Israeli forces killed at least seven Palestinians in a fierce gunbattle in northern Gaza Strip today (Thursday). The Israeli army says one soldier was wounded in the fighting in the Beit Hanoun area. Palestinian medical sources identified the dead as militants from Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a group linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction.
U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice is in Beijing for talks with Chinese leaders. Ms. Rice told reporters today (Thursday) she planned to discuss the stalemate over North Korea's nuclear program. She spoke shortly before meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and former president Jiang Zemin. Ms. Rice is expected to meet with current President Hu Jintao Friday before heading to South Korea.
A Bangkok court has sentenced a former Thai senator to death on charges of plotting the 1996 murder of a woman. Sukhum Cherdchuen was sentenced Wednesday. Three other defendants were also found guilty in the case and sentenced to life in prison, while a fifth defendant died before the trial ended. Prosecutors say Sukhum ordered the woman's death because of a business dispute. Authorities say Sukhum hired gunmen on three separate occasions to kill the woman. Sukhum has maintained his innocence.
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