IRAN - MEMORIAL: Witnesses in Iran say riot police are trying to disperse mourners who
gathered at a Tehran cemetary to pay respects to those killed in the
unrest that followed the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Defeated reformist candidates, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi,
were to attend a memorial ceremony at Tehran's Behesht-e Zahra cemetery
The mother of slain Iranian Neda Agha-Soltan was also due to visit the
cemetery with them to mark the 40th day since her daughter's death. She
became a symbol for reformist demonstrators after a graphic Internet
video showed her die after being shot during a post-election protest in
NIGERIA - UNREST: Troops in northern Nigeria have attacked a radical Islamist militant group that has been rioting against the government.
Scores of Boko Haram militants fled the regional capital Maiduguri,
where fighting was concentrated. Soldiers have been going door-to-door
Thursday to find those who remained.
The militants fought back even as many fled. Shooting was heard
overnight across parts of the city, and militants torched a police
Earlier this week, Nigerian forces attacked the sect headquarters
containing a mosque and the destroyed the home of group leader Mohammed
SOKOR - NOKOR - VESSEL: South Korean officials say a South Korean fishing vessel has been seized and towed into a North Korean port.
An official with South Korea's defense ministry says the boat, dubbed
the "800 Yeonan," accidentally strayed about 11 kilometers into North
Korea's territorial waters due to a broken global positioning system (GPS).
The boat and its four-member crew were intercepted by a North Korean patrol boat and taken to the eastern port of Jangjon.
A spokesman for South Korea's Unification Ministry says it has sent a
message to maritime authorities in Pyongyang to immediately release the
ship for "humanitarian reasons."
CHINA - UIGHURS: Chinese authorities have released a list of 15 "most wanted" suspects
in connection with this month's deadly ethnic violence in northwestern
The list was released Thursday by police in the provincial capital
Urumqi, where the riots occurred. The official Xinhua news agency says
authorities have promised to treat the suspects with leniency if they
surrender, while those who refuse would face severe punishment.
More than 1,600 people have been detained in connection with the violence.
The government says at least 197 people were killed in clashes between
Xinjiang's minority Muslim Uighurs and the dominant Han Chinese.
CHINA - ABORTIONS: A Chinese newspaper says at least 13 million abortions are performed
across the country each year, many of them on single women with little
knowledge of birth control.
The state-run China Daily newspaper that nearly half of
the women who seek abortions do not use any form of birth control. The
report says about 62 percent of the women were single, and between 20
and 29 years old.
An official with the National Population and Family Planning Commission (Wu Shangchun)
says the current generation is more eager to have sex, but says they do
so before developing "a proper understanding or attitude toward it."
LAOS - RARE BIRD: Wildlife scientists have discovered a rare songbird in a rugged area of central Laos.
A team of experts from the University of Melbourne and the Wildlife
Conservation Society dubbed the bird the "bare-faced bulbul," because
of its featherless head, while bulbul is a type of songbird.
Scientists say it is the first new discovery of an Asian bulbul in over
100 years. The bird's natural habitat among the region's rocky cliffs
makes it inhospitable to humans, explaining the long wait for its
Along with its featherless head, the songbird has a pink face and a distinctive call. It is the only one of its kind in Asia.
UN - PAKISTAN: The United Nations says it has scaled back operations in Pakistan's
Baluchistan province after receiving a threat from separatists who
kidnapped an aid worker earlier this year.
A U.N. spokesperson announced Thursday that the organization was
closing some offices in the region due to safety concerns. The Baluch
Liberation United Front warned earlier this month it would target U.N.
staff if they did not leave the area.
Baluch separatists claimed responsibility for the February kidnapping
of the head of the U.N. refugee agency's operations.
MOLDOVA - ELECTIONS: Moldova's pro-Western parties say they will form an alliance after
results from Wednesday's parliamentary elections show them defeating
the ruling Communist Party.
With nearly all of the votes counted, four main opposition parties
combined have nearly 51-percent of the vote, compared to just over
45-percent for the Communists. Opposition parties are expected to get
53 of the 101 seats in parliament, with the Communists getting the
rest. The opposition will not be able to elect a new president without
negotiating with the Communists.
OBAMA - SCHOLAR: U.S. President Barack Obama will meet on Thursday with the two men at the center of a racial controversy in the United States.
Mr. Obama invited Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.,
a prominent black scholar, and Sergeant James Crowley of the Cambridge,
Massachusetts police department to share a beer with him at the White
Gates was arrested at his home near the Harvard University campus on
July 16 after he and another man were seen struggling to open his front
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