IRAQ: The U.S. military in Iraq says coalition forces killed four terrorists and detained a fifth gunman during a raid early today (Saturday) targeting sites in Baghdad used to make roadside bombs. Meanwhile, Iraqi authorities say Baghdad's police chief survived a car bomb attack on his motorcade in the capital (today/Saturday). The blast killed one person and wounded six other people, including three police officers.
BUSH-IRAQ: The Democratic leaders of he U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have asked President Bush to reject any plans to boost troops levels in Iraq, saying it would escalate the war. In an open letter to Mr. Bush, the newly-sworn in House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, said increasing the number of troops would only endanger more Americans and stretch the U.S. military to the breaking point "for no strategic gain."
SADDAM-EXECUTION: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has threatened to review relations with any country that criticized his government's execution of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Mr. Maliki said today (Saturday) in Baghdad that Saddam received a fair trial, and his death by hanging is a domestic matter. A number of countries have criticized how execution was handled. On Friday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said hanging Saddam on a major Muslim holiday (Eid al-Adha) has turned him into a martyr.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has warned North Korea that a another nuclear test would further deepen the country's isolation. Rice said the reasonable course for Pyongyang is to return to the six-party talks. She said the talks could resume soon if North Korea was ready to be constructive. Rice made the remarks after meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Song Min-Soon Friday in Washington. Reports of activity at a suspected nuclear test site in North Korea have fueled media speculation that Pyongyang could be preparing for a second test.
SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan authorities say a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber set off a blast on a bus today (Saturday), killing herself and 15 passengers. Police say many other passengers were wounded when the blast went off in a bus about 85 kilometers south of the capital, Colombo. A senior police official (Upul Ariyaratne) said 40 people were admitted to local hospitals. The attack was similar to a powerful blast Friday on a passenger bus north of Colombo that killed at least five people.
SOMALIA: Several hundred Somalis have taken to the streets of the capital city, Mogadishu, to protest the presence of Ethiopian troops who are backing the interim government. Protesters shouted "Down with Ethiopia" as they burned tires and threw stones during today's (Saturday's) demonstrations. Ethiopian forces fired shots in the air to disperse the crowd. The protesters were also angered over an ultimatum issued earlier this week by Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi for residents to either voluntarily surrender their weapons or have them forcibly taken. The ultimatum was largely ignored.
INDONESIA - PLANE: A team of U.S. aviation experts is in Indonesia to help investigate a missing Indonesian passenger jet that vanished from radar screens Monday. Six people from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will work with Indonesian transport officials to try to find out where the Adam Air Boeing 737 went down. The jetliner carried a crew of six along with 96 passengers. It dropped off radar screens Monday as it was heading for Manado, on the northeast tip of Sulawesi island, from Surabaya, on central Java island.
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