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Blasts Targets German Troops in Afghanistan



AFGHANISTAN: A roadside bomb exploded Saturday near a convoy of German troops in northern Afghanistan, a day after German military commanders ordered a NATO airstrike in the region, killing up to 90 people, many of them civilians.
Authorities say the blast damaged vehicles, but there are no report of any serious injuries from Saturday's explosion. NATO is calling for an investigation of Friday's air strike that blew up two fuel trucks in a massive explosion. The pre-dawn strike was ordered by German military commanders after fuel trucks that had been hijacked earlier by Taliban militants were spotted on a river bank in the Northern Kunduz province, surrounded by what appeared to be insurgents, in the process of unloading the tankers. German officials say the order to attack was given because the trucks could be used as weapons in a suicide attack against nearby German troops.

G-20 : British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told Group of 20 finance ministers in London Saturday that although the worst recession since World War II appears to be easing, the world cannot be complacent or overconfident.
Mr. Brown told officials from wealthy developed nations and key emerging markets that the world was at a critical juncture and that more work is needed to ensure a lasting recovery. The G-20 nations account for most of the global economy. The ministers are meeting for a second and final day Saturday to work out an agenda for the G-20 heads of state, set to gather in the eastern U.S. city of Pittsburgh later this month.

NOKOR NuCLEAR: Top nuclear envoys from the United States and South Korea held talks in Seoul Saturday on ways to bring North Korea back to disarmament negotiations. Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special representative on North Korea, met with Wi Wung-Lac, South Korea's chief delegate to six-party talks on disarming North Korea. Bosworth, who is visiting the region for talks aimed at restarting the six-party negotiations, did not comment on details of the meeting. On Friday, North Korea said it has reached the last stage of enriching uranium, a process which, if completed, would give it a second means of building a nuclear bomb.

CHINA UNREST: The capital of China's Xinjiang region returned to an uneasy peace Saturday under the watch of thousands of security forces, who patrolled the streets of Urumqi and set up security checks throughout the city. The increased security came after five people were killed and 14 others injured during violent protests Thursday triggered by a series of syringe attacks. The city's deputy mayor, Zhang Hong, told reporters Friday that two of those killed during Thursday's demonstrations were "innocent civilians." He did not elaborate. Zhang also said 21 Uighurs had been detained, including four who were indicted for alleged involvement in the syringe attacks. State media reported the majority of victims were Han Chinese.

BP LOCKERBIE: A senior British minister says trade and oil deals with Libya played a "very big part" in Britain's decision to include the Lockerbie bomber in a prisoner transfer agreement between the two countries. Justice Secretary Jack Straw told the Daily Telegraph newspaper (Saturday) that he was "unapologetic" about including convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in the agreement with Libya, signed two years ago, just as British oil giant BP was seeking a multi-million dollar contract there.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said there was "no cover-up, no double-dealing, no deal on oil" linked to Megrahi's early release last month from a Scottish prison.


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