AFGHANISTAN BLAST: Taliban insurgents are claiming responsibility for a blast that rocked
the Afghan capital Kabul, killing at least seven people and wounded
more than 90, including women and children.
Afghan officials say a suicide bomber drove a car to the entrance of
NATO headquarters -- in one of the most heavily fortified sections of
the capital -- early Saturday and detonated the explosives. Witness
said the blast shook buildings in surrounding neighborhoods.
US - BURMA: U.S. Senator Jim Webb met with Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi Saturday, shortly after holding talks with the country's military leader. The 64-year-old Nobel peace laureate was driven from her home in Rangoon to a nearby government guesthouse for the meeting. No details of the talks were released. Earlier in the day, Webb was in Burma's capital Naypitaw for a meeting with Burma's military ruler General Than Shwe. Webb is the first senior American official to meet the head of Burma's military government.
PALESTINIANS - GAZA UNREST: The leader of an al-Qaida-inspired Palestinian group in Gaza is dead
following a gunbattle that killed 22 people and wounded more than 120.
Hamas officials said Saturday hardline cleric Abdel-Latif Moussa -- the
leader of Jund Ansar Allah ("Soldiers of the Followers of God") was
killed in an explosion Saturday morning. It was not immediately clear
if the blast was set off by Hamas forces or militants holed up inside
INDIA INDEPENDENCE: Indian officials marked the 62nd anniversary of the country's independence Saturday under gray, overcast skies, hoping to reassure worried citizens that better days are on the way. Prime Minister Monmohan Singh raised the Indian flag at the historic Red Fort in the capital of New Delhi while canons fired and a military band played. The Independence Day celebrations are the first since the deadly terror attacks in Mumbai last November and come as India is trying to contain the spread of the deadly H1N1 swine flu virus.
KOREAS - AID: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is calling on North Korea to end its nuclear program.
Mr. Lee made his comments in a speech Saturday marking the anniversary
of the Korean peninsula's liberation from Japanese rule in 1945. He
said nuclear weapons do not guarantee the North's security, but only
make the future more difficult.
He also said both Koreas should work on reducing conventional weapons.
Mr. Lee added that if Pyongyang gives up its nuclear program, South Korea will offer it new economic help.
US - HEALTH CARE: U.S. President Barack Obama is trying to get control of the
increasingly heated health care reform debate, asking Americans to - in
his words - "lower our voices" and "talk about differences that really
After a week of town hall meetings, some of which have seen angry
protests Mr. Obama termed a "ruckus", the president dedicated his
Saturday radio and Internet address once again to framing the debate on
He said "folks with a stake in the status quo" are trying to scare
people against reform.
HAITI - SWITZERLAND - DUVALIER: A Swiss court has rejected an appeal by the family of Haiti's former dictator to reclaim the money it had stashed away in Swiss bank accounts. The family of Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has not been able to gain access to the accounts, totaling $6 million, since 2002. The court's rejection of the family's appeal opens the way for the Swiss government's plan to give the money to aid agencies in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
VENEZUELA - PROTEST: Several hundred demonstrators have rallied in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, to protest the beating of a group of journalists.
The protest group, which included journalists, chanted and held up
signs Friday outside the office of the Venezuelan attorney general.
On Thursday, 12 journalists were injured while they were handing out
leaflets protesting a provision in a new education measure that they
said could restrict freedom of the press.
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