OLYMPIC TORCH: The Olympic Torch was paraded though North Korea's capital of Pyongyang today (Monday), after a raucous reception in the South Korean capital of Seoul Sunday. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was not in attendance at today's ceremony. Parliament chief Kim Young Nam passed the torch to the first relay runner, Pak Du Ik, who played on the 1966 North Korean World Cup soccer team.
KOREA DEFECTION: South Korea says a North Korean military officer has defected, crossing the heavily fortified border that divides the two countries. An official at the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said today (Monday) that the 28-year-old officer crossed the border Sunday and told South Korean guards that he was seeking asylum. South Korean authorities say the defector is being questioned, but they were unwilling to disclose any details about the officer's identity. The defection is the first of its kind in a decade.
IRAQ: The U.S. military says American and Iraqi troops have killed 38 militants in Baghdad, including 22 during an attack by fighters on an Iraqi checkpoint in the city's northeast. A military statement today (Monday) says troops repelled an attack Sunday evening on the ISF checkpoint by 22 "criminals" using small arms fire. The statement says there were no U.S. or Iraqi Security Force causalities in the attack.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: Palestinian officials say Israeli forces have shelled a house in the Gaza Strip, killing a woman and four of her children. Medics said (today/Monday) the woman and her children, aged one to five, were killed when an Israeli tank shell hit their house in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun as they prepared to sit down for breakfast. Emergency health officials also say an armed militant was killed during other clashes between gunmen and Israeli forces in the area.
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