AFGHANISTAN: Afghan police say an explosion killed eight people and wounded 16
others in Helmand province, where Afghan and NATO forces are conducting
a major offensive against Taliban militants.
Police say the bomb went off in front of a government building Tuesday in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern province.
In the nearby town of Marjah, U.S. military officials are reporting
slow but steady progress in the operation targeting Taliban fighters.
The security gains NATO is reporting have been overshadowed by civilian deaths caused by a NATO air strike in a nearby province.
US - AFGHANISTAN: An independent Web site says 1,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed in
Afghanistan since the war began in 2001, as military commanders warn of
more losses to come.
The latest death toll was posted on the Web site icasualties.org, which tracks military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.
While the number of American deaths has increased in Afghanistan over
the past two years, it is still far below the more-than 4,000 U.S.
soldiers killed in Iraq.
Earlier this week, U.S. General David Petraeus, who oversees the wars
in both countries, said Americans should prepare for further losses in
US TERROR PLOT: An Afghan immigrant accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack in New
York City has pleaded guilty to a key terrorism charge - conspiracy to
use weapons of mass destruction.
Najibullah Zazi testified in a federal court in New York Monday that he
was recruited by al-Qaida and trained in bombmaking. He also pleaded
guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and
providing material support for a terrorist organization.
The 25-year-old said al-Qaida helped him plan an attack on the New York
subway system that U.S. officials said would have been devastating.
IRAN - MILITANT ARREST: Iranian officials say the head of a Sunni militant group was arrested
outside the country, and that he had links to the United States.
Iranian state media report security forces detained Abdolmalek Rigi Tuesday on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan.
Rigi is the leader of the militant group Jundallah, which has been blamed for a number of deadly attacks in Iran.
Iran's intelligence minister (Heydar Moslehi) is quoted by
state television as saying Rigi was at a U.S. military base 24 hours
before his capture and that Americans had issued him an Afghan passport.
AUSTRALIA - SECURITY: Australia has unveiled plans to impose tougher visa checks on people
from about 10 countries considered at high risk of terrorist activity.
While releasing the new government measure in Canberra Tuesday, Prime
Minister Kevin Rudd said terrorism has become a persistent and
permanent feature of Australia's security environment.
Under the plan, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship will
begin collecting fingerprints and facial images from visa applicants
from high-risk countries and cross-check them with databases in
Australia and abroad.
SOKOR - BURMA: South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries says it signed a $1.4 billion
deal Tuesday with another South Korean firm to develop a huge natural
gas field in military-ruled Burma.
Hyundai Heavy signed the contract with South Korean trading company
Daewoo International to build offshore and onshore plants at the Shwe
project off northwest Burma by March of 2013.
Daewoo International has agreed to supply gas from the field from May of the same year through a pipeline to China.
The project will produce 15 million cubic meters of gas per day for between 25 and 30 years.
EUROPE - AIR TRAFFIC: French air traffic controllers have begun a four-day strike, disrupting flights out of Paris.
Half of Tuesday's flights out of Paris' Orly airport have been cut,
while a quarter of flights out of Charles DeGaulle airport have been
French unions representing controllers called the strike to protest
modernization of air traffic control throughout Europe, fearing the
reforms will lead to job losses.
Meanwhile, Lufthansa pilots have suspended their strike against the
German airline after their union and management agreed to hold more
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