The Iraqi government says insurgent violence has killed 12-thousand civilians in the past 18 months. Iraq's Interior Ministry reported the first official toll on Thursday. Interior Minister Bayan Jabor said the figures show more than 20 people per day died in bombings and other attacks.
Israeli military officials said today (Friday) Israeli air defense systems detected three launches last Friday. The officials say one missile broke up over Turkey and showered debris on two Turkish towns, but caused no injuries. There has been no comment from Syria or Turkey.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says China needs to open up its political system along with its economy. Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters traveling with him today (Friday) to an Asian security conference in Singapore that China would be a more successful country if it offered its people the opportunities freer economic and political systems permit.
Pacific Rim trade officials have agreed on a framework for tariff cuts aimed at energizing negotiations on a World Trade Organization treaty. The pact was announced today at the end of the two-day meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in South Korea.
The United States has warned Americans in Indonesia of a threat by terrorists to attack hotels frequented by Westerners in Jakarta. The U.S. Embassy in the Indonesian capital issued a security alert today (Friday) saying it had learned of plans to strike at noon on an unspecified date, although the nature of the attack was not known.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan warns that the worldwide AIDS epidemic is spreading faster than ever, and that more must be done to combat the disease. U.N. officials say nearly five million people were infected last year with the (HIV) virus that causes AIDS -- more than ever before -- and the worldwide death toll rose to more than three million, also a record.
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