PAKISTAN VIOLENCE: Pakistani media reports say a suspected U.S. missile strike has killed a fugitive militant from Britain linked to a 2006 terror plot to blow up transatlantic airliners. Reports say Rashif Rauf was among five militants killed in the missile attack today. Western authorities say Rauf played a key role in a plan to blow up passenger flights between Britain and the United States using liquid explosives. Rauf escaped from Pakistani authorities in December of 2007. Pakistani officials say a U.S. drone today targeted a militant hideout in the village of Alikhel in the tribal area of North Waziristan.
APEC SUMMIT: U.S. President George Bush is urging Pacific Rim leaders to embrace free markets and free trade to help pull the world out of its current economic crisis. Mr. Bush and other world leaders are in Lima, Peru for a two-day summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The meeting, which begins today, is expected to focus largely on the global financial meltdown. In his weekly radio address, which was released early to coincide with the summit, Mr. Bush said the three greatest forces that spur the economy are free markets, free trade and free people.
OBAMA - TRANSITION: U.S. media report President-elect Barack Obama has decided to nominate
Timothy Geithner, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to be
his Treasury secretary.
Geithner is one of the top central bank officials who set U.S. interest
rate policy and made other decisions aimed at keeping inflation and
unemployment in check.
The Obama transition team has made no official announcement, but the
news reports say Geithner's nomination is likely to come next week.
"The New York Times" reports that former presidential candidate Senator
Hillary Clinton has decided to give up her Senate seat and accept the
position of secretary of state.
ZIMBABWE: The former United Nations chief and a former U.S. president have
canceled a planned humanitarian visit to Zimbabwe after being denied
entry into the country by President Robert Mugabe's government.
Kofi Annan and Jimmy Carter, along with human rights campaigner Graca
Machel, were scheduled to visit Zimbabwe today for a
first-hand look at the emerging cholera crisis. Mr. Annan said today in Johannesburg that the
Zimbabwean government made it "clear" it will not cooperate with the
group's humanitarian effort. Mr. Mugabe's government did not give the
group travel visas.
CHINA - TIBET: Hundreds of Tibetan exiles meeting in India have agreed to keep
following the Dalai Lama's path of compromise in negotiations with
Six hundred Tibetan delegates from around the world ended a week-long
meeting in the town of Dharamsala today, saying they will
try to achieve autonomy for the region, rather than independence from
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader in exile, has long sought what
has been called "the middle way" for the remote Himalayan region.
Some Tibetan exiles say his approach has failed, and that it should now
be replaced by a more aggressive pro-independence stance.
THAILAND - BLAST: Thai authorities say a pre-dawn blast has injured at least eight
anti-government protesters in Bangkok near the site of a similar attack
two days ago.
Sources in Bangkok say unidentified assailants on a motorcycle early today threw
a grenade at a checkpoint manned by protesters outside the prime
minister's office compound. Protesters led by the People's Alliance for
Democracy have occupied the compound for nearly three months.
On Thursday, a grenade attack on the grounds of the compound killed one
protester and injured 23 others.
SOMALIA - PIRATES: Islamic insurgents in Somalia say they will fight the pirates holding a Saudi supertanker off the country's coast. A spokesman for the group al-Shabab said Friday that ships belonging to Muslim countries should not be seized. The hijacked ship is loaded with 100 million dollars worth of crude oil. Pirates have seized eight ships of the coast of Somalia in the past two weeks. African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping told VOA the increased activity by Somali pirates is a symptom of the country's political failure that has brought the U.N.-backed transitional government to the brink of collapse.
AFGHANISTAN: The U.S. military says coalition forces in Afghanistan killed 14
insurgents in the country's western and southern regions.
A statement today says U.S. led forces killed four militants
while searching for a Taliban commander in the western province of
The military says troops also killed 10 insurgents after coalition
forces came under fire while on patrol in southern Helmand province.
The United States has expressed concern over a growing Taliban
insurgency and wants to bolster the number of troops in Afghanistan
ahead of national elections next year.
Listen to our World News for details.