US - KENNEDY: U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver a eulogy Saturday morning for
late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy at a funeral Mass in Boston.
Around 1,500 people are expected to attend the service, including
former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Kennedy -- a liberal icon who served nearly 47 years in the Senate --
will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery (near Washington, DC)
Saturday evening.His grave will lie near those of his assassinated
brothers President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy.
IRAQ: Iraqi police say two separate suicide car bombings in northern Iraq
have killed at least 15 people and wounded at least 30 others.
Police say the first attack came early Saturday in the town of Shirqat.
They say a car bomber targeted a police station killing at least nine
people and wounding several others.
The second attack came about two hours later in the town of Sinjar near
Mosul where several people were killed when a car-bomb exploded.
The attacks are the latest in a rash of violence in Iraq, particularly
in the north, where security is not as tight as elsewhere.
AFGHANISTAN VIOLENCE: In Afghanistan a suicide bomber attacked a NATO patrol in a market in
the southern Zabul province Saturday, killing two civilians and
wounding 21 others.
The local district governor (Abdul Qayoum) said the troops were on foot
in a market in Shah Joy when the suicide bomber blew himself up next to
them. NATO officials confirm there was an attack but have not given
details. No western troops are reported killed. August is already the
deadliest month for U.S. forces since the Taliban-led government was
ousted in 2001.
US MILITARY OUTREACH: The highest-ranking military official in the United States is calling
for the military to build trust in the Middle East and throughout
Muslim-populated regions, rather than spending so much time with public
In an article for a U.S. military journal, chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, writes the U.S. military needs to worry
less about how it communicates and more on actions that build trust.
His comments come as U.S. military officers give increasing importance
to strategic communications efforts, while pursuing wars in Iraq and
KOREAS - TENSIONS: South Korea's Coast Guard says North Korea freed four South Korean
fishermen and their boat Saturday, nearly a month after they were
captured in the North's waters.
South Korean maritime police said the fishing boat Yeonan-ho and four
crewmen were handed over to a patrol boat waiting at the eastern sea
border at 5 p.m., local time.
The men were seized after their boat drifted into the North's
territorial waters late last month. At the time, the South's
Unification Ministry said the boat's satellite navigation system had
JAPAN POL: Candidates across Japan made their final appeals to voters Saturday on
the eve of an election that could bring a sweeping victory for the
opposition and break the ruling party's decades-long grip on power.
Prime Minister Taro Aso asked voters in Tokyo to give his Liberal
Democratic Party more time in office to complete economic reforms aimed
at pulling Japan out of a deep recession.
Rival Yukio Hatoyama, head of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan,
traveled to western Japan to urge voters to support change.
THAILAND POL: Supporters of fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
say they will postpone a mass protest planned for Sunday after the
government invoked a special security law to prevent their rally.
Leaders of the so-called "Red Shirts" (United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship)
said Saturday they will hold the rally on September 5, after the law
expires. They said that if the law is extended, the protest would be
postponed again, but the final deadline would be September 19.
The opposition is demanding early elections and the dissolution of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's government.
US - SHUTTLE: The U.S. space agency NASA has launched Space Shuttle Discovery.
The shuttle lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on Florida's
Atlantic Coast a minute before midnight Friday, and reached orbit
uneventfully about 10 minutes later.
The seven-member crew is en route to the International Space Station,
where the astronauts will spend 13 days. They plan to dock there Sunday
At the time of launch, the space station was 225 miles above the Indian Ocean, flying southwest of Tasmania.
OBAMA - KATRINA: On the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, U.S. President Barack
Obama remembered the victims of the powerful storm.
On August 29, 2005, Katrina brutalized the American Gulf Coast, leaving
more than 1,000 people dead and a million people homeless.
In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Mr. Obama said,
"none of us can forget," and said he is focusing on efforts to rebuild.
He said he will visit New Orleans (one of the hardest hit cities) later
this year, following 11 of his Cabinet members who have already been
there. (News Updates)
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