Iraqi voters in hospitals and detention centers, along with members of security forces, are casting ballots today (Monday) -- three days ahead of the country's landmark parliamentary election.
Authorities are also imposing tight security before polls open for general balloting Thursday.
The country's international borders, as well as its airports will be closed. Road travel will be restricted to vehicles with special permits, and curfews will be extended effective Tuesday.
Police in Lebanon say a prominent journalist and staunch anti-Syrian lawmaker died in a car-bomb blast today (Monday) that apparently targeted him specifically.
The explosion that destroyed Gibran Tueni's armored vehicle also killed at least three other people. Another 10 were wounded.
The powerful blast was triggered just as Mr. Tueni's car passed through (Mekalis) a mainly Christian area of Beirut. Several other cars burst into flames, and nearby shops were damaged.
Ten Southeast Asian nations have opened
a summit in Malaysia by agreeing to draft a
charter for their organization.
The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed a pledge that the new charter would promote democracy and human rights.
The VOA correspondent in Kuala Lumpur reports they are also preparing a separate summit with major powers in the region.
ASEAN will host the leaders of six regional powers in the first East Asia Summit scheduled for Wednesday.
Listen to our World News for details.