Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says his government will not bow to the demands of hostage-takers in Iraq who have beheaded two Americans and are threatening to kill a British captive.
The militants have demanded that authorities free all female detainees held by U.S. - led coalition forces. The U.S. military says it is holding two women accused of involvement in Saddam Hussein's weapons programs.
South Korean and Japanese officials say they have recently detected what they call "missile-related activity" in North Korea. Media reports in both countries say intelligence satellites and radio transmissions indicate an increase of personnel and equipment at a suspected launch site for North Korean missiles.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will travel to Vietnam early next month for four days of talks. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman says Mr. Wen also plans to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting summit in Hanoi during his trip. China and Vietnam have improved relations in recent years.
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