PAKISTAN: Pakistani officials say a roadside explosion near a girls' school in
northwest Pakistan has killed at least seven people, including three
U.S. officials have not confirmed the soldiers' deaths. Pakistani
officials say the dead also include four children. Fifty other people
were wounded in Wednesday's blast.
The attack happened in a village in the Lower Dir district near Swat
Valley, a region the military largely cleared of militants in an
offensive a year ago.
On Tuesday, suspected U.S. drones fired missiles at several suspected
militant hideouts in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region, killing
at least 16 people.
IRAQ: Iraqi police say a motorcycle bomb blast has killed at least 20 Shi'ite pilgrims and wounded more than 100 others near the holy city of Karbala. Officials say the bomb exploded Wednesday as pilgrims made their way to the city south of Baghad for a Shi'ite religious observance. Also Wednesday, two separate roadside bombs targeting Shi'ite pilgrims exploded in Baghdad. The first attack in western part of the city killed one person and wounded three others. The second explosion in southwest Baghdad wounded three pilgrims. On Monday a female suicide bomber blew herself up among a crowd of Shi'ite pilgrims in Baghdad, killing at least 41 people and wounding more than 100 others.
IRAN NUCLEAR: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his country is ready to send
uranium abroad for further enrichment, in accordance with a U.N.-backed
Mr. Ahmadinejad told state television Tuesday that Iran has "no
problem" sending low-enriched uranium abroad and getting it back
several months later, when it is enriched to 20 percent capacity. He
offered no timetable.
In response to Mr. Ahmadinejad's remarks, the White House urged Iran to
inform the International Atomic Energy Agency if it is ready to send
low-enriched uranium abroad.
US - CHINA - TIBET: China says it "resolutely opposes" any meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama.
A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry (Ma Zhaoxu) said
in a statement Wednesday that Beijing is against any meeting between a
U.S. leader and the the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader in any context.
China has warned such a meeting would further harm bilateral relations.
China's response comes a day after a White House spokesman confirmed
Mr. Obama planned to follow through with his pledge to hold talks with
the Dalai Lama.
SUDAN - WAR CRIMES: Appeals judges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague ordered
the court to reconsider indicting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on
genocide charges Wednesday.
The International Criminal Court charged President Bashir in March 2009
of masterminding a campaign of rape, murder, torture and other war
crimes against civilians in Darfur. The Sudanese leader denies the
However, at that time judges said there was insufficient evidence to
charge Mr. Bashir on three counts of genocide. Prosecutors appealed
MALAYSIA - ANWAR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has pleaded not guilty to sodomy charges in the second day of his trial in Kuala Lumpur. Anwar called the charge "malicious in intent" when it was read to him at the start of Wednesday's proceedings. The former deputy prime minister was charged last year with sodomizing a 23-year-old male former aide. He faces a 20-year prison sentence if convicted. Prosecutors say genetic tests conducted on evidence obtained from the aide after a physical examination will prove Anwar sexually assaulted the man.
KOREAS - TENSIONS: South Korean officials say North Korea has designated another two
"firing zones" near the disputed maritime border of the two countries.
Officials in Seoul said Wednesday the designation may signal that
Pyongyang plans to continue the military exercises it began last week.
Pyongyang said its artillery shelling in the Yellow Sea on three days
last week was part of an annual military drill. The United States
called the action "provocative."
Tuesday, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak discussed with his Cabinet a possible summit with North Korea this year.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: A senior U.S. diplomat says Washington will not discuss a permanent peace treaty with North Korea until the regime returns to the six-nation nuclear disarmament talks. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell reiterated the Obama administration's position Wednesday after talks with South Korean diplomats in Seoul. North Korea says it will not return to the negotiations over its nuclear program until the United States agrees to begin talks on a treaty to replace the armistice reached after the end of the Korean War in 1953.
JAPAN - BURMA - REFUGEES: The United Nations' refugee agency says Japan has taken the first steps
toward the resettlement of some Burmese refugees living in a camp in
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says a Japanese delegation
visited the Mae Le refugee camp to interview people who have applied
for resettlement in Japan.
UNHCR selected the people to be interviewed based on how long they have
been living in the camp. Some of them have been at Mae Le for 20 years.
A UNHCR spokesman says the first Burmese family should arrive in Japan in September.
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