AFGHANISTAN: Militants in Afghanistan have killed at least six foreign U.N. workers and three Afghans during an attack on an international guesthouse in the capital, Kabul. One American is among those dead. Local officials said three gunmen wearing suicide vests and disguised as police stormed the compound around dawn Wednesday. They battled security forces for two hours before they either detonated their explosives or were shot dead. At least two Afghan security guards and a civilian died in the assault. A Taliban spokesman later took credit for the attack, calling it a "first step" to disrupt next month's presidential runoff election.
PAKISTAN BLAST: A car bomb in the main city in Pakistan's troubled northwest has killed at least 86 people and wounded some 100 others. Witnesses said the afternoon explosion ripped through a crowded market in Peshawar Wednesday afternoon, killing mostly women. Television images show rescue workers digging through gutted shops and battling fires as a cloud of gray smoke hangs over downtown. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast. Peshawar is the most populous city in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and a gateway to the country's lawless tribal areas, where security forces are battling Taliban militants.
US - CHINA - TRADE: United States Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says climate change and clean energy will top the agenda at high-level trade talks this week in China. Locke says that over the next two days of meetings in eastern Hangzhou, he will press for more access for American companies yo China's clean energy sector. Locke says that China's ambitious wind power plans, as well as policies to reduce emissions and use water more efficiently, create a potential market for U.S. firms. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Villsack will join Locke at the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meetings.
TAIWAN - CHINA - MEDIA: Taiwan has loosened restrictions on Chinese journalists stationed on the island in its latest move to boost ties with China. Taiwan's top body on relations with China (Mainland Affairs Council) says Chinese media outlets can now send as many as five reporters each to the island. The journalists will be allowed to rent houses instead of staying in hotels, and no longer be required to leave the island every six-months. Taiwan journalists can currently work in China, but only six-months at a time. In 2000, Taiwan lifted a decades-old ban on Chinese journalists.
KOREAS - DEFECTOR: South Korean authorities say a man who defected to North Korea earlier this week is wanted by police for assault.
Officials in the South say the 30-year-old pig farmer, Kang Dong-rim,
allegedly assaulted his employer last month with a hammer.
Kang worked a base not far from where officials say he cut through
barbed wire and crossed the heavily fortified border that divides the
North Korean authorities claim that Kang was pleased with his decision
to defect and claimed that he was now under what they called "the warm
protection" of the North.
INDONESIA - ASYLUM SEEKERS: An Indonesian provincial governor has refused to allow a boatload of
Sri Lankan refugees to land on one of the islands in his province.
Indonesia last week agreed to give temporary shelter to the 78
asylum-seekers, who were picked up by an Australian vessel. Australian
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd urged Indonesian President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono to accept the asylum-seekers, who had been heading for
Mr. Yudhoyono agreed to accommodate the 78 on humanitarian grounds until they find a country of permanent residence.
US - AIRPLANE: U.S. federal aviation officials have revoked the licenses of two pilots who flew a Northwest Airlines jetliner more than 200 kilometers past its destination. The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday the two pilots violated a number of regulations, including failing to comply with air traffic control instructions and clearances, and operating carelessly and recklessly. In a preliminary report issued Monday by the National Transportation Safety Board, both the captain and the first officer admitted to becoming distracted while using their laptop computers during the October 21 flight.
SPORTS - MEDAL DESIGN: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is offering the public
a chance to make Olympic history by designing the medals for the
inaugural Youth Olympic Games to be held in Singapore next year.
People from around the world are invited to enter the contest at a
dedicated medal design web site at:
www.medaldesigncompetition.comDesign submissions will be accepted from
November 7 to December 4.
The public will also be invited to vote on the 10 best medal designs
from December 7 to January 22, and the top 10 will be submitted to an
IOC jury which will make the final selection.
MICHAEL JACKSON MOVIE: A film starring the late pop legend Michael Jackson premieres Wednesday with simultaneous openings on five continents.
"This is It," a movie comprised of footage from rehearsals of Jackson's
planned London concert series, is to run for a two-week engagement,
following the star's sudden death in June at age 50.
Jackson died in the final stages of rehearsals for his concert, that was planned for 50 shows at London's O2 Arena.
Interest in the film is high. The Los Angeles premiere is expected to
feature celebrities, including four of Jackson's brothers.
Listen to our World News for details.