NoKor Talks: A South Korean official close to talks on North Korea's nuclear program says the negotiations in Beijing likely will enter an unexpected sixth day, following signs of more sincere bargaining by Pyongyang.
Only a short time earlier, China had announced the talks would end today (Monday).
The U.S. and South Korean envoys had said the bargaining period was over, and that it was time for North Korea to decide whether to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the United States have been pushing North Korea since Thursday to agree to a list of steps aimed at starting Pyongyang's nuclear disarmament.
Iraq: Iraqi police say bomb attacks on two predominantly Shi'ite markets in Baghdad have killed at least 64 people and wounded about 150 others.
In the deadliest attack, police say two car bombs exploded today (Monday) in central Baghdad's Shorja Market. At least 59 people were killed when the bombs detonated in a parking garage under a building that houses clothing shops.
Police say a bomb attack on another Baghdad market nearby killed at least five people.
The bomb blasts struck Baghdad as residents marked the first anniversary (, according to the Islamic calendar,) of a Sunni militant attack on a Shi'ite shrine in Samarra.
Pakistan – Gates Visit: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he and Pakistan's president have discussed joint efforts to stop an expected Taleban offensive in neighboring Afghanistan.
Taleban fighters are expected to increase their attacks as warmer weather melts snow in the high mountain passes they use to move around the region.
After his meeting in Islamabad today (Monday) with President Pervez Musharraf, Gates described Pakistan as a "very strong ally" of the United States.
Afghansitan Violence: The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan says coalition and Afghan troops have killed several Taleban fighters in a raid targeting a senior guerilla leader.
The coalition statement did not say whether the targeted man was among the dead in today's (Monday's) action. The number of dead fighters was also not included in the statement.
The battle took place in Helmand province, a focal point of the renewed Taleban insurgency.The targeted leader is believed to have ties to fugitive Taleban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar.
Burma – Karen:
A woman's group says Burma's military government is subjecting ethnic Karen women to rape, assault, murder and forced labor as part of its campaign against the ethnic minority group.
The Thailand-based Karen Women's Organization said today (Monday) it has documented four thousand cases of abuse committed by soldiers over the past 15 years.
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