PAKISTAN: Pakistani officials say attacks on four law enforcement buildings in
the country's east and northwest have killed at least 32 people.
Much of the violence centered around the eastern city of Lahore, where
gunmen fired on a building housing the Federal Investigation Agency, or
FIA, which examines matters relating to immigration and terrorism. Four
police officers and one other person were killed in the attack while
police killed at least one attacker and arrested at least one gunman.
Gunmen also targeted two police training centers on the outskirts of
Lahore. One of the attacks, in the suburb of Manawa, killed 10 people,
including six police officers.
CHINA - XINJIANG: A court in western China's Xinjiang region has sentenced six more people to death over their involvement in bloody ethnic riots in July that killed almost 200 people. Of the six sentenced Thursday by the Urumqi Intermediate People's Court, five appear to be members of China's mainly Muslim Uighur minority group, based on their names. The other defendant's name, Han Junbo, would seem to place him in China's dominant Han ethnic group. Han was sentenced for beating a Uighur man to death and injuring another. His accomplice (Liu Bo), also apparently a member of China's majority Han ethnic group, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
KOREAS - TENSIONS: North Korea says a naval clash with South Korea may occur if Seoul continues to deploy its warships in waters the North considers its own. In a statement released Thursday by the official Korean Central News Agency, North Korea's military described the South's alleged actions in the Yellow Sea as "reckless military provocations." The two sides engaged in bloody naval clashes in 1999 and 2002 over their disputed sea border to the west of the Korean peninsula. That border was drawn by the United Nations after the 1950-53 war between the communist and democratic rivals but North Korea does not recognize it.
EU - SOUTH KOREA - TRADE: Top EU and South Korean trade officials have signed a free trade deal which could boost joint trade by $28 billion. The agreement, which was signed Thursday in Brussels by EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton and South Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon, removes almost all tariffs between the two economies. Ashton says the agreement would create "deep economic ties" with South Korea, opening new opportunities for European companies in services, manufacturing and agriculture. The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy estimates that once approved, the pact could increase trade by up to 20 percent.
GUINEA: The International Criminal Court has begun a preliminary investigation to determine if Guinea's government committed war crimes during a deadly crackdown on protesters last month. Deputy prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the court had received information and pictures showing that women at the demonstration were brutalized by men in uniform. Bensouda said the actions are "appalling and unacceptable" and that "those responsible must be held accountable." The announcement comes on the heels of growing calls from the United States, the European Union, and others for Guinea's military leaders to step down and be held accountable for the violence.
HONDURAS: There are conflicting reports on whether negotiators in Honduras have
agreed on a deal aimed at ending the standoff over the ouster of
President Manuel Zelaya in a June coup.
On Wednesday, a negotiator for Mr. Zelaya, Victor Meza, said the two
sides have agreed on a point related to the deposed president's return
to power. Meza provided no details.
But hours later, negotiators for interim President Roberto Micheletti
denied that a deal had been reached, saying talks will resume Thursday.
Mr. Zelaya was ousted in the military-backed coup on June 28 and sent
into exile. Opponents say he was trying to illegally change the
constitution to extend his term in office.
THAILAND - MONARCH: Thailand's stock market lost ground for a second straight day Thursday
as investors worry about the lingering health problems of the country's
The benchmark Stock Exchange of Thailand lost about eight percent at
end of Thursday's trading. The exchange had lost two percent Wednesday.
The losses were triggered by rumors surrounding the health of
81-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has been hospitalized since
September 19. He was diagnosed with a lung infection, fever, fatigue
and lack of appetite. The royal palace issued a statement Wednesday
declaring King Bhumibol's condition as good, but analysts say traders
were not reassured.
UN - WHO - DIARRHEA: The United Nations says more needs to be done to prevent the deaths of more than a million children each year from diarrhea. The U.N. Children's Fund, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization released a report on diarrhea Wednesday. They called it the second deadliest illness for children behind pneumonia. UNICEF Director Ann Veneman said diarrhea is little more than an inconvenience in the developed world, but it kills an estimated 1.5 million children in poor countries every year. She said that in developing nations, only 39 percent of children with the illness receive treatment. .
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