IRAQ: The U.S. military in Iraq says coalition forces have killed 30 terrorists in raids in Baghdad's Shi'ite Sadr City neighborhood. A military statement said troops also detained 12 suspects in today's (Wednesday's) operations aimed at what the military called a "Special Groups" terrorist network known for smuggling armor-piercing explosive devises (EFPs) from Iran. The military says the network is also involved in moving militants from Iraq to Iran for training. U.S. officials have accused Iran of providing support for Shi'ite militants in Iraq. Tehran denies the charge. In Washington, "USA Today" newspaper says the defense department has asked Congress for nearly 750-million dollars to airlift new armored vehicles to U.S. troops facing roadside bombs in Iraq.
UN-DRUGS-ASIA: The United Nations says methamphetamines have become the main drug of abuse across much of East and Southeast Asia. In a report released Tuesday on drug use in the region, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said recent seizures of illegal drug labs show methamphetamines and similar drugs are now being produced on an industrial scale. The report said nearly 40 million methamphetamine pills were seized across the region in 2006, in addition to more than eight tons of crystal methamphetamine. The report said among the countries surveyed, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand cited amphetamine-type stimulants as their main drug abuse problem in 2006.
VIETNAM FLOODS: Officials in Vietnam say at least 30 people have been killed and about 50-thousand homes inundated by heavy flooding in the central part of the country. Authorities say heavy downpours caused by an offshore tropical storm caused rivers to swell. Thousands of people have been made homeless. The mountainous province of Daklak has the highest death toll with 11 fatalities, while deaths have also been reported in other central provinces, including Quang Binh, Lam Dong and Ha Tinh.
INDONESIA-ELECTIONS: Voters in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, have begun voting in the city's first direct elections for its governor. More than five-point-seven million people are registered to vote in today's (Wednesday's) election, but analysts predict voter turnout will be low. Two candidates are contesting the election. Adang Daradjatun is a former deputy national police chief. He is backed by the Justice and Prosperity Party, a leading Islamic party. His opponent is deputy governor Fauzi Bowo, who has the backing of 19 political parties.
World News in Lao .