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Blast Near Pakistan's Swat Valley Kills 41, Wounds 45


PAKISTAN: Pakistani police say a suicide bomber has killed 41 people, including six security personnel, in the Shangla district, near the troubled Swat Valley. Authorities say 45 people were wounded in the attack. Police say the attacker struck a military convoy and set off a huge blast - part of a growing string of explosions and attacks in the country. The deadly incident in Shangla district came hours after Pakistan officials said military fighter jets bombed militant outposts in a lawless northwestern tribal belt, killing nearly a dozen suspected militants and wounding several others. In another development Monday, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for Saturday's assault on the heavily guarded army headquarters in Rawalpindi.

AUSTRALIA-AFGHANISTAN: Australia has granted asylum to a group of Afghan asylum seekers who survived an explosion that killed five people in the Timor Sea. In April, a boat carrying 47 Afghan asylum seekers exploded, killing five men and injuring almost everyone else on board. The Australian navy, which found the boat about 600 kilometers off Australia's northwest coast, was escorting it when the blast occurred. Although there were suspicions of sabotage, navy officers ruled there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime. However, two Indonesian crewmen have been charged with people smuggling.


CHINA-XINJIANG: Chinese officials say a court in western Xinjiang sentenced six people to death Monday for murder and other crimes committed during the July riots that killed nearly 200 people.
Court officials said one other defendant was sentenced to life in prison in connection with the unrest, the worst ethnic violence to hit China in decades.
During the rioting, members of the Muslim Uighur minority directed attacks mainly at members of China's dominant Han ethnic group.

KOREAS-FLOODING: South Korean officials say Seoul Monday proposed holding talks with North Korea on preventing flooding from a cross-border river. On September 6 North Korea released a massive amount of water from a dam on the Imjin river, killing six South Koreans camping and fishing downstream. The North said a sudden surge in the dam's water level required an emergency release. South Korea's Defense Ministry has said there were signs the water release was meant as a deliberate attack. The South's Unification Ministry said the proposal called for talks on Wednesday. There has been no immediate response from Pyongyang.

NOBEL-ECONOMICS: Americans Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson have won the 2009 Nobel prize for economics. The Royal Swedish Academy Monday said the award recognizes Ostrom for showing how property can be managed under common control and Williamson for his theory on resolving corporate conflict. Ostrom is the first woman to win the prize since it was founded in the late 1960s. The duo will receive their $1.4 million prize later this year.
The economics prize is the last of six Nobel prizes to be awarded this year.

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