ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Nigerian President Returns Home


NIGERIA - PRESIDENT: Nigerian officials say President Umaru Yar'Adua has returned to the country after spending three months in a Saudi hospital. Witnesses said an ambulance was waiting on the tarmac as two planes landed at the at the presidential wing of Nigeria's Abuja airport. There was no immediate word on the condition of the 58-year-old leader who had been receiving treatment for a heart condition in Saudi Arabia. Since Mr. Yar'Adua left Nigeria on November 23, he has given only one brief radio interview and made no public appearances.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani officials say a suspected U.S. drone missile strike killed at least at least six militants Wednesday in a tribal district near the Afghan border. The attack struck an area of North Waziristan that is a stronghold of an Afghan Taliban faction called the Haqqani network. Authorities say a similar strike last week killed the son of the group's leader. There has been a recent increase in U.S. drone missile attacks targeting Taliban and al-Qaida linked militants in the region. Also in North Waziristan, Pakistani officials say militants have beheaded at three men accused of being spies for the United States.

INDONESIA - TERROR: A Saudi man is standing trial in Indonesia, accused of providing the funding for last year's deadly hotel bombings in Jakarta. Prosecutors say Al Khelaiw Ali Abudllah worked with accomplices of alleged ringleader Noordin Top to channel funds to the men who planned and carried out the attacks. Police are investigating whether the money came from the al-Qaida terrorist network. Al-Qaida has been accused of funding such attacks in the past. Abudllah told reporters he was no terrorist when he arrived at the South Jakarta courtroom Wednesday.

INDONESIA - LANDSLIDE: Indonesian state-run media say 72 people are believed dead after a landslide plowed through a tea plantation on Tuesday on the main island of Java. The official Antara news agency said 47 people are believed to have died in the plantation area and 25 in the plantation factory and office. Officials say the landslide occurred near the village of Tenjojaya after days of heavy rain. Some phone communication has been cut off and rescuers are having a hard time getting heavy equipment to the site. Landslides, usually triggered by rain, are a major killer in Indonesia.

US - TOYOTA - RECALL: The head of Toyota's global operations says the company's rapid growth may have contributed to safety defects. He is apologizing for accidents caused by problems with Toyota cars. Akio Toyoda, a grandson of Toyota's founder, will deliver his apology in person to members of the U.S. Congress (later Wednesday), but released the text of his statement in advance. Toyoda is expected to outline reforms that will help the Japanese automaker respond better to safety concerns in the future. On Tuesday, the chief executive of Toyota's operations in the United States, James Lentz, acknowledged the automaker made mistakes in investigating complaints about sudden, uncontrolled acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

SPAIN - PROTESTS: Tens of thousands of people in Spain have protested a government plan to raise the retirement age in what has become one of the biggest challenges to the ruling Socialists since Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero took office six years ago. Union leaders led demonstrations in cities including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia Tuesday, and have vowed to continue the actions to oppose legislation raising the country's legal retirement age from 65 to 67. The legislation is one of several measures Prime Minister Zapatero's government is considering in order to help pull Spain out of a two-year-long recession.

GREEK - STRIKE: Greek civil servants and many private sector workers have launched a nationwide 24-hour strike that has halted air and ground transportation and disrupted schools and other public services. Thousands of workers walked off their jobs Wednesday to protest government austerity measures designed to pull Greece out of its financial crisis. The measures include wage freezes, tax hikes and raising the retirement age. The Greek civil servants' union says government workers have become the targets of sharp spending cuts.

SWINE FLU: A World Health Organization panel says the H1N1 swine flu pandemic still has not peaked. WHO spokesman Greg Hartl said Tuesday the agency's emergency committee has advised it is "premature" to conclude that all parts of the world have experienced peak swine-flu transmission, and that more time and information is needed. The 15-member emergency committee makes recommendations to WHO Secretary General Margaret Chan. The United Nations agency says more than 212 countries, overseas territories and communities had confirmed cases of pandemic swine flu. WHO says the virus has been linked to more than 15,000 deaths.

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