PAKISTAN: Pakistani officials say a suicide bomber struck a crowded market Sunday in northwest Pakistan, killing an anti-Taliban mayor. At least 11 other people were killed in the blast and dozens were wounded in the Sunday morning attack in the Matni area on the outskirts of Peshawar. Officials say Malik, a former Taliban supporter, had switched sides and raised a militia to fight the Taliban. He had survived several attempts on his life since shifting his allegiance. The market was crowded with shoppers and goats. The goats were being sold to to celebrate the upcoming Muslim festival of Eid.
AFGHANISTAN: The Afghan Defense Ministry says its troops, along with NATO forces, have killed 17 rebels in the southern region of the country. The ministry said Sunday the fighting erupted after militants fired several mortars at an Afghan army position in the province of Zabul. Officials say one wounded rebel was captured. On Saturday, NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said more than 25 international and Afghan National Security Force personnel were mistakenly killed or wounded during an operation in western Badghis province. A NATO statement said Friday's incident occurred when NATO and Afghan forces were searching for two American soldiers who disappeared Wednesday while attempting to recover airdropped supplies from the Marghab River. The U.S. soldiers are believed to have drowned.
INDIA - CHINA - TIBET: Thousands of Buddhists lined the roadways Sunday to welcome the Dalai Lama to a Tibetan monastery in Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India, along the disputed border with China. China strongly opposed the Dalai Lama's trip to the Himalayan monastery and demanded Indian authorities cancel it. Top Indian officials, including the prime minister, refused, saying the Dalai Lama is an honored guest and his trip to the Tawang Monastery is religious -- not political. China and India fought a war over Arunachal Pradesh in 1962. The region has remained in dispute ever since
US - HEALTH CARE: The U.S. House of Representatives has narrowly passed a sweeping measure to reform America's health care system. One Republican joined 219 Democrats in approving the bill in the House late Saturday after about 12 hours of debate. The bill needed 218 votes to pass. In a statement from the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama hailed what he called the "historic vote" and said he was absolutely confident the Senate will pass its version of the legislation. Differences between the House and Senate versions will have to be reconciled and approved by another vote before a final bill goes to the president for his signature.
US - CLINTON TRIP: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left Washington early Sunday for Europe and Asia to consult with allies on curbing North Korea's and Iran's nuclear ambitions and stabilizing Afghanistan. The top U.S. diplomat will give a speech in Berlin Sunday, before joining German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders in celebrations on Monday, to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. From Berlin, Clinton goes to Singapore, where she will meet Wednesday with Asia-Pacific foreign ministers for talks centering on North Korea.
APEC: Annual meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum began in Singapore Sunday, bringing together senior officials from 21 of the world's largest economies to work toward improving trade and growth. The APEC officials talked about improving trade among their Pacific Rim economies by simplifying documentation requirements and procedures. They also discussed moving toward a free trade area for the Asia-Pacific region. Michael Tay, the Executive Director of this year's APEC Secretariat said globalization has produced great rewards for APEC economies. But he said the global financial crisis has shown there are also large imbalances to be addressed. The eight days of meetings will end with a summit of APEC leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, who will make his first trip to Asia as president.
CHINA - AFRICA: China's Premier Wen Jiabao has pledged $10 billion in loans to African countries over the next three years. Mr. Wen is in Cairo, where the two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation began Sunday in the Red Sea resort, Sharm el-Sheikh. The Chinese premier presented a plan to cancel the debts of some of
Africa's poorest countries. He also vowed to help set up 100 new clean
energy projects in the continent. Leaders of 49 African countries are attending the summit to discuss economic and political cooperation with China.
Chinese companies have invested billions of dollars in Africa to feed China's appetite for raw materials. Trade between China and the continent has grown significantly over the past five years.
JAPAN-BURMA: Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has urged Burma to release detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi before next year's election, saying Tokyo is willing to provide more aid if democratic reforms in Burma are advanced. On talks with Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein in Tokyo Saturday, Mr. Hatoyama said it is extremely important that Burma release Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners before the general election to be held in 2010.