one more than it won in the last elections, in 2006.
The country's Justice Minister Khaled bin Ali Al-Khalifa announced the results on national television.
There will have to be run-off elections for nine seats, he said, with voting scheduled for next Saturday.
Bahrain's Muslim population is 65 to 75 percent Shia, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life estimated in a report on the global Muslim population.
But Sunnis -- who make up the vast majority of the world's Muslims -- dominate the government of the island kingdom.
The Islamic National Accord Association, locally known as al-Wefaq, campaigns for a greater say in the Gulf monarchy.
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday stoody by a decree to disband private security firms operating in his country, despite objections from the United States and other countries that the move would leave international development organizations without adequate protection to do their work.
Karzai said that he has wanted to disband the organizations for some time and had warned about security for development organizations before, but that his words went unheeded.
"I mentioned that problem five years ago but international friends called it impossible and threatened to close the development projects at that time," Karzai said. "Again, I mentioned that problem three years ago and I requested the international community to help us in implementing it but they asked me to give them time more two years. Now the Afghanistan government is committed in its decision to disband the private security companies".
Karzai believes that the private security companies are creating a parallel security system that challenges the Afghan security forces, his office said.
Regarding protection for the development organizations, Karzai asked other countries to present a list of security requirements for large national projects and that the Afghan government would take decisions on whether and how to safeguard them.
The only exception to the closure of private security firms is their work protecting embassies and diplomats.
Stockholm, Sweden (CNN) -- Authorities on Sunday were investigating whether a pair of new shootings in a southern Swedish city were connected to a single unknown gunman who is targeting immigrants living in the city.
The first shooting occurred late Saturday when someone fired a bullet into a small store in central Malmo, said police spokesman Calle Persson. The second shooting was reported around midnight, after a family alerted police to a window being shot, he said.
Both the shopkeeper and the family are immigrants living in the city. Nobody was injured in the most recent incidents.
"It is still too early to say whether this was the same gunman that we suspect for the other shootings," Persson added.
Still, the suspected serial shooter is keeping edge -- and there are no suspects.
Police say at least 15 shootings in Malmo over the last year may be linked to the one shooter, believed to be using a handgun. Sydsvenskan, a respected regional newspaper citing police sources, reported that at least five shootings can now be tied to the same weapon.
The shootings have all been well planned, under the protection of darkness and at places familiar to the shooter, according to CNN's Swedish affiliate TV4, citing police.
Several of the shootings in Malmo have occured in recent weeks, police say. However, the first in the series is believed to be the October 2009 fatal shooting of a 20-year-old woman, said Malmo police superintendent Hans Nilsson told CNN.
Rome, Italy (CNN) -- The Italian government said it would halt the construction of a controversial landfill near Naples, but the assurance was not enough for protesters who clashed with police Saturday night, injuring six police officers.
Residents were protesting not only the building of a new landfill, but the conditions of an existing landfill, which they said pose an environmental and health hazard.
Guido Bertolaso, the chief of Italy's civil protection agency, was named by the government to deal with the issue. He told reporters that the government would put the second landfill on hold and the current landfill will be analyzed for any dangers to people or natural resources.
But protesters were wary of the government's word, and continued their demonstration. Some 500 protesters were blocking the road that leads to the landfill, though police estimated that only 20 or 30 people were involved in the clashes with police. Some speculated that those involved were not even involved in the protest, but were hooligans looking to start trouble.
Protesters hurled rocks, firecrackers and Molotov cocktails at police.
Bertolaso met Sunday with the mayors of the towns in the landfill area in Naples to restate the governments position. But the mayors have not agreed to Bertolaso's proposed compromise. Another meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday.
Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- An Iraqi high court on Sunday ordered the current parliamentary speaker to begin the process that will fill key positions in the legislation body, and also ruled that the current open session of parliament is unconstitutional.
Acting Speaker of Parliament Fouad Massoum was ordered to end the current session, according to the spokesman of the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq, Judge Abdul Sattar Beeraqdar. The council found it unconstitutional under Iraqi law, which limits such sessions to three weeks, the judge told CNN.
The court went on to rule that legislators must begin filling key parliamentary positions -- specifically, the positions of speaker and deputies -- without delay. Further, Massoum is ordered not to begin a new session of Parliament until the work of filling these key positions has begun.
The decision stemmed from a lawsuit against Massoum brought by a number of non-governmental organizations in Iraq.
Iraq's government has been in limbo for months. Elections in March gave the opposition al-Iraqiya bloc two more seats in parliament than Prime MInister Nuri al-Maliki's National Alliance coalition, but al-Iraqiya has not been able to muster the support required -- 163 seats in the 325-member Parliament -- to form a new government.
In September, al-Iraqiya, a largely cross-sectarian bloc which took 91 seats in the March 7 vote, said it would not participate in a government headed by the al-Maliki. Just a few days later, the National Alliance, which won 89 seats in the election, tapped al-Maliki for another term as prime minister.
(CNN) -- Arsenal moved into second place in the English Premier League with a 3-0 win at 10-man Manchester City on Sunday.
City had teenage defender Dedryck Boyata sent off inside the first five minutes at Eastlands as he hacked down Arsenal's Marouane Chamakh to prevent him racing clear.
Arsenal took full advantage as Samir Nasri exchanged passes with Andrey Arshavin to put them ahead after 20 minutes.
Joe Hart saved a Cesc Fabregas penalty just before halftime and City, even a man short, had chances to level but found visiting goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in fine form.
But their hopes were snuffed out in the second half once Alex Song had scored a fine second in the 66th minute and the returning Niklas Bendtner rubbed salt in the wound with a fine third.
"We have shown intelligence and calm in important situations, today's result was very important for us," manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports.
Chelsea, who beat Wolves 2-0 on Saturday, lead the standings with 22 points with Arsenal topping the chasing group on 17 points ahead of Manchester United and Manchester City on goal difference.
Earlier on Sunday, United scored a vital 2-1 victory at Stoke City with their summer signing Javier Hernandez scoring both their goals.
The Mexican international once again showed they do not need to rely on Wayne Rooney, who is absent with an ankle injury after the midweek controversy surrounding his massive new five-year deal with United.
He put Alex Ferguson's men ahead in the 27th minute with a clever back-flicked header, but Stoke were rewarded for their usual robust approach when substitute Tuncay Sanli equalized in the 81st minute with a superb curling strike.
Madrid, Spain (CNN) -- An unemployed security guard from Ecuador is Spain's top snoozer.
Pedro Soria Lopez, 62, was able to nap for 17 minutes and register a 70-decibel snore while sprawled out on a couch in the middle of a crowded shopping mall in what's been billed as the first-ever Spanish National Siesta Championship, CNN sister network CNN Plus reported.
The grand siesta champ won the first cash prize of 1,000 euros (about $1,400) in credit to purchase goods at the shopping center in Madrid.
The competitors started off by lying down on blue sofas, some in pajamas. Each got to eat a lunch ahead of time, then had twenty minutes to get as much z's as they could squeeze in.
Hundreds of contestants took part in the siesta championship which began October 14 and ended Saturday.
The intricate rules award points to contestants depending on how long they sleep during the 20-minute competition time, any unusual positions they sleep in, eye-catching pajamas they might be wearing, and yes, a lot of extra points for snoring.
The sponsors say it's meant to raise eyes to the problem of a country that's become so fast-paced that many say the traditional siesta is at risk.
"The modern life is a danger that we feel is against the siesta. When you sleep la siesta everyone has the image that your life is calm, you have a good life. And then, the modern life is a direct attack," said Daniel Blanco, president of the National Association of Friends of the Siesta earlier in the competition.
His group, which includes about 50 of his friends across Spain, persuaded a shopping center, Islazul, to host and pay prize money for the siesta competition.
In the competition, the siesta is limited to 20 minutes, a duration which the organizers and some doctors say is optimal; a quick nap after lunch to get refreshed, without entering a deep sleep cycle.
But the traditional siesta in Spain often lasts an hour or more.
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- The confirmation of five cholera cases in Haiti's capital is a "very worrying development," a U.N. spokeswoman told CNN.
Public health officials are working to keep the country's cholera outbreak from spreading in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where tens of thousands of people are still living in sprawling tent cities after January's devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake.
The fast-moving outbreak has claimed at least 208 lives in other parts of the country, said Imogen Wall, spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Haiti. And the country's health ministry is reporting an additional 2,679 cases.
Port-au-Prince could still be safe. Wall said the five patients were infected north of the capital, and those confirmed cases do not mean cholera has spread to Port-au-Prince.
"Our response system worked, but obviously this is a very worrying development," Wall told CNN.
The five patients in Port-au-Prince were infected in Artibonite, north of the capital, Wall said. They traveled to the nation's main city, where health officials discovered them to be infected within the incubation period, she said.
The five have been isolated and are receiving treatment, she said.
Beijing, China (CNN) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met China's Vice-Premier Wang Qishan on Sunday and "exchanged views" about economic relations between their countries, both sides said.
The meeting came shortly after Geithner publicly hammered China over its currency, which Washington says Beijing keeps at artificially low levels to boost exports.
Geithner had urged the world's leading finance ministers to take strong action to ensure emerging markets nations allow their currency to rise in value in line with the free market.
The worry is that if such currency manipulation continues, it could wreak havoc on international trade.
He insisted that "countries that have traditionally run large trade and current account surpluses" -- which China has done -- needed to move "away from export dependence and toward stronger domestic demand led growth".
He said rich countries like the United States needed to play their part too by saving, investing and exporting more.