IRAN - ELECTION: Hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was heading for a landslide victory in Iran's presidential election, while his main moderate challenger denounced the results as "treason" and "dangerous manipulation." Preliminary results on Saturday showed President Ahmadinejad receiving nearly double the votes of reformist rival Mir Hossein Mousavi. The results give the incumbent 63 percent to about 34 percent for Mr. Mousavi, a former Iranian prime minister. Mr. Mousavi issued a statement saying he "strongly protested" what he described as many violations in Friday's vote.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: North Korea threatened Saturday to take military action if the United
States or its allies try to enforce a blockade imposed Friday by the
United Nations Security Council.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency quotes its Foreign
Ministry as saying it will begin a uranium enrichment program and
weaponize all the plutonium in its possession.
The ministry says it will not abandon its nuclear program, adding that it has already reprocessed a third of its used fuel rods.
AFGHANISTAN: Officials in southern Afghanistan say a suicide bomber has attacked a fleet of fuel tankers intended for international troops, killing at least eight Afghan drivers. A spokesman for the governor of Helmand province says the attack late Friday in the Girishk district burned at least six tanker trucks and wounded 21 people. Militants regularly target foreign security forces and have attacked convoys delivering supplies to U.S. and NATO troops in the past. Elsewhere in Helmand, Britain's Ministry of Defense said a British soldier was killed early Friday in an explosion, while carrying out an operation near the town of Sangin.
US - CAMBODIA - LAOS: The United States has cleared the way for the U.S. Export-Import Bank to help finance exports of U.S. good to Laos and Cambodia. In a pair of memorandums issued Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama said the two Southeast Asian nations have ceased to be "Marxist-Leninist countries" as defined by the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945. The move will allow U.S. businesses to access government-backed loans and credit guarantees for exporting to the two countries. Last year, the United States exported $154,000,000 worth of goods to Cambodia. Goods exported to Laos totaled $18,000,000.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani warplanes pounded militant hideouts throughout the northwest Saturday, following two suicide bombings on mosques that killed at least seven people, including a prominent cleric. Military officials said at least seven militants were killed in the airstrikes targeting the South Waziristan tribal region, where Taliban-linked militant leader Baitullah Mehsud is based. A spokesman for Mehsud claimed responsibility for Friday's attacks on mosques in the eastern city of Lahore and the northwestern town of Nowshera.
SPACE SHUTTLE: The U.S. space agency NASA announced early Saturday (just after midnight local time) it is postponing the launch of space shuttle Endeavour due to a hydrogen leak. Officials say the earliest the shuttle could be ready for launch would be in four days, but that date conflicts with another scheduled NASA launch. The Endeavour launch for the mission to the International Space Station had been scheduled for 7:17 Saturday morning. The space agency says the leak in a line from which vented hydrogen is burned off was detected during fueling.
US - MIDEAST: U.S. envoy George Mitchell says Syria has an integral role to play in
the U.S. efforts efforts to secure a comprehensive peace deal in the
Mitchell made the comments Saturday after talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
The envoy said both the U.S. and Syria are "well aware of the many
difficulties" in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but both
countries share an obligation to create conditions for negotiations to
begin "promptly and successfully."
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