ASIA - STORMS: Authorities in Taiwan say search crews have rescued 700 people from at least three villages buried by landslides triggered by Typhoon Morakot. Many of the survivors are from Shiao Lin village in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung county. Rescue crews have been searching for survivors and delivering relief supplies to the area, which was cut off from the outside world after the mudslides washed out all roads and bridges. The death toll from Typhoon Morakot, which battered the self-ruled island last Friday and Saturday, now stands at 63, with another 61 people missing.
INDONESIA - TERROR: Authorities in Indonesia say genetic tests have proved a man killed in a police raid last week is not terrorist mastermind Noordin Mohammed Top. Indonesian national police official Eddy Saparwoko said Wednesday the man's body was taken to forensic scientists for identification after police stormed a house in central Java that was used as a hideout by Islamic militants. Noordin was the target of the raid. Police say they identified the dead suspect as a man named Ibrohim, after comparing his genetic makeup with members of his family.
BURMA - SUU KYI: The Burmese government's decision to keep opposition leader Aung San
Suu Kyi under house arrest for another 18 months has drawn strong
criticism from world leaders.
A Burmese court convicted the nobel peace laureate Tuesday for
breaching the terms of her detention, following a bizarre incident
involving an American citizen who swam uninvited to her lakeside home
U.S. President Barack Obama said the conviction violates universal
principles of human rights.
CHINA - AUSTRALIA - RIO TINTO: Prosecutors in China have formally arrested four employees of
Australian-British mining company Rio Tinto on charges of violating
trade secrets and bribery.
The state-run news agency Xinhua says preliminary investigations show
the four employees obtained commercial secrets about China's steel and
iron industries through what it called "improper means."
The four employees -- three Chinese and one Australian -- were detained a month ago in Shanghai.
US - AFRICA: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Nigeria, aiming to
improve ties and promote good governance in West Africa's largest oil
Clinton arrived in Abuja late Tuesday on the fifth leg of her
seven-nation African tour. She met with the country's foreign minister
(Ojo Maduekwe) Wednesday ahead of talks with President Umaru Yar'Adua.
The secretary also has a town hall meeting with non-governmental
organizations working on good governance and transparency.
AFGHANISTAN: Four hundred U.S. Marines and 100 Afghan soldiers stormed into a
Taliban-held area of southern Afghanistan Wednesday as part of a new
operation to gain control of the area ahead of next week's presidential
Military forces flew by helicopter to the Nawzad district of Helmand
province to begin what the military is calling operation "Eastern
Resolve 2." U.S. officials said they want to make sure the Independent
Election Commission and Afghan national security forces "have the
security to do their jobs."
US - SYRIA: A U.S. security delegation is due to visit Syria on Wednesday for talks
on Syrian efforts to help curb the movement of foreign fighters into
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley says the delegation will
follow up on a meeting with Syrian officials that took place in June.
He says the delegation will be led by State Department official
Fredrick Hoff, an aide to the U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell.
The Obama administration has been working to improve relations with
Syria and advance the Middle East peace process.
IRAN: Iran's parliament speaker has rejected claims that some election
protesters were raped in detention after the disputed re-election of
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Iranian state media said Ali Larijani told parliament Wednesday the
rape claims were baseless. He said an investigation by parliament found
"no cases of rape or sexual abuse in Iran's Kahrizak and Evin prisons,"
where most of the protesters were initially detained.
Larijani had called for an investigation into the sexual abuse claims
after defeated presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi made the
allegations in a letter to powerful cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
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