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PAKISTAN VIOLENCE: A deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Peshawar has killed at least three people, hours after a suicide bomber killed at least 36 people elsewhere in Pakistan's northwest. A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman in Islamabad confirmed the attack on the consulate. It was not immediately clear if those killed were the attackers, consulate staff, or others nearby at the time of the blasts. At least three powerful blasts rocked the heavily guarded and fortified building and the surrounding area, followed by gunfire. Police quickly closed off the area. Earlier Monday, authorities say a suspected suicide bomber killed at least 36 people and wounded scores of others at a political rally in the Lower Dir district. The Awami National Party, which heads the ruling coalition in North West Frontier Province, was meeting to discuss a name change for the province. The ANP has supported military operations against the Taliban and Islamist militants in the country.
CHINA - MINE: Rescuers began pulling dozens of workers out of a Chinese
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coal mine Monday, after they had been trapped underground for more than a week. Rescue workers found nine miners alive overnight at the Wangjialing mine in northern China's Shanxi province Monday after the miners had spent 179 hours in a flooded underground shaft. As of early afternoon, officials said more than 80 people had been rescued, with more believed to be alive.
Survivors had to contend with severe thirst during their ordeal. One of the survivors reported that the murky water in the shaft was too dirty to drink.
THAILAND - MEKONG: Leaders from four Southeast Asian nations through which the Mekong River flows held talks Monday on ways to halt the shrinkage of one of the world's largest waterways.
Prime ministers from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, meeting in the Thai resort town of Hua Hin, agreed that better cooperation is needed to balance the economic benefits from the river and protect the livelihoods of tens of millions of people. Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stressed at the one-day summit the importance of joint responsibility in managing the river's resources. A drought this past year in southern China and Southeast Asia has dropped the Mekong to a record 50-year low. Activists accuse China of depleting the river by building dams upstream to store water in reservoirs.
China's representative to the summit, Vice Foreign Minster Song Tao said his country has developed and used the Mekong's water in an orderly manner, and fully accommodated the interests of downstream countries.
THAILAND PROTEST: Thailand's government is seeking a court order to move tens of thousands of red-shirted protesters out of Bangkok's tourist hub. The anti-government Red Shirts, loyal to ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, crippled Bangkok's tourist and shopping center for a third day Monday, tangling traffic and forcing up-scale department stores to remain shut for security reasons. At one point Monday afternoon, a group of the Red Shirts briefly occupied offices of the Election Commission. The group dispersed after receiving assurances the commission is investigating allegations of improper political funding involving Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's party.
In a nationally televised address Sunday, Mr. Abhisit accused the red-shirted protesters of violating Thailand's constitution. A crowd of about 55,000 Red Shirts began occupying the area Saturday as part of their campaign to force the government to hold new elections immediately.
US - SHUTTLE: The U.S. Space shuttle Discovery has taken off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Monday, carrying six American and one Japanese astronaut to the International Space Station. If all continues as scheduled, Discovery is expected to arrive at the space station Wednesday. They will deliver spare parts and science experiments to the orbiting laboratory.
This mission will be the first time four women have been at the International Space Station at the same time