LEBANON: Lebanese leaders are urging calm while the country observes three days of mourning following Tuesday's assassination of an anti-Syrian cabinet member. Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel was shot in a Beirut suburb in an attack anti-Syrian Lebanese leaders blame on Syria. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora says the country will not be intimidated. Gemayel's father Amin, a former Lebanese president, urged restraint as protesters took to the streets in parts of Beirut.
IRAQ: The United Nations says the number of civilians killed in Iraq reached a new high in October. A new report says three-thousand-709 civilians were killed last month, up from the previous high of three-thousand-590 in July. The report says sectarian violence was the main cause of the deaths. Meanwhile, President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki plan to meet next week in Jordan to discuss improving the security situation in Iraq.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: Israel's security cabinet has agreed to continue military raids in the Gaza Strip but ruled out a large scale offensive to counter Palestinian rocket attacks. The cabinet met today (Wednesday) after the second Israeli in a week was killed by rocket fire. On Tuesday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour called on Palestinian officials to stop militants in Gaza from firing the rockets. She also criticized Israeli raids into Gaza, saying Israel is operating in an atmosphere of virtual impunity.
INDIA-CHINA: Chinese President Hu Jintao says his country welcomes improving relations between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan. Speaking in the Indian capital, New Delhi, today (Wednesday), Mr. Hu said China wants peace and development in South Asia and said his country does not seek any selfish gains in the region. China has long been allies with Pakistan and is seeking greater trade and diplomatic relations with India.
BANGLADESH-UNREST: Rival political activists in Bangladesh have fought each other for a third straight day in a battle over electoral reforms. Witnesses say one man was stabbed to death in the northern town of Bogra today (Wednesday) during a fight between opposition and government supporters. In the capital, Dhaka, riot police used batons to break up another street battle involving rival groups, and several people were reported injured.
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