Pakistan: A top U.S. diplomat has urged Pakistan's president to lift emergency rule, free political prisoners and resign as army chief.
(U.S.) Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte says he told President Pervez Musharraf that emergency rule is not compatible with free, fair and credible elections.
Negroponte was speaking at a news conference today (Sunday) at the U.S Embassy in Islamabad before leaving the Pakistani capital. He met General Musharraf in Islamabad Saturday.
Pakistani officials say President Musharraf told Negroponte emergency rule will not be lifted until the security situation improves in Pakistan.
The general's military deputy, General Asfaq Kayani, also attended Saturday's meeting. He is widely expected to take over as military chief when President Musharraf gives up that post.
Pakistan Unrest: Pakistani officials say the death toll in sectarian fighting in northwestern Pakistan has risen to 61, with more than 100 people injured.
Officials say the clashes began Friday, when unidentified gunmen opened fire in Parachinar, the main town in the Kurram tribal region near the Afghan border. The officials said fighting between rival Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims has continued since.
Authorities have imposed an indefinite curfew in parts of the town.
Separately, the Pakistani army says it is preparing to launch a major operation in the northwestern Swat Valley to clear out militants who have infiltrated from areas along the Afghan border.
ASEAN Summit: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has rejected a call by the U.S. Senate to suspend Burma because of its poor human rights record.
ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Ken Yong today (Sunday) said confrontation is not the answer to dealing with Burma's military government.
The U.S. Senate on Friday voted unanimously to urge Asian leaders to suspend Burma's membership in ASEAN.
Laos, Cambodia and Singapore today (Sunday) condemned Western economic sanctions against Burma, saying they hurt the civilian population.
Ukraine Explosion: Ukrainian officials say the death toll from a mine explosion today (Sunday) in the eastern Donetsk region has risen to 28.
Ukraine's Emergency Situations Ministry says rescue teams have brought to safety about 350 miners, but at least 70 people remain trapped. About 20 miners have been hospitalized.
A methane blast occurred early this (Sunday) morning in the Zasyadko mine about one-thousand meters underground.
Officials say more than 450 miners were in the mine at the time of the explosion.
In May, an explosion in a Donetsk mine killed at least three miners and injured 12 others.
Ukraine's mines often rely on out-of-date equipment. The mines are among the world's most dangerous, and fatal accidents are common.
China Mine: China's state-run news agency says 12 miners have been confirmed dead nearly a week after a gas explosion at a coal mine in central Henan province.
Xinhua says the last of the bodies were found today (Sunday), and that search and rescue operations have now ended. The incident took place at the (number 10) Mine of Pingdingshan Coal Group.
The news agency says 24 workers were in the mine at the time of the explosion early Monday. Twelve of them were able to escape, while the others were reported to have been trapped.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.
China's coal mines are among the most dangerous in the world. The Chinese government says nearly five thousand people were killed in accidents last year.
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