PAKISTAN - BHUTTO: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has visited her ancestral village - her first trip outside Karachi since an assassination attempt against her killed 139 people upon her return from years of exile nine days ago. Thousands of supporters today waved and cheered as Ms. Bhutto arrived in an armored vehicle to pay respects at her father's tomb in a village (Garhi Khuda Baksh), near the town of Larkana in Sindh province. Ms. Bhutto sprinkled rose petals on her father's grave and then sat by the tomb, reciting Koranic verses. Ms. Bhutto made the trip from Karachi amid heavy security.
AFGHAN VIOLENCE: U.S. and Afghan officials say a suicide bomber blew himself up near an American military base in eastern Afghanistan today, killing at least three Afghan soldiers and a civilian. Authorities say the man walked up to the main gate of the Bermel military base in Paktika province and detonated his explosives. At least four Afghan civilians were wounded in the attack. Paktika shares a long, porous border with the restive tribal region of Pakistan, where the United States has said pro-Taliban militants and the al-Qaida network are regrouping.
INDIA - VIOLENCE: Police in eastern India say at least 17 people were killed today, when suspected communist rebels attacked a village festival with gunfire and bombs. Authorities say at least 25 Maoist rebels attacked a village in the remote eastern state of Jharkhand overnight, firing indiscriminately on a crowd. The Maoists say they are fighting for land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor.
SUDAN - DARFUR REBELS: The U.N. envoy to Darfur says it is urgent that two of the Sudan region's main rebel groups attend peace talks that begin today in Libya. The talks in Sirte were jeopardized Friday when leaders of the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Army-Unity announced they would not attend the joint U.N.-African Union sponsored talks. JEM's chief negotiator says his group and SLA-Unity are boycotting the talks because of the presence of minor rebel factions, which he says were invited because Khartoum wanted them involved in the talks.
TURKEY - EU - KURDS: Turkey's prime minister lashed out at European Union countries today for not arresting and extraditing Kurdish rebels to Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a nationally televised speech that no EU country had extradited members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party to Turkey, despite labeling the PKK as a terrorist organization. He did not name a specific country. Turkey says the rebels take refuge and raise money in Europe. Turkey is threatening military action in neighboring northern Iraq to crack down on PKK bases there if Baghdad and Washington fail to curb the rebels.
VIETNAM - NOKOR: North Korea's second highest ranking official, Premier Kim Yong Il, is in Vietnam on a rare trip abroad. A Vietnamese military band performed a tune seldom heard in world capitals Saturday morning: the national anthem of North Korea. The occasion was a meeting between Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet and North Korean Premier Kim Yong Il, who arrived in Vietnam for a five-day visit - a rare foreign trip for a North Korean leader. Kim says the purpose of the trip is to enhance the two countries' traditionally close relationship.
VIETNAM - THAILAND BOMBER: A Vietnamese-born American has been sentenced to 12 years in a Thai prison for attempting to bomb the Vietnamese embassy in Bangkok. A Thai court today (Friday) sentenced Vo Van Duc, a naturalized U.S. citizen, to a reduced sentence after he confessed to his role in the planned 2001 attack. Duc planted a backpack with explosives in front of the embassy and tossed another bomb over a wall, but both failed to explode. He said the bombing was to protest Vietnam's communist government. The 48-year-old Duc called the Thai court's ruling unjust and said he will file an appeal.
THAILAND UNREST: Police in Thailand say a bomb has exploded in the country's restive south, killing one woman and wounding 12 other people. Authorities say the bomb went off today near a food stall in Narathiwat province, and was detonated by a mobile phone. Narathiwat is one of three mainly-Muslim provinces in southern Thailand where a deadly separatist insurgency began more than three years ago. The violence there has killed about 26-hundred people.
CANADA - TIBET: The prime minister of Canada will, for the first time, publicly meet the Dalai Lama at an official venue. China has warned that the meeting could hurt bilateral relations. The office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed Friday that he will meet the Tibetan religious leader Monday at the prime minister's office in Parliament, and will allow photographers to record the event. Mr. Harper's predecessor, Paul Martin, met the Dalai Lama in 2004, but did so at a private residence. Last week in the United States, President Bush and leaders of Congress gave the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal and called on China's leaders to open talks with the Dalai Lama.
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