A defiant Saddam Hussein argued with the judge, pleaded not guilty, and wrestled with his guards on Day One of his trial in Iraq on charges of premeditated murder and torture. But he also won an adjournment until Nov. 28 of further proceedings, as his lawyer argued that he'd had insufficient time to prepare a defense. If convicted, Hussein could be sentenced to death by hanging, although he'd be permitted to appeal. Execution also could be delayed while subsequent trials are conducted. His seven codefendants also pleaded not guilty Wednesday.
A judge on one of the senior courts in Spain ordered the arrest of three US soldiers for the death of one of his nation's journalists. The soldiers, from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, were in a tank that fired on Baghdad's Palestine Hotel in April 2003, killing an employee of the TV network Telecinco and a Ukrainian national who worked for Reuters. In issuing the arrest warrant, the judge cited what he said was a lack of cooperation by US authorities. The latter have said the attack was justified because the tank had drawn fire from inside the hotel.
Strong aftershocks jolted the region of Pakistan that was devastated by the Oct. 8 earthquake, causing a landslide in one hard-hit city and loosening debris that temporarily closed the road to another. The aftershocks came as Pakistani authorities almost doubled the number of deaths from the initial quake to more than 79,000. A strong earthquake also struck northeastern Japan Wednesday, shaking buildings in Tokyo and interrupting air and rail service. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
More worries arose over the spread of bird flu after a suspected case was reported in the ex-Yugoslav republic of Macedonia and China's government said 2,600 infected fowl were found dead at a breeding center in Inner Mongolia. European Union officials said they'll hold a simulated exercise of a pandemic by year's end, and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization warned that migratory birds could carry the virus to the Middle East and Africa.
Islamist militants killed 10 people in Algeria in attacks that apparently took place Monday but were not immediately reported. They came despite the passage of a referendum late last month offering amnesty to the rebels as a way of ending more than a decade of violence that has taken at least 15,000 lives. Algeria's largest rebel group, which has alliances with Al Qaeda, rejected the offer.