AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan's election commission says it will release partial results
from last week's presidential elections Tuesday, but complete
nationwide preliminary results will not be known for another 10 days.
As people await the official results, the country's finance minister,
Hazrat Omr Zakhilwal, claimed clear victory for incumbent President
Hamid Karzai. Zakhilwal said Monday the president received 68 percent
of the vote.
A spokesman for Mr. Karzai's top challenger, former Foreign Minister
Abdullah Abdullah, rejected that claim.
THAILAND BLAST: Authorities in Thailand say suspected Muslim insurgents in the restive
south detonated a car bomb Tuesday outside a restaurant packed with
government workers, wounding at least 42 people.
Earlier reports said about 18 people had been hurt.
Officials said the bomb was hidden in a pickup truck and was detonated
in the downtown area of the city of Narathiwat at lunchtime. At least
four people were seriously injured.
Around 3,700 people have been killed since a separatist insurgency
erupted five years ago in the southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani
THAILAND POL: Thailand's prime minister warned Tuesday that he would invoke the
country's harsh internal security act to deal with planned mass
protests by anti-government "Red Shirts" in Bangkok on Sunday.
Supporters of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra are
preparing to gather Sunday to push Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to
dissolve the government and call elections.
Mr. Abhisit told reporters that his cabinet agreed Tuesday to invoke
the Internal Security Act between next Saturday and September 1 to
prevent protesters from occupying key government facilities.
SOKOR - ROCKET: South Korea launched a rocket into space Tuesday, but the observation
satellite it was carrying failed to achieve its intended orbit.
Education, Science and Technology Minister Ahn Byong-man told reporters
that South Korean and Russian scientists are looking into the problem.
They have not said whether they can correct the problem.
The launch of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1, which was developed with help from Russia, had been delayed several times.
Tuesday's lift-off from the Naro Space Center south of Seoul is the
first time South Korea has launched a rocket from its own soil.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: Reports from South Korea say North Korea has invited the U.S. special
envoy for the communist nation to visit next month for talks on its
nuclear arms program.
If the reports in South Korean media are accurate, the trip by U.S.
Special Representative for North Korea Steven Bosworth would mark the
first official nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang
under the Obama administration.
The U.S. embassy in Seoul did not immediately comment on the reports.
GAZA VIOLENCE: Medical workers in Gaza say an Israeli air raid on smuggling tunnels
between the Gaza Strip and Egypt has killed three Palestinians and
wounded at least seven others.
Medics said the dead and wounded were inside the tunnels during
Tuesday's air attack. The tunnels are used to smuggle weapons and goods
into Gaza to circumvent an Israeli-led blockade.
An Israeli military statement said the air force struck in retaliation
after militants fired three mortar shells into Israel Monday, wounding
one Israeli soldier.
US - CIA REPORT: The top U.S. justice official has decided to re-open the investigation
into the interrogations of terrorism suspects during the administration
of President George W. Bush.
Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that prosecutor John Durham
will investigate whether personnel from the Central Intelligence Agency
broke laws when interrogating terrorism suspects.
The CIA released a previously classified report on the interrogations
Monday, under legal pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union.
MICHAEL JACKSON: Medical examiners in Los Angeles say pop star Michael Jackson died from
lethal levels of the powerful anesthetic propofol.
Court documents unsealed Monday in Houston (in the southwestern state
of Texas) say the Los Angeles County coroner's office reached that
conclusion after conducting an autopsy.
Investigators are looking at Jackson's use of prescription drugs, and
the role of his personal doctor, Conrad Murray. The doctor has
acknowledged that he gave Jackson a combination of propofol and other
medications on the day he died.
SWINE FLU: U.S. President Barack Obama's science advisers say swine flu could kill
up to 90,000 Americans during the winter flu season in the United
That contrasts with the usual seasonal flu, which is linked to between 30,000 and 40,000 deaths each year.
The report from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and
Technology says the H1N1 virus could infect as much as half the U.S.
population. The study released Monday calls for the government to speed
up the preparation of flu vaccine for distribution to people most at
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