INDONESIA - TERROR: Local Indonesian media report that a terrorist leader has been killed
during a 17-hour siege on a house believed to be a hideout for top
Police say they are trying to identify a body found in the house in rural
Central Java after a long gunbattle ended Saturday morning. Some
reports say one of at least two bodies removed from the house is that
of Noordin Top - the region's most wanted terror suspect.
Noordin's group has been implicated in the July 17 attacks on the
Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, which killed nine people
and wounded more than 50.
IRAN - TRIAL: Iranian media say a second group of political detainees has been
brought to trial a week after the first hearing against 100 prominent
political moderates and other protesters of the disputed June 12
presidential election. The defendants in court Saturday include top
Iranian reformists and journalists, along with a French lecturer (,
Clotilde Reiss,) and Iranian employees of the French and British
The lecturer was charged with "collecting information and provoking
A British Embassy employee released on
bail last month is facing charges of spying.
US - IRAN - NUCLEAR: U.S. intelligence analysts say Iran will not be able to produce highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons before 2013.
The analysts also say the U.S. intelligence community does not believe
Iran has made a political decision to produce highly enriched uranium.
They say such a decision is unlikely for at least as long as
"international pressure and scrutiny" on Iran continue.
They also conclude that Iran would probably use military-run covert
facilities, rather than declared nuclear sites, to produce highly
US - AFRICA: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has held talks with South
African President Jacob Zuma in a bid to improve ties between the two
The two officials met in the coastal city of Durban on Saturday.
Clinton said U.S. President Barack Obama is looking forward to establishing a new era of cooperation between the two nations.
Clinton, who is on a seven-nation tour of Africa, was also expected to press Mr. Zuma for help in Zimbabwe.
US - SOMALIA: The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation searched the office of a
Minnesota travel agency this week for clues to the disappearance of 20
Somali-American men believed to be fighting in Somalia's civil war.
Omar Jamal, spokesman for the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, says the
owner of Amana Travel was approached several months ago by two young
men who wanted to travel to Somalia. Jamal says the owner, Ali Mohamud,
refused to book the tickets when he learned the young men's parents
were unaware of their plans.
US - HEALTH CARE: U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday used recent
better-than-expected economic data for July to promote his health care
reform policy, which he says is a pillar for "future growth and
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Mr. Obama said "outlandish
rumors" that his plan promotes euthanasia, cuts Medicaid, or would
amount to a government takeover are "simply not true."
The head of the Democratic Party criticized insurance companies for
what he called "unfair...practices," and said his plan will protect
consumers by making sure that insurance companies are "held
VENEZUELA - COLOMBIA: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered his ambassador to Colombia back to Bogota, just days after recalling him.
Mr. Chavez, who made the announcement Saturday, pulled Gustavo Marquez
from his post just over a week ago amid progress in plans by Colombia
to accept more U.S. troops at seven military bases.
The United States has been in talks with Bogota about relocating drug interdiction flights to Colombia.
Mr. Chavez was also angry about accusations by Bogota that he had supplied arms to Colombia's FARC rebels.
SRI LANKA - ELECTIONS: Sri Lanka is holding local elections in two northern Tamil-majority cities for the first time since 1998.
The government says it is bringing democracy back with Saturday's elections in Jaffna and Vavuniya.
The cities are on the edge of the area until recently controlled by
rebel Tamil Tigers vying for a separate state. The civil war lasted a
quarter century and left at least 80,000 people dead.
In May, government forces killed the top Tamil Tiger leadership, but
the brutal final weeks of fighting caused hundreds of thousands of
civilians to flee their homes and killed thousands more.
ASIA - TYPHOON: Taiwan officials say a typhoon slammed into Taiwan overnight, killing
two people and leaving another four missing as it passed over the
island and surged toward eastern China.
Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said Saturday Typhoon Morakot made
landfall late Friday, bringing winds of nearly 200 kilometers per hour
and dumping one to two meters of water on some areas.
Authorities ordered businesses and schools to close Friday. Taiwan's
financial markets also closed and the island's high-speed rail line
suspended operations. (News Updates)
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