IRAQ: Iraqi officials say a car bomb has exploded in the country's south, killing at least 32 people and wounding at least 45 others.
Police say Wednesday's blast targeted a busy market district in the
town of Bathaa, near the southern city of Nasiriya. No one has claimed
responsibility for the assault.
The mainly Shi'ite area is about 300 kilometers southeast of Baghdad
and was the site of fierce internal fighting between Shi'ite militia
factions before a cease-fire took hold.
Bombings are regular occurrences in Iraq, but overall violence has sharply declined in recent months.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani authorities are searching for additional victims in the
charred rubble of a luxury hotel in Peshawar where a suicide bombing
killed at least 15 people.
Another 70 people were wounded when attackers detonated a truck bomb
late Tuesday outside the Pearl Continental Hotel in the capital of
North West Frontier Province. Security camera footage from the hotel
was made public Wednesday. It
shows a car driving up to a security gate, a burst of gunfire erupting
from the car, and then the explosives-filled truck barreling through
GUANTANAMO - UIGHURS: The Pacific island nation of Palau has agreed to temporarily accept a
group of Chinese Muslims who are being held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
facility for suspected terrorists.
Palau President Johnson Toribiong issued a statement saying his country
would be "honored and proud" to temporarily resettle the 17 Uighurs.
A U.S. federal judge ordered the Uighurs released last year into the
United States, but an appeals court overturned that decision in April.
The Obama administration has been negotiating with several nations to
take the Uighurs, who are from China's western Xinjiang province.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: Russia is reported to have information on North Korean plans to launch
a ballistic missile, but does not know the precise timing of the
A Russian military source told the Interfax News Agency Wednesday that
it has certain information regarding the type and characteristics of
the missile, but not when it might be launched.
The source added that Russia would be monitoring the launch, but did
not say whether it would be a short or long range missile.
North Korea has launched a series of short and long-range missiles
since carrying out a nuclear test on May 25.
CHINA - ECONOMY: China's consumer prices fell for the fourth month in a row in May as
the massive Chinese economy continues to be hit by the global financial
The National Statistics Bureau announced Wednesday that China's consumer price index fell 1.4 percent last month year on year.
China's consumer price index fell 1.5 percent in April from one year earlier, 1.2 percent in March and 1.6 percent in February.
Before the global economic crisis, China was experiencing double digit
growth and the government's big concern was cooling economic growth.
CHINA - MEDIA: A Chinese state-run newspaper says waning interest in the flagship news
show on China Central Television (CCTV) has prompted the broadcaster to
revamp its programing.
A report in the China Daily Wednesday says that despite a
monopoly, CCTV's programming has seen a decline in market share from 40
percent in 1998 to less than 10 percent. The report adds that CCTV will
change the content of its main news program Xinwen Lianbo to include more human interest stories and
BURMA: Former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong has urged Burma's ruling
military generals to ensure that elections next year are free.
News reports Wednesday said Mr. Goh made the remarks during meetings in
Burma with Senior General Than Shwe and Burmese Prime Minister Thein
The reports said that during the meetings Mr. Goh told the two leaders
to not ignore global interest in the trial of opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi.
But Mr. Goh also said the case against the Nobel peace laureate was a
ITALY - LIBYA: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi begins his first visit to Italy
Wednesday, further evidence of improving ties between the two countries.
Mr. Gadhafi will meet with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and
other Italian officials during his three-day visit, with meetings
taking place in a tent erected for the Libyan leader in Rome's Doria
Last year, Italy agreed to pay Libya 5 billion dollars to compensate
for decades of Italian occupation during the first half of the 20th
RUSSIA - IRAN - NUCLEAR: The Russian state company building a nuclear power plant in Iran says
work has been delayed for financial reasons.
The head of Atomstroiexport (Dan Belenky) told Russian
news agencies Wednesday the Bushehr project has run into challenges,
because Russian banks are refusing to work with Iran. He said the
company is looking at other options to finance the plant.
The comments are in contrast to earlier statements by Iranian officials
who say the plant at Bushehr will begin operating by the end of the
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