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Pakistan's President Musharraf Announces Resignation



PAKISTAN POLITICS: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says he is resigning to avoid an impeachment battle that he says would harm the nation.
In a speech broadcast live to the nation today (Monday), Mr. Musharraf denied any wrongdoing but said he is stepping down for the good of the country.
He called the impeachment charges against him baseless, but said contesting them could further destabilize the country.

GEORGIA: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev is promising that Russian forces will start pulling out of Georgia today (Monday), but so far there are few signs a withdrawal is taking place.
Moscow has given little detail on exactly when or how quickly the Russian soldiers will begin leaving. Various media reports say soldiers do not seem to be preparing for a move.
Mr. Medvedev made his withdrawal commitment in a telephone call Sunday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who drew up the cease-fire signed by Russia and Georgia.
Mr. Sarkozy told France's "Le Figaro" newspaper that a Russian troop pullout from Georgia is not negotiable and must take place without delay.

AFGHANISTAN: U.S. and Afghan officials say a suicide bombing outside a U.S. military base in eastern Afghanistan has killed nine Afghan civilians and wounded 13 others.
Officials say the car bombing today (Monday) in Khost province did not penetrate the military base.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the blast.
The governor of Khost province (Arsala Jamal) says the victims from the attack were Afghan laborers. He says a second attacker approached authorities investigating the first blast, but was shot dead before detonating explosives.
The attack comes as thousands of extra police officers are on duty in the capital, Kabul, to prevent attacks on today's Independence Day celebrations.


PHILIPPINES VIOLENCE: Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has ordered security forces to "defend every inch" of the country from Muslim rebels who launched several attacks in the south today (Monday).
Philippine officials say the Moro Islamic Liberation Front attacked villages and burned houses early today in various locations of Lanao del Norte province on the island of Mindanao. At least 24 people were killed during the attacks.
A MILF spokesman confirmed that its forces were involved in the attacks, but said the rebels were not acting on orders from senior commanders.

OLYMPICS WRAP: Chinese world champion Liu Xiang has pulled out of the Olympic men's 110-meters hurdles race because of a (right) leg injury and will not compete in front of his home fans.
Liu pulled up in pain before the first hurdle in a qualifying heat at the Bird's Nest stadium (today / Monday). The former world record holder in the event, Liu was the 2004 Olympic champion and was a main attraction for Chinese fans.
Britain has set a new world record in the men's team pursuit cycling event. The four-man team (Ed Clancy, Paul Manning, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins) covered the four-thousand meters in a time of three minutes and 53-point-three-one-four seconds, knocking almost two seconds off the world mark they set on Sunday.

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