The U.S. military says 14 American Marines and a civilian interpreter have been killed in western Iraq. The military said the Marines were killed today (Wednesday) when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb during combat operations south of the town of Haditha, near the Syrian border.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has formally endorsed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the country's next president. The conservative Mr. Ahmadinejad, who won the June presidential elections, succeeds reformist President Mohammad Khatami, whose term ends today (Wednesday).
Taiwan's weather bureau has issued a warning for residents to brace themselves for a possible onslaught from Typhoon Matsa. At last report, Matsa was located more than 500 kilometers east-southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip. Forecasters expect the storm to make landfall Thursday or Friday. The storm's maximum sustained winds are currently measured at 139 kilometers per hour.
American astronaut Steve Robinson is undertaking a risky repair of the space shuttle Discovery's heat shield during a walk in space. During today's (Wednesday's) emergency repair mission, the mission specialist is standing on the end of a robot arm mounted on the International Space Station.
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