US - AFRICA: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States wants "Kenya to have a leadership role in the 21st century," but she stressed it was up to Kenya to make it happen. Clinton spoke during a town hall meeting in Nairobi, on the second day of a seven-nation tour of Africa. She echoed remarks made by U.S. President Barack Obama during his July trip to Ghana, saying "the future of Kenya up to Kenya." Earlier Thursday, Clinton laid a wreath at a Nairobi memorial to the victims of the 1998 al-Qaida-linked embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
AFGHANISTAN: Afghan officials say a roadside bomb has killed 21 Afghan civilians traveling to a wedding in southern Afghanistan. The wedding guests were riding in a trailer towed by a tractor when the bomb went off Thursday in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Officials say women and children were among the dead. Five people were wounded. A second roadside bomb in another part of Helmand killed five Afghan policemen Thursday. Helmand is a stronghold of Taliban militants who have intensified attacks to try to disrupt Afghanistan's presidential election on August 20.
NOKOR - US JOURNALISTS: With two U.S. journalists held in North Korea safely home now, former
U.S. President Bill Clinton is expected to brief President Barack Obama
about his trip to Pyongyang that secured their release.
A White House spokesman Wednesday said he expects Mr. Obama to get
together with the ex-president sometime soon. The two spoke briefly on
the phone when Mr. Clinton brought the women back to the United States
after negotiating a pardon with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
The White House has maintained that Mr. Clinton's mission to free the
journalists was private, at the request of the families of the
LAOS - BRITAIN: A pregnant British woman sentenced to life in prison in Laos for drug
trafficking will leave Thursday for Britain, where she will serve out
Samantha Orobator will be turned over to British authorities at a
transfer ceremony at the airport in the capital of Vientiane. She is
heading home under a memorandum of understanding signed by officials of
both nations last week.
Orobator was arrested at the Vientiane airport a year ago carrying more
than half a kilogram of heroin (680 grams) -- well above the amount
(500 grams) for which offenders can be executed in Laos.
MALAYSIA - BURMA - CRIME: A court in Malaysia has sentenced six Burmese men to death for the murder of one of their countrymen. They were convicted of killing a fellow laborer in June 2005. The judge said the six defendants could not raise any reasonable doubts on the prosecution's case. The men were also sentenced to three years in prison for causing "grievous hurt" when they attacked the victim's brother with a machete and screwdriver. One of the defendants also received an additional three years in jail for a similar attack against another Burmese man.
INDIA - MUMBAI BOMBING - TRIAL: An Indian court has sentenced three people to death for carrying out bomb attacks in India's commercial capital, Mumbai, in 2003 that killed 52 people. The special court in Mumbai handed down the death penalties Thursday after convicting the three Indian nationals last month of murder and criminal conspiracy. Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam welcomed the death sentences against Mohammed Haneed Sayyed, his wife Fahmeeda, and co-conspirator Ashrat Ansari. Lawyers for the three plan to appeal the rulings to a higher court.
NIGER - REFERENDUM: Vote-counting continues Thursday in Niger on a referendum to change the
constitution and extend President Mamadou Tandja's stay in power. An
election commission official (Moumouni Hamidou) said on
Wednesday that initial results indicated most voters favored the
referendum. The official said final results are expected Thursday or
Friday. If approved, the constitutional changes would allow 71-year-old
President Tandja to rule for another three years and run for office
indefinitely after that.
CLINTON - DOWRY: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it will be up to her daughter Chelsea whether to accept a Kenyan man's offer of livestock in return for Chelsea's hand in marriage. The Kenyan man's offer of 40 goats and 20 cows was first made in 2000, in a letter to Secretary Clinton's husband, then-president Bill Clinton. At a town hall meeting in Nairobi Thursday, the mediator asked for a fresh response to the proposal. Clinton said her daughter is "very independent," but added that she will pass along what she called the "very kind offer."
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