PAKISTAN - ELECTION: Officials in Pakistan say Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has won the country's presidential election.The Pakistan People's Party leader was widely expected to win today's ballot of lawmakers and members of Pakistan's four provincial assemblies.However, a Gallup poll released Friday showed only 26-percent of Pakistanis believe Zardari should be president, while 44-percent did not want any of the three candidates.Zardari ran against Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, a former judge nominated by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Authorities in Pakistan say at least twelve people have been killed after a
suicide bomber rammed a car full of explosives into a police checkpoint in the
country's northwest.Officials say at least 50 more were wounded in
today's attack near Peshawar. Nobody has immediately
claimed responsibility for the attack. Meanwhile, the International
Committee of the Red Cross says fighting in Pakistan's tribal areas has
displaced tens of thousands of people in recent weeks.Red Cross official
Pascal Cuttat said in Geneva Friday that as many as 300-thousand people have
fled their homes in Bajaur district, near the Afghan border.
GEORGIA: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has accused the West of re-arming Georgia under the guise of delivering humanitarian aid.Speaking in Moscow, Mr. Medvedev questioned how other nations would react if Russia used its navy to deliver aid to the Caribbean following a hurricane in the region.The United States has used warships to ferry supplies to Georgia, after Tbilisi's conflict with Russia last month. Washington has dismissed the claims that it was using aid deliveries as cover for arms shipments.Meanwhile, the European Union says it is "practically ready" to send civilian monitors to Georgia to urge Russian troops to withdraw from disputed territory.
ANGOLA - ELECTIONS: Angolan state media say parliamentary elections have resumed for an unscheduled
second day after delays prevented many voters from casting ballots
Friday.Polling stations were opened today in Luanda,
where many stations failed to receive equipment and materials in time on
Friday.The head of the main opposition UNITA party says the electoral system practically collapsed on Friday. Several
smaller opposition parties also say they want fresh elections. The head
of the European Union observer mission, Louisa Morgantini, described the
organization of the polls as a "disaster."
US - LIBYA: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says U.S.-Libyan relations are "off to a good start" after she met with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during a landmark visit to Libya's capital, Tripoli.Rice was the first top U.S. diplomat to travel to Libya in 55 years. After talks with Mr. Gadhafi Friday, Rice told reporters that the two sides discussed cooperation in trade, culture and education. Libya is a major oil exporter.Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Shalgam told the same news conference that the parties also talked about counter-terrorism and the situations in Iraq and Sudan's troubled Darfur region.
BUSH - IRAQ BOOK: The government of Iraq says it will ask for an explanation from U.S. officials
about an allegation that the Bush administration spied on Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki and other Iraqi officials.The assertion is made in an upcoming
book by U.S. investigative reporter Bob Woodward, who is associate editor of
"The Washington Post." In a preview report Friday, the newspaper said
the book quotes a U.S. source as saying about Mr. Maliki, "we know everything he
says."Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said that if Woodward's
account is true, it reflects a lack of trust between the two governments.
NOKOR NUCLEAR: Countries involved in talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program are holding
a second day of discussions today in Beijing on Pyongyang's
plans to restore a disabled nuclear weapons plant.U.S., South Korean,
and Japanese envoys are scheduled to meet separately with China's Vice Foreign
Minister Wu Dawei. Chief U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill will also meet with
Russia's ambassador to Beijing.Friday, Hill said the United States is
prepared to meet its obligations as long as North Korea follows through on its
PHILIPPINES - AID: The International Committee of the Red Cross has appealed to the military and Muslim rebels fighting in the southern Philippines to protect civilians and allow the delivery of aid to the displaced.IRC deputy director Dominik Stillhart urged both sides today to comply with international humanitarian law. He told reporters in the southern city of Cotabato that the Red Cross is stepping up operations on the island of Mindanao. He said up to half a million people have been displaced.The United Nations says it has increased food aid to the southern Philippines following a recent spike in separatist violence.
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