IRAN - PLANE CRASH: Iranian state media say a passenger plane has crashed in northwestern Iran, killing all 168 people on board.
State television said Wednesday the Iranian airliner was heading to the
Armenian capital of Yerevan when it went down near the northern Iranian
city of Qazvin. Media reports say the plane crashed 16 minutes after
taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport.
Video footage shows a field littered with small pieces of smoking wreckage from the Caspian Airlines plane.
Officials say the plane was carrying 153 passengers and 15 crew members.
AFRICA - IVORY: Kenyan authorities say they have seized 300 kilograms of illegal ivory
inside coffin-shaped crates on a plane bound from Mozambique to
Thailand and finally to Laos.
Authorities say they found 16 elephant tusks and two rhinoceros horns
worth $1 million inside the wooden containers at Nairobi's Jomo
Officials with Kenya's Wildlife Service say the blood on the ivory suggests the animals had been recently killed.
Authorities say the animals may have been killed in southern African countries, possibly in Tanzania or South Africa.
CHINA - ALGERIA - AL-QAIDA: China's embassy in Algeria is warning its citizens about possible attacks from al-Qaida in response to a China's crackdown in the Muslim region of Xinjiang. The embassy posted a note on its Web site late Tuesday, asking Chinese-funded companies in Algeria to strengthen security measures. The warning came after British security company Stirling Assynt said an al-Qaida affiliate in North Africa vowed to avenge Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang by targeting Chinese workers in Algeria. Clashes earlier this month between Muslim Uighurs and China's Han ethnic majority left at least 184 people dead.
CLINTON - ASIA: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will deliver a foreign policy
speech in Washington Wednesday, a day before departing for a trip to
India and Thailand.
It will be the first time Clinton has traveled overseas since she
fractured her elbow in June. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly says
Clinton will arrive Friday in
Mumbai, India, where she will remember the victims of last year's
deadly terror attacks. On Sunday, she is due to travel to New Delhi for
talks with Indian leaders on ways to enhance the two countries'
THAILAND - UNREST: Police in Thailand's volatile south say suspected separatist militants shot and killed two Muslim men.
Officials say both attacks occurred overnight in Pattani, one of three mainly Muslim provinces bordering Malaysia.
Police say at least one of the deadly attacks was a drive-by shooting.
Malay rebels in the south have frequently targeted Muslims working for
the Thai government and those suspected of being police informants.
More than 3,500 people have been killed in the Thai provinces of
Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala since a separatist insurgency began in
ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: A group of former Israeli soldiers says the military used reckless
force during the fighting in Gaza earlier this year, resulting in
unnecessary deaths and damage.
An organization of Israeli reserve and combat soldiers called Breaking
the Silence released a collection of testimonies Wednesday that said
the Israeli Defense Force demolished homes in Gaza for no reason and
used firepower beyond what was necessary.
The Breaking the Silence report also accused Israeli soldiers of
forcing Palestinians to serve as "human shields" during Israel's
offensive in Gaza.
AL-QAIDA - PAKISTAN: Al-Qaida's second in command has issued a call for jihad, or holy war in Pakistan. In an audio messaged posted to an Islamist Web site Tuesday, Ayman al-Zawahiri said the Pakistani people are struggling against a "clique of corrupt politicians and a junta of military officers" involved in an American crusade against Islam. He said holy war is the only way to save Pakistan from what he described as a disastrous fate. The tape was released by al-Qaida's media wing As-Sahab. It was posted on a Web site that carries militant videos and statements.
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