SAUDI CLASH: Saudi Arabia says six al-Qaida-linked militants and one policeman have been killed in a shootout in a residential district of the capital, Riyadh. An Interior Ministry statement says a seventh militant was wounded in the fighting and was later detained. The statement said the fighting broke out early today (Friday), when security forces raided the militants' hideout.
IRAQ: Iraqi police say
at least 20 people were killed and more than 30 others wounded in two bomb attacks today (Friday). The first attack happened in the mainly Shi'ite southern city of Basra, where a car bomb exploded near market and a gas station, killing at least 10 people and injuring about 15 others. The attack took place despite beefed-up security in Basra under a state of emergency Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared late last month in an effort to stem sectarian violence and insurgent attacks. In the mostly Sunni city of Baquba, north of the capital, a bomb blast near a mosque killed at least 10 people and wounded more than 15 others as worshippers were coming out after Friday prayers.
FBI RAID: FBI officials say they have detained seven people suspected of planning terrorist attacks on targets in the United States, including the Sears Tower in Chicago. The suspects were detained Thursday during raids in Miami (,Florida). U.S. law enforcement officials plan to hold press conferences today (Friday) in Washington and Miami in connection with detentions.
EAST TIMOR: East Timor
President Xanana Gusmao says he will fulfill his obligations based on public demands that he stay in office, suggesting he is reconsidering his threat to resign. President Gusmao made the comments to a crowd of supporters gathered in front of his office today (Friday). A U.N. spokesman says the United Nations has also appealed to the president to stay in office to maintain stability in the country. On Thursday, Mr. Gusmao said he would submit his resignation to parliament because he was "ashamed of what the state is doing to the people." He called on Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri to either resign or be fired, following allegations (aired in an Australian television film) that Mr. Alkatiri was involved in supplying arms to supporters who pledged to kill his political rivals.
CANADA - DALAI LAMA: Canada's parliament has granted honorary citizenship to Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Members of parliament unanimously approved the measure --- marking only the third time that Canada has granted such a motion. Former South African leader Nelson Mandela, and Raoul Wallenberg, who is credited for his role in saving the lives of Hungarian Jews during World War Two, have also received honorary citizenship from Canada. The Dalai Lama is expected to visit Vancouver in September.
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