Nigerians are voting today in historic presidential elections, amid violence and delays in distributing ballots. The vote marks the first peaceful transfer of civilian power since Nigeria gained independence from Britain in 1960. The elections have been plagued by violence that has killed dozens of people across Nigeria.
SOMALIA VIOLENCE: Fighting between Islamic insurgents
and Ethiopian forces in Somalia continued for a fourth day today in the capital Mogadishu. Witnesses say at least two people have been killed in heavy shelling between the two sides. A Somali human rights group says at least 113 people have been killed and 200 wounded since the latest round of fighting broke out Wednesday.
EGYPT - CANADA - ISRAEL: An Egyptian man with dual Canadian citizenship has been convicted in a Cairo courtroom of spying for Israel. Mohammed al-Attar was sentenced to 15 years in prison today. Three Israelis were also given 15-year sentences in absentia for allegedly recruiting the Egyptian. Throughout the trial, Attar maintained his innocence, and said Egyptian interrogators had forced a false confession using torture.
US - UNIVERSITY SHOOTINGS: The
family of Cho Seung-hui, the man who killed 32 people during a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University, says "he has made the world weep." In a written statement released late Friday, Sun-Kyung Cho, the gunman's sister, says her family is heartbroken over the tragedy, and apologized to the families of her brother's victims. She says the family never knew he was capable of such actions, which she described as "unspeakable."
NASA - GUNMAN: Police in the southern U.S. city of Houston, Texas, have identified the gunman who killed himself and a male hostage Friday at the manned flight center of the U.S. space agency NASA. Authorities say 60-year-old Bill Phillips was an engineer who worked at Johnson Space Center as an employee with a California-based contractor. He entered the building where he worked, pulled a gun and shot dead a career NASA engineer.
CUBA - CHINA: Cuban officials say President Fidel Castro has met
with a member of China's Communist Party, in another sign that the aging leader is recovering from last July's intestinal surgery. Details of Friday's meeting between Mr. Castro and Wu Guanzheng are not available. The Reuters news agency says Wu also met with Cuba's acting president, Raul Castro. Wu is leading a Chinese delegation that arrived in Havana Thursday.
CHINA MINES: China's official news agency says two coal mine gas explosions in northern China has killed nine people and left 19 missing. Xinhua says the first accident happened early Thursday, with the second blast taking place Friday - both in Hebei province. Early today in central Hunan province, rescuers pulled out three surviving coal miners trapped in a flooded shaft for five days.
KOREAS - TALKS: North and South
Korean officials are wrapping up four days of economic talks today on food aid, test-runs of cross border trains and other joint projects. The two sides continued negotiations in Pyongyang Friday, and are reported to be working on a joint statement for release today. Thursday's meetings got off to a tense start. South Korean pool reports said North Korea's chief envoy at the talks stormed out of the opening session to protest the South Korean delegation's call for the North to honor its nuclear disarmament pledge.
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