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Obama Returns Home From European, African Trip


OBAMA TRIP: U.S. President Barack Obama has returned home from a weeklong trip to Moscow, a G-8 summit, and a stop in Ghana. Mr. Obama and his family arrived back in the United States shortly after midnight. On Saturday, the president challenged Africans to take more responsibility for wiping out poverty, war and corruption on the continent. In a speech to Ghana's parliament, he said good governance is missing from too many places in Africa. He said Africa does not need strongmen, it needs strong institutions. The emotional high point of the president's visit was a tour of a former slave center from which thousands of Africans once were shipped off to America.
US-SYRIA: U.S. President Barack Obama says he hopes for better relations with Syria, even though he says he is troubled by some aspects of Syria's behavior. Mr. Obama said Saturday in an interview with Britain's Sky News television that he believes Syria can be more constructive on a number of issues. He did not elaborate. The U.S. president also said he is a believer in engagement with other countries. Last month, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he would like to welcome President Obama on a visit to Syria. Mr. Assad extended the informal invitation to to Mr. Obama during an interview he gave Sky News.

SPACE SHUTTLE: The U.S. space agency NASA has postponed Saturday's planned launch of the space shuttle Endeavour, to investigate possible damage to instrument panels from lightning strikes at the launch pad. NASA reported 11 lightning strikes around the Kennedy Space Center in (the southeastern state of) Florida during a powerful storm Friday. Several of the strikes hit the wiring system designed to protect the shuttle from taking direct lightning hits.
NASA says no damage has been found, but is continuing to review its data.
Endeavour has been rescheduled to launch Sunday evening. Weather forecasters predict a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions for takeoff.

Pakistan: Police in Pakistan say unknown gunmen killed five police officers and a forestry official during an ambush in the northwest. Officials say the attack took place late Saturday in Mansehra district as police were responding to reports of a dead body in the area. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Elsewhere, police arrested 11 suspected militants during a raid on their hideouts Sunday in the Khyber tribal agency. At least four foreign nationals are among those detained. Pakistan's military has been fighting Taliban militants throughout the country's northwest for more than two months.

INDIA-BRIDGE: Police in Pakistan say unknown gunmen killed five police officers and a forestry official during an ambush in the northwest. Officials say the attack took place late Saturday in Mansehra district as police were responding to reports of a dead body in the area. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Elsewhere, police arrested 11 suspected militants during a raid on their hideouts Sunday in the Khyber tribal agency. At least four foreign nationals are among those detained. Pakistan's military has been fighting Taliban militants throughout the country's northwest for more than two months.

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