BERLIN WALL ANNIVERSARY: Germany is marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
with prayers and promises to remember the joys of freedom. German Chancellor Angela Merkel started the day with President Horst
Koehler and other leaders at a prayer service in Gethsemane Church.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among the top officials at
One-hundred thousand people are in Berlin for the celebration, which Berlin officials are calling the "Festival of Freedom." It includes rock concerts, fireworks and a line of large foam dominoes that will be toppled along the path where the wall stood. The fall of the Berlin Wall cleared the way for German reunification, which took place formally on October 3, 1990. U.S. Secretary of State Clinton is leading the American delegation at Monday's ceremony.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani police say a suicide bomber in a rickshaw has killed threepeople in Peshawar, a day after another suicide bomber killed 13 people
in a crowded market outside the northwestern city. Police say the suicide bomber detonated his explosives Monday at a
checkpoint on a frequently traveled road that runs around Peshawar. The blast wounded five
other people. The earlier bombing on Sunday killed a local mayor, Abdul Malik. He was
once a Taliban supporter, but switched sides and mobilized villagers to
form a tribal militia against militants. The Taliban claimed
responsibility for the attack.
IRAQ - ELECTION LAW: Iraq's parliament has passed a long-delayed election law required for national elections to be held in January. The law won approval Sunday from 141 of 195 Iraq lawmakers present. The
lawmakers overcame a key dispute about how to conduct the election in
northern Iraq's ethnically-mixed, oil-rich city of Kirkuk. During the session, U.S. ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill shuttled between rival factions to press them to reach a deal. At the White House, President Barack Obama welcomed the passage of the
law, calling it an important milestone toward ensuring lasting peace in
Iraq. He also said it will pave the way for an orderly withdrawal of
U.S. combat troops from Iraq by next September.
ISRAEL - US: U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Israel's prime minister in Washington Monday. Benjamin Netanyahu is in the U.S. capital to speak to an annual forum of the Jewish Federations of North America.
White House officials said Sunday the leaders will hold talks Monday
evening, but they will not appear together before the White House press
corps. The Obama administration has been trying for months to press Mr.
Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to revive peace
talks. U.S.-Israeli relations have been strained since Mr. Netanyahu rejected
President Obama's demand to halt construction of Jewish settlements in
the occupied West Bank.
ZIMBABWE - TRIAL: A top aide to Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai went on trial Monday, facing terrorism and weapons-smuggling charges. Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change says the case against
Roy Bennett is politically motivated - in the prime minister's words, a
"malicious prosecution." Bennett, a white former coffee farmer, is one of the MDC's most popular
leaders. He is the political group's treasurer and deputy agriculture
minister-designate in Zimbabwe's power-sharing government.
He was arrested in February on charges that date back to 2006, when a
weapons dealer was arrested and initially charged with plotting to
assassinate President Robert Mugabe. The weapons dealer signed a
confession implicating Bennett and others in the alleged plot, but
later recanted and told reporters he had been tortured before signing
PHILIPPINES - KIDNAP: The government of the Philippines vowed Monday to hunt down the
al-Qaeda-linked militants suspected of kidnapping and beheading a
school principal. Police on the southern island of Jolo said the head of Gabriel
Canizares was found in a bag at a gas station early Monday morning, 22
days after he was kidnapped. His body is missing. Authorities say the Abu Sayyaf had demanded a $42,000 ransom for
Canizares' release, but officials and his relatives refused to pay. A spokeswoman for President Gloria Arroyo (Lorelei Fajardo)
said in a statement Monday that authorities are determined to put an
end to what she called the Abu Sayyaf's "heinous and inhumane
atrocities." The militant Muslim group is notorious for bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings.
CAMBODIA - THAILAND: Cambodia's Prime Minister says Thailand's fugitive former leader,
Thaksin Shinawatra, will visit the country to make a speech to
economists, a move expected to worsen the diplomatic spat between the
two nations. Hun Sen told a news conference Sunday that Mr. Thaksin will brief more than 300 Cambodian economists on November 12th. The announcement follows last week's appointment of the ousted leader as an economic advisor to the Cambodian government. Thailand responded by recalling its ambassador, with Cambodia following suit.
CHINA - US ECONOMY(in News Updates): Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says he welcomes signs of improvement in the
U.S. economy, but also hopes that Washington will keep its deficit to
"an appropriate size." Mr. Wen spoke Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where he is attending a two-day forum on cooperation between China and Africa. At a news conference, Mr. Wen said he wants the U.S. to keep its
deficit under control, because that will help the global economic
recovery and ensure stability in foreign-exchange rates. China is the largest international holder of U.S. government debt, and
has invested about 70 percent of its foreign-exchange reserves, or over
$1.4 trillion, in dollar-denominated assets.