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Pakistan Probes Reports of Fighting Between Taliban Rivals


PAKISTAN: Pakistan says it is investigating unconfirmed reports of a deadly shooting between two rival Taliban commanders seeking to replace the group's leader Baitullah Mehsud, who was allegedly killed in a U.S. missile strike.
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Saturday the reports suggest a fight broke out during a meeting (shura) between Wali-ur-Rehman and Hakimullah Mehsud, and that one of them is dead.
But another Taliban commander, Noor Sayed, denied there had been any such confrontation. The succession meeting was reportedly held in the semi-autonomous tribal region of South Waziristan bordering Afghanistan, where Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says Baitullah Mehsud was killed Wednesday. Qureshi said authorities plan to travel to Mehsud's stronghold to try to obtain 100 percent confirmation of his death.

INDONESIA-TERROR: Authorities in Indonesia say they are awaiting the outcome of DNA tests to confirm whether a man killed by security forces in a raid Saturday is terror mastermind Noordin Mohammed Top.
Indonesia's state-owned Antara news agency says authorities have taken the body, believed to be Noordin's, to a police hospital in East Jakarta for an autopsy and identification. Noordin was Indonesia's most-wanted terror suspect. He was the target Saturday when police raided a house in central Java that was used as a hideout by Islamic militants. Authorities believe Noordin ordered last month's deadly attack on luxury hotels in Jakarta. Nine people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the incidents at the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels.

US-AFRICA: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Angola for talks focused on energy and food security.The secretary is scheduled to meet with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos in addition to the country's foreign minister and minister of petroleum. U.S. officials say Clinton seeks to strengthen ties with Angola, which rivals Nigeria as Africa's biggest crude oil producer and is a major supplier of both oil and natural gas to the United States. Clinton also will push Angola to broaden its economy and place more emphasis on agriculture. Secretary Clinton's visit comes at a time when China has increased its influence with Angola's oil industry.
MEXICO SUMMIT:
The leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico begin a North American Leaders Summit in Mexico Sunday. U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Mexican President Felipe Calderon are holding a two-day meeting in Guadalajara. They are expected to talk about economic recovery and the increasing violence of Mexico's drug cartels.
Canada is America's top trading partner. Mexico is number three. The two U.S. neighbors have criticized the "Buy American" clause in the $787 billion U.S. stimulus bill. The clause requires stimulus-backed public works projects to use U.S.-made materials, although Congress has made changes to the bill to include various exceptions. Canada and Mexico say the requirement hurts businesses on their side of the border.

IRAN-TRIAL: Iran faces international condemnation after opening its second mass trial of political detainees charged with provoking unrest during protests against Iran's disputed presidential election. Those on trial Saturday included a French woman lecturer and Iranian employees of the French and British embassies in Tehran. The European Union and Britain condemned Iran for putting on trial French lecturer Clotilde Reiss and the two embassy employees.
The Swedish-led EU presidency said actions against one EU country, citizen or embassy staff member are considered an action against the entire bloc. It demanded the detainees be released immediately.

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