KYRGYZSTAN - PROTESTS: Kyrgyzstan's government has declared a state of emergency after clashes
between riot police and anti-government protesters killed at least four
people and wounded several others in the capital.
Witnesses say police first used tear gas and stun grenades Wednesday
before opening fire to disperse thousands of demonstrators who seized
police vehicles in Bishkek. Demonstrators demanding the resignation of
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev tried to ram the gates of government
headquarters with an armored vehicle.
The unrest spread to the town of Naryn, where at least 1,000 protesters took over the local government building.
THAILAND - PROTEST: Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has declared a state of emergency in the capital of Bangkok.
Mr. Abhisit issued the declaration late Wednesday, hours after
anti-government protesters briefly stormed the grounds of Parliament. A
legislative session was abruptly adjourned as thousands of "Red Shirts"
surrounded the building, prompting many lawmakers to flee. Several
lawmakers were evacuated by helicopter.
The Red Shirts have become more aggressive in their tactics in recent
days. They took over Bangkok's tourist and commercial center last
Saturday, and clashed with police Tuesday, breaking through barricades
and taking their protest through the city.
NORTH KOREA - US: North Korea says it has sentenced an American man to eight years of
hard labor for illegally entering the country and what it calls hostile
The state-run Korean Central News Agency says the defendant, Aijalon
Mahli Gomes, acknowledged wrongdoing during a court appearance. Gomes
is from Boston, in the eastern U.S. state of Massachusetts.
The United States does not have relations with North Korea, so Swedish
diplomats were present in the courtroom on Washington's behalf.
The U.S. State Department urged North Korea last month to free Gomes.
BANGLADESH - WATER: Bangladesh has deployed troops to distribute water and secure public water pumps to help ease a shortage that threatens to spark unrest. Officials said Wednesday that the army would be stationed at key water installations throughout the capital, Dhaka. Groundwater levels have plunged in recent weeks, with frequent power outages reducing the operating capacity of many water pumps. The shortage has prompted anger among the capital's more than 12 million residents.<!-- IMAGE -->
IRAQ: The United States says an upsurge of deadly attacks in Iraq will not
alter Washington's plans to withdraw combat troops from the country by
the end of August.
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs says many people expected that
insurgents would use this time to stunt the military and political
progress made in Iraq.
More than 100 people have been killed in and around Baghdad in the past
five days, about a month after Iraq's parliamentary elections.
On Tuesday, a series of bombings in Baghdad killed at least 50 people
and wounded more than 140 others.
AFGHANISTAN: Afghan officials say the head of the country's Independent Election Commission and his deputy have resigned.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai's spokesman, Waheed Omar, told reporters
on Wednesday that the tenure of IEC chairman Azizullah Ludin has come
to an end. Daoud Ali Najafi also resigned from his position, which was
approved by the president.
The election commission oversaw last year's presidential vote that was
marked with widespread fraud. A United Nations-backed commission threw
out nearly a third of Mr. Karzai's ballots from the August 20 vote, due
BRAZIL - FLOODING: Authorities in Brazil now say at least 95 people in the state of Rio de
Janeiro have been killed in landslides and floods set off by the
heaviest rains in decades.
Officials say that in the city of Rio de Janeiro, mudslides swept away
shacks in the area's hillside slums. The downpours began Monday and
continued into Tuesday.
Rio will host World Cup soccer (football) matches in 2014 and
the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Flights into and
out of Rio have been canceled or delayed and many streets are under
water, stranding some motorists and leaving cars submerged.
WEST VIRGINIA MINE: Rescue workers are boring deep to ventilate a West Virginia coal mine,
where an explosion Monday killed 25 people and injured two others in
the worst mine accident in the United States in more than two decades.
Four miners remain unaccounted for, but high concentrations of methane
and carbon-monoxide have made it unsafe for rescue workers to search
Officials said the miners are believed to be in a chamber more than 300 meters below the surface.
They said they will drill four boreholes to vent the toxic gas so rescue workers can resume their search.
Listen to our World News for details.