BUSH IRAQ: President Bush and key members of his administration will defend the president's newly announced strategy for Iraq during a series of public appearances today (Thursday). In a nationallly-televised address Wednesday night, Mr. Bush took responsibility for mistakes made so far in Iraq and announced that he is sending more than 20-thousand additional U.S. troops to the country. The bulk of the troops will be deployed to Baghdad, while four-thousand will be sent to volatile Anbar province. Mr. Bush said the province is a base of operations for al-Qaida terrorists.
IRAQ: Iraqi officials say U.S. forces have detained five Iranians during a raid on Tehran's diplomatic mission in the northern city of Irbil. The U.S. military issued a statement today (Thursday), saying six people were taken into custody in the Kurdish region, but did not mention raiding the Iranian consulate. Local officials said the raid was carried out in the pre-dawn hours and that American troops also confiscated computers and documents.
AFGHANISTAN: NATO officials say up to 150 Taleban militants have been killed in eastern Afghanistan during a clash with NATO and Afghan forces. A NATO statement said the fighting took place shortly after a large number of Taleban fighters crossed over from Pakistan into Afghanistan's Paktika province. Afghan and NATO troops hit the militants with air and ground fire. There have been no reports of casualties among NATO or Afghan troops.
PHIL SUMMITS: Philippine authorities say the country will go ahead as planned
with a meeting of Asian leaders, despite deadly bombings in the south. Authorities gave assurances today (Thursday) for the safety of officials attending summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and East Asian leaders. The meetings begin Sunday on the central island of Cebu.
US-HMONG SHOOTING: The fiancee of a hunter suspected in the stabbing death of a Hmong man in (the midwestern U.S. state of) Wisconsin said her future husband acted in self-defense and is not a racist. James A. Nichols is being detained near the city of Green Bay pending possible charges in the death last week of Cha Vang. Nichcols' fiancee (Dacia James) tells reporters that Nichols was hunting squirrels last Friday when Vang approached. She said he told Vang to leave because he was scaring the animals away. She said Vang started yelling in a foreign language and shot Nichols in both hands. Nichols then stabbed Vang to death.
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