IRAQ: Iraqi police say a suicide truck bomb attack has killed at least 22 people and wounded 40 others in a small town in northern Iraq. Authorities say the blast ripped through a crowded outdoor market today in Emerli, a village north of Baghdad. On Friday, a car bombing in a Kurdish village killed at least 22 people and wounded about 17 others. Police said they believe a suicide car bomber was responsible for the attack in the village of Ahmad Maref, northeast of the capital.
PAKISTAN MOSQUE: A standoff between Pakistani government troops and a defiant Islamic cleric at a besieged Islamabad mosque has continued into a sixth day, with new reports of gunfire and explosions. Abdul Rashid Ghazi, top cleric at the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid), continued to refuse government demands for the unconditional surrender of the hundreds of people believed still in the mosque and an adjoining school. On Friday, Ghazi vowed that he and his supporters would rather die as martyrs than surrender.
BRITAIN - TERROR: An Iraqi doctor charged in connection with last week's failed car bombs in London and Glasgow appeared in a London court today. Police charged 27-year-old Bilal Abdullah Friday with conspiring to cause explosions. Abdullah is one of two men who drove a blazing Jeep into the terminal at Glasgow Airport and was detained at the scene. He is among eight Muslim medical workers arrested after the attacks. Abdullah's court appearance coincides with the second anniversary of the July seventh suicide attacks on the London transit system that killed 52 people along with four suicide bombers, and wounded more than 700 people.
'LIVE EARTH' CONCERTS: A worldwide concert series to raise awareness about the dangers of global warming got underway today in both Sydney and Tokyo. The daylong "Live Earth" concerts opened in Sydney, with a traditional welcome ceremony by Australian Aboriginal dancers. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore delivered greetings to the Sydney audience by video, then appeared as a hologram (a computer-generated image) to the Tokyo concert-goers. More than 150 of the world's most popular musical acts will perform in concerts scattered across in seven continents, including Antarctica.
NEPAL: Thousands of protesters have demonstrated against Nepal's unpopular King Gyanendra as he celebrated his 60th birthday in his palace surrounded by riot police. About five thousand students and other young protesters marched today near the palace demanding that the king step down. Several hundred supporters of the king also demonstrated in favor of retaining the monarchy. The king seized control of the Nepal and dismantled the interim government in February 2005, angering many Nepalese.
BURMA - JOURNALIST: The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is renewing his call for the government of Burma to release activist and journalist U Win Tin, who has been in prison for 18 years. UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura said Friday that this is a sad anniversary marking U Win Tin's arrest in 1989. He said U Win Tin is now an old man and his health has deteriorated. He urged Burmese authorities to show compassion and free him.
AFGHANISTAN: Four Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been wounded by a suicide car bomber. A commander of the Canadian troops said today the four soldiers were traveling in southern Kandahar province in a convoy when it was attacked. The four were not seriously hurt. A number of insurgents were killed in air strikes in northeastern Afghanistan Friday, but NATO officials dispute claims that civilians were among the casualties.
KENYA - SOMALIA - AID: The U.N. food program says Kenya has allowed about 60 of its trucks to cross into Somalia after a wait of several weeks. The World Food Program said Friday the trucks were allowed to cross the border this week following appeals from the international community. The agency says there are still about 80 food trucks on the border and it hopes they will be allowed to cross soon. Kenya closed its border with Somalia in January during fighting that pitted Islamic militia against Somali government troops and their Ethiopian allies.
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