IRAQ: A suicide bombing in Baghdad has wounded Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Salam al-Zobai. A U.S. military spokesman said Zobai, who is a Sunni Arab, was taken to an American military hospital. An Iraqi security spokesman said Zobai's condition was not stable. At least six people were killed and several others wounded in the attack that took place in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. The bomber blew himself up as Zobai and other worshippers left a mosque after noon prayers in his residential compound.
CONGO - VIOLENCE: Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have issued an arrest warrant for
former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba on charges of high treason. The warrant was issued today (Friday) as government troops battled with followers loyal to Bemba for the second straight day in the capital, Kinshasha . Large columns of smoke have been spotted in the city's Gombe district, where Bemba's residence is located. Bemba has taken refuge in the South African embassy in Kinshasha since Thursday, when the fighting erupted.
US - CHINA - MILITARY: The United States' top military commander, Peter Pace, is encouraging military leaders in China to be more transparent as they build up their country's armed forces. Speaking in Beijing today (Friday), Pace said during discussions with top military officials, he told the Chinese their anti-satellite test in January sent the world a confusing message about Beijing's military intentions. He pressed Beijing to make their military matters more transparent. Pace said the Chinese offered no new information on the test, in which a ground-based missile destroyed an aging Chinese satellite.
CRICKET - WOOLMER: Police in Kingston, Jamaica say Pakistan
cricket coach Bob Woolmer was murdered. Jamaican police brought in a second pathologist Thursday, who concluded the 58-year-old coach died from asphyxia as a result of strangulation. Police investigators also fingerprinted and interviewed members of Pakistan's cricket team. Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room last Sunday, one day after Pakistan suffered an upset loss to Ireland. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly afterward.
US - MIDEAST: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leaves today (Friday) for a
tour of the Middle East aimed at reviving the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Rice is scheduled to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials, as well as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah. Speaking on Thursday, President Bush said he is sending Secretary Rice back to the region because securing peace there is a U.S. priority.
US - GATES - HARVARD: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates will be
awarded an honorary degree from Harvard University, 32 years after dropping out. Gates arrived as an undergraduate at Harvard (in the state of Massachusetts) in 1973 but left a few years later to dedicate himself full-time to developing Microsoft Corporation. Harvard will award the honorary degree at this year's graduation ceremony in June, where he will speak. Considered the wealthiest person in the world, Gates says he will give up his day-to-day involvement with Microsoft next year, so that he can devote more time to his philanthropic work.
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