BRITAIN - TERROR PLOT: Britain's home secretary says the country's threat level remains at critical one day after police arrested the key figures in an alleged plot to blow up U.S. airliners over the Atlantic Ocean. John Reid spoke today (Friday) as thousands of airline passengers faced long lines and extremely tight security at Britain's airports. On Thursday, British authorities arrested 24 suspects. Officials say they could have been just days away from smuggling liquid explosives onto as many as 10 U.S. airplanes and blowing them up. Security is also tight at airports across the United States where authorities are not allowing passengers to take any liquids with them into the airplane cabin.
PAKISTAN/BRITAIN/TERROR PLOT: Pakistan says it has arrested several people in connection with the terror plot to blow up passenger aircraft flying to the United States from Britain. In Islamabad Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said the arrests in Pakistan were coordinated with officials in the United Kingdom. She said the arrests in both countries followed active intelligence cooperation between Britain, Pakistan and the United States.
US - INDIA TERROR WARNING: The U.S. Embassy in India is warning of likely terror attacks in New Delhi and Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) in the coming days. The embassy sent an e-mail to Americans living in India today (Friday) about the alleged plot. It says the attacks were believed to be planned for around India's August 15th Independence Day. It says targets could include airports and Indian government offices. Embassy spokesman David Kennedy says Americans in India should keep a low profile over the coming days.
ISRAEL - LEBANON: Israeli warplanes have carried out a new round of air strikes across Lebanon, repeatedly pounding the Shi'ite southern suburb of Beirut and other Hezbollah targets near the Syrian border. Lebanese medics say at least 11 people were killed and 18 others wounded in today's (Friday's) air attacks. Lebanese security officials say Israeli jets hit a bridge near the northern border and an eastern border crossing (Masnaa) in Bekaa Valley. Hezbollah also fired a barrage of rockets at northern Israel, hitting the cities of Nahariya and Haifa, wounding at least two people.
CHINA - TYPHOON: Chinese authorities say the strongest typhoon to strike China in half a century has killed at least 104 people with 190 others missing. China's official Xinhua news agency said Typhoon Saomai made landfall Thursday afternoon near the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, with wind speeds up to 216 kilometers-per-hour. Most of the deaths are from Zhejiang province where the storm destroyed 18-thousand homes. Two people were reported dead in the city of Fuding in Fujian province. The storm has been downgraded to a tropical depression and is moving into Jiangxi province. More than one million people were evacuated from China's coastal regions before the typhoon tore into the area.
KOREAS - FLOOD AID: The South Korean government has announced it will contribute more than 10-million dollars in aid to flood-ravaged regions of North Korea. South Korea's Vice Unification Minister, Shin Un-sang, said today (Friday) that the funding will be matched by private South Korean organizations. Separately, he said the government also plans to send an unspecified amount of aid, including food and other supplies, to North Korea via the South Korean Red Cross. A South Korean aid group estimates some 10-thousand people are dead or missing after heavy rains caused floods and landslides in North Korea last month. Pyongyang says hundreds have died.
VIETNAM - BIRD FLU: Vietnam has reported an outbreak of bird flu among poultry in at least one southern province. Vietnamese authorities say the virus was detected in ducks and geese in Ben Tre province. Officials have not said which strain of the virus was found. Vietnam has been praised for its efforts to combat bird flu since the virus surfaced there in 2003. The country has not reported a single case of bird flu infection among humans this year. It was once the country with the highest number of human fatalities from the H5N1 strain of the virus. Indonesia recently surpassed Vietnam's total, with 44 deaths.
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