IRAN – POLITICS:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has introduced his new Cabinet to
parliament for debate. Iran's parliament began a three-day session Sunday to
consider the 21 Cabinet nominees, leading to a vote of confidence. Lawmakers
within Mr. Ahmadinejad's own conservative camp have expressed strong opposition
to a number of the nominees, which include three women. Some parliament members
say some of the Cabinet picks are too inexperienced. Mr. Ahmadinejad won
re-election in June in a vote that government opponents say was rigged.
Thousands of Iranians were arrested for protesting the election results. Mr.
Ahmadinejad has called for the prosecution of those who led the weeks of unrest
following the election.
officials say at least 14 police recruits havebeen killed in a suicide bomb
attack in the Swat Valley, the deadliest attack since the military said it had
taken control of the area from Taliban militants. Authorities say the attacker
struck Sunday in Mingora in the northwestern region of the valley while the
cadets were training near a police station. Television footage showed officers
picking up mutilated bodies. The attack on the police comes a day after
Pakistan's military announced it destroyed a training camp for suicide bombers
in the Swat Valley. The army said in a statement that reports from intelligence
sources and local residents led them to the location in northwest Pakistan. Six
militants were reported killed in the operation and several others were said to
US - PAKISTAN – MISSILES:A report in a major U.S. newspaper says
Washington has accused Pakistan of illegally modifying U.S.-made missiles to
make them capable of striking land targets, a potential threat to India. The
New York Times says the charge was made in an unpublicized diplomatic
protest in late June to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and other top
Pakistani officials. The newspaper reports that U.S. officials suspect Pakistan
has modified the missiles in a manner that violates the Arms Control Export
Act.The French news agency reports a
senior Pakistani security official says the accusations reported by The
Times are part of a campaign to malign Pakistan and its armed forces.
AFGHANISTAN: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has increased his lead over his nearest opponent, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, in the latest election results released Saturday. Election officials say that after counting ballots from more than one-third of the polling stations used in the August 20 election, Mr. Karzai has 46 percent of the vote, while Mr. Abdullah has 31 percent. Mr. Karzai has been criticized for recruiting former warlords to help win votes. Abdul Rashid Dostum, widely reported to be partly responsible for the alleged massacre of some 2,000 Taliban prisoners, campaigned in Afghanistan for the president last week. Votes could be thrown out by the Elections Complaints Commission, which has received more than 2,000 complaints, including some 450 the commission says are serious enough to alter the outcome.
AUSTRALIA - NOKOR WEAPONS: Australia is checking
whether its laws were broken after an Australian-owned ship was found carrying
North Korean weapons bound for Iran. Australian Shipping Minister Anthony
Albanese confirmed Sunday that the vessel ANL Australia contained a
shipment of weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades. The ship was seized
earlier this month by the United Arab Emirates. The seizure took place under
U.N. sanctions against North Korea. The U.N. Security Council imposed those
sanctions because of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The sanctions,
adopted in June, call for international inspections of North Korean sea and air
BURMA – UNREST:
Fighting appears to have stopped in northeastern Burma along the Chinese
border after days of clashes between Burmese government troops and ethnic
rebels. At least 700 soldiers from the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance
Army, an ethnic-Kokan militia, crossed the border into China Sunday and
surrendered their weapons to local officials. The Chinese army issued blue
coveralls to the men when they surrendered their uniforms. Thousands of people
have fled to the border town of Nansan in China's Yunnan province this month to
escape the clashes in the Kokang region, following the deployment of Burmese government
troops in the area. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says up to 30,000
people have fled into China.
US – KENNEDY:U.S.
Senator Ted Kennedy, described by President Barack Obama as the "greatest
legislator of our time," has been laid to rest at Arlington National
Cemetery near Washington. Kennedy was buried Saturday evening near the graves
of his assassinated brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert
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