PAKISTAN VIOLENCE: Two new suicide bombings in Pakistan have killed at least 32 people. Authorities say at least 25 people were killed today when a suicide bomber blew up his car near a police-guarded Chinese civilian convoy in the southern city of Hub, just north of the port city of Karachi. The blast killed Pakistani policemen and civilians in the area, but none of the Chinese workers were hurt. In Pakistan's northwest, at least six police officers and one other person were killed when a suicide bomber rammed his car into a police academy in the city of Hangu.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: The chief U.S. negotiator to six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program says China is expected to propose a timetable for North Korea's nuclear disarmament. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told reporters in Beijing today the six nations have reached a consensus on the timeframe for North Korea's nuclear disarmament. He says he is optimistic North Korea could take the next step this year. U.N. inspectors this week confirmed that North Korea had shut down its main Yongbyon nuclear facility - a first step in February's deal for the country to end its nuclear aspirations in exchange for fuel and diplomatic incentives.
CHINA - FOOD SAFETY: Chinese state-run media say police have detained a television reporter for allegedly faking a hidden-camera report about a Beijing street vendor using cardboard to fill meat buns. On Wednesday, Beijing Television apologized for failing to check the authenticity of the report, which state-run China Central Television (CCTV) re-broadcast nationwide last week. The reporter's footage purported to show fluffy buns stuffed with cardboard that a vendor had softened with caustic soda and added to pork-flavored fatty meat.
BURMA - MARTYR'S DAY: Military-ruled Burma has heightened security in Rangoon for the 60th anniversary of the death of the country's independence hero, General Aung San. Officials and diplomats gathered today at a mausoleum near the Shwedagon pagoda to honor the general and eight others who were gunned down by political rivals during a Cabinet session in 1947. Aung San had led the struggle against British colonialism and died a year before Burma formally split from Britain. His son, U.S. resident Aung San Oo, participated in the Martry's Day ceremony, but his daughter, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was not allowed to join.
VIETNAM - PROTEST: Vietnamese activists say security forces in Ho Chi Minh City have broken up a demonstration by rural villagers who were protesting land seizures and corruption. The activists say police rounded up the demonstrators outside the National Assembly offices and sent them back to their villages Wednesday night. State-run media say the protest ended after negotiations with officials. The demonstrators have been camped out since late June, accusing provincial officials of taking money from developers to push families off their land.
INDIA - BUILDING COLLAPSE: Indian officials say a seven-story bulding has collapsed in the financial capital, Mumbai, killing at least 22 people and injured nine others. Authorities say at least 10 people may still be trapped in the rubble, more than 12 hours after the collapse late Wednesday. Rescue workers are sifting the debris and using cranes to remove concrete. The cause of the collapse is not yet known.
BRAZIL - PLANE CRASH: Recovery efforts continue today at the site of Tuesday's horrific jetliner crash in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as critics denounce the government for failing to improve safety conditions at the Congonhas airport. Authorities say rescue workers have recovered at least 170 bodies from the crash site, as well as the plane's so-called "black box" flight data recorders. All of the 186 passengers and crew on board the Airbus A320 jetliner were killed, as well as three people on the ground. Five people are missing, while 11 others are hospitalized.
IRAQ: The largest Sunni bloc in Iraq's parliament, the Accordance Front, has announced its members will end a five-week boycott, after striking a deal with other blocs to reinstate one of its members as parliament speaker. The Sunni lawmakers walked out in June after Mahmoud al-Mashhadani was ousted as parliament speaker for alleged erratic behavior. The Associated Press reports al-Mashhadani is now expected to resign after returning to preside over several parliamentary sessions. In other news from Iraq, the U.S. military says four U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter have been killed by a roadside bomb that exploded near their patrol in eastern Baghdad.
LAO-HMONG AMERICAN WINS WORLD SERIES OF POKER: Jerry Yang, a 39-year-old psychologist who uses his professional training in his card-playing arsenal, won the top prize Wednesday of $8.25 million at the World Series of Poker. He knocked out seven of the eight other players at the final table. "The only way I would win this tournament is to be aggressive from the very beginning and that's exactly what I did," he said. An ethnic Hmong person who grew up poor in Laos, Yang said before the final table began that he would donate 10 percent of his winnings to charity and his alma mater, Loma Linda University.
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