India-Blasts: Investigators in western India are picking through mangled wreckage for clues about who engineered a series of deadly train blasts. Two leading Kashmiri separatist groups fighting New Delhi's rule in Indian Kashmir issued statements today (Wednesday) denying any role in Tuesday's bombings in Bombay (also known as Mumbai). Lashkar-E-Toiba and Hizb-ul-Mujahedeen both condemned the attacks. At least 183 people were killed and more than 625 others injured when seven bombs exploded on packed commuter trains during rush hour. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. During the search today, authorities found a timing device near one of the rail stations.
Israel-Lebanon: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warns that Lebanon will "pay the price" if Hezbollah guerrillas do not free two Israeli soldiers whom they captured today (Wednesday) during clashes along the Lebanese-Israeli border. Mr. Olmert says Israel holds Lebanon responsible for the fate of the soldiers. He says they were captured not in a "terror attack" but in "an act of war" by Lebanon against Israel. The prime minister called an emergency Cabinet meeting (beginning shortly / in a few hours / about 16 hours, Universal Time) to decide Israel's next move.
Iraq: U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is in Baghdad today (Wednesday) for talks with Iraqi and American officials. Rumsfeld flew into Iraq unannounced after an earlier surprise visit to Afghanistan. The Pentagon chief says he will focus on security issues during his meetings with Iraqi government officials and U.S. military commanders.
Burma-ASEAN: Malaysia's foreign minister says Southeast Asia cannot defend Burma indefinitely unless it shows progress toward democratic reform, and releases democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. Syed Hamid Albar said Tuesday the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations has not received any new indications that Burma is taking steps to restore democracy.
SOKOR-U.S Trade: South Korean police used fire hoses to spray protesters in Seoul today (Wednesday), while negotiators across town met to shape an ambitious free trade agreement. Authorities lined the capital's main thoroughfare with buses and steel barricades while police used strong water hoses to stop protesters from rocking the buses back and forth.
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