AFGHANISTAN - VIOLENCE: Afghan police say a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle has blown
himself up in southwestern Afghanistan, killing at least 15 people and
wounding dozens more.
The bomb exploded Friday in a busy area of Farah city, the capital of
Farah province. The provincial governor told reporters the blast
occurred not far from his compound.
Police officials say at least one of the dead was a police officer and
many others were civilians. Officials say the death toll may rise as
many of the wounded are in critical condition.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani officials say a suspected U.S. drone attack has killed at least eight people in the country's northwest.
The officials say two missiles were fired at a compound being used by
suspected Taliban militants in Mir Ali village, in the restive North
Waziristan region, a militant stronghold bordering Afghanistan.
Intelligence sources say the dead included foreign militants, a term
often used in Pakistan to refer to al-Qaida operatives. Two other
people were wounded in the attack.
Meanwhile, Pakistani officials say the death toll has risen from a
Friday morning roadside bomb in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
IRAN - NUCLEAR: Major world powers meet Friday to discuss Iran's apparent rejection of
a United Nations-brokered nuclear deal, aimed at alleviating
international concerns that Iran is developing atomic weapons.
European Union officials say representatives of the five permanent
members of the U.N. Security Council (Britain, France, China, the
United States, Russia) plus Germany, will meet in Brussels. The talks
come just two days after Iranian Foreign Minister Manochehr
Mottaki said his country will not send its uranium abroad for further
enrichment and will only consider a uranium-for-fuel swap inside Iran.
INDONESIA - SRI LANKA: The United Nations refugee agency says it is processing the
resettlement claims of Sri Lankan migrants detained in Indonesia.
Seventy-eight Sri Lankan men, women and children are hoping to be
resettled in Australia. They left their homeland by boat and were
rescued at sea off the coast of Indonesia last month by an Australian
customs ship. Most of the group were transferred from the ship Monday
to an Australian-funded detention facility on Indonesia's Bintan
The U.N. refugee agency says it has determined some of the migrants are
refugees and will decide on their resettlement appeals within six
UN - NOKOR - BURMA: A key United Nations committee has approved resolutions condemning
North Korea and Burma for what it says are widespread human rights
violations. The General Assembly committee on human rights adopted the
resolution on North Korea in a vote of 97 to 19 (with 65 abstentions),
and the resolution on Burma by a count of 92 to 26 (with 65
The resolution on North Korea noted "very serious concern" about what
it said were reports of arbitrary detention, torture, and public
executions. North Korea says those charges are groundless.
OBAMA - NOMINATIONS: U.S. President Barack Obama has announced his nominations for U.S. ambassadors to the Philippines and to Singapore.
Mr. Obama said Thursday that Harry Thomas and David Adelman will
represent the nation well and work to fulfill the goal of strengthening
its relationships abroad.
The nominee for ambassador to the Philippines, Harry Thomas, most
recently served as Director General of the Foreign Service. He has
served previously as ambassador to Bangladesh and on the White House
National Security Council, as Director for South Asia.
US - TRAVEL WARNINGS: The U.S. State Department has issued new travel warnings for U.S. citizens living in Nepal and Sri Lanka or traveling to the South Asia nations. In Sri Lanka, the document advises Americans to defer all travel to the north and east due to continued security concerns. The warning says there are still uncleared land mines in the those areas and potential for incidents by remnants of the Tamil Tiger rebels. It says all U.S. citizens should be aware of their surroundings and avoid crowded places.
UNICEF - STATUS OF CHILDREN: The U.N. Children's Fund says many challenges remain, but considerable progress has been made in the 20 years since the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In a report (Thursday) on the eve of the convention's anniversary, UNICEF says the mortality rate for children under five has fallen by 28 percent (between 2008 and 1990), and that 84 percent of the world's primary school-aged children are now in school. However, UNICEF says children continue to die from preventable diseases - such as malaria, pneumonia and malnutrition - and are victims of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.
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