IRAQ: The U.S. military in Iraq says coalition forces killed at least 22 insurgents during operations today (Saturday) north of the capital, Baghdad. The military says troops killed 12 insurgents while trying to capture a suspected bomb-maker and his associates. Ten more insurgents were killed in a separate mission to destroy a bomb-making factory in the mostly Sunni Arab town of Taji, north of the capital.
BRITAIN-RUSSIA: The British government says a former Russian spy who became a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was poisoned with a radioactive substance. Authorities in London confirmed Friday that Alexander Litvinenko was killed by a heavy dose of the radioactive element called polonium 210. The rare substance was found in Litvinenko's urine, in his home in Britain, and in the London hotel and restaurant he visited the day he became ill.
SOKOR-BIRD FLU: South Korean officials have confirmed that an outbreak of bird flu in the country's southwest was caused by the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus. Health and agriculture officials said test results showed today (Saturday) that H5N1 was present at at a farm in Iksan, where some six thousand chickens died this week. The H5N1 strain has killed more than 150 people worldwide. No one has died in South Korea.
PAKISTAN-CHINA: Chinese President Hu Jintao is in the ancient Pakistani city of Lahore today (Saturday) to meet with business leaders and tour historical sites. The visit to the northeastern city, close to the Indian border, underscores Mr. Hu's pledge on Friday to promote cultural exchanges in addition to trade and military cooperation. Pakistan and China signed a five-year free trade agreement Friday aimed at strengthening economic and trade cooperation.
CHINA-AIDS ACTIVISIT: An AIDS organization in Beijing says a prominent Chinese activist has gone missing after being questioned by police. The advocacy group Aizhi said today (Saturday) that Wan Yanhai disappeared Friday after police questioned him for most of the day. The group says before disappearing, Wan ordered the staff to cancel a conference on AIDS and human rights scheduled for Sunday. His disappearance comes ahead of World AIDS Day on December first.
THAILAND UNREST: Thai officials say hundreds schools in the volatile southern province of Pattani will be closed in response to the murder of two teachers by suspected Islamist militants. Officials say they will begin closing about 334 primary and secondary schools Monday because teachers and students fear for their safety. Insurgents shot and killed two teachers on Thursday and Friday in Pattani. In one the incidents, gunmen set the victim's body on fire.
CHAD UNREST: Witnesses in Chad say rebel forces have attacked government forces in the eastern city of Abeche this (Saturday) morning. Abeche is located several hundred kilometers east of the Chadian capital of N'Djamena. Further details of the situation in the city were not available. Earlier this week, the Chadian government extended emergency measures by six months in order to quell ethnic conflicts in the country's east. The emergency was imposed after fighting broke out between ethnic Arab and ethnic African communities, killing at least 400 people.
CAMBODIA-KHMER ROUGE: Organizers of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge tribunal say they have failed to agree on the rules that will govern the U.N.-backed proceedings. Cambodian and international judicial officials issued a statement in Phnom Penh today (Saturday) saying they could not agree on several issues, including how to integrate Cambodian law with international standards.
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