U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has made unannounced visits to several U.S. bases in Iraq -- three days after a deadly insurgent attack on U.S. soldiers near the northern city of Mosul.
Secretary Rumsfeld told soldiers based near Mosul today (Friday) that even though things may, in his words, look "bleak" at the moment, U.S. forces can defeat the insurgency in Iraq. The visit came as authorities investigated how a suspected suicide bomber penetrated the base and killed 22 people -- most of them American soldiers.
Israel's Labor Party has selected its ministers for the new coalition government it agreed last week to form with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud Party. Nearly 2,000 members of the Labor Party's central committee met Thursday to select ministers for seven available cabinet positions, including the key interior and housing ministries. An eighth slot is reserved for party chairman Shimon Peres.
Vietnam has confirmed that several North Koreans have entered the French and Swedish Embassies in Hanoi, apparently seeking refuge. A Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman says Hanoi is looking to resolve the issue in accordance with Vietnamese and international laws, as well as on a humanitarian basis.
Thailand's prime minister says three senior military commanders are facing an inquiry by an independent panel that is probing the deaths of protesters during the suppression of a Muslim riot in southern Thailand in October. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra accused the three, including the southern army commander, of failing to personally supervise the transport of the protesters.
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