Another suspected US missile strike on northwestern Pakistan has killed the alleged planner of a strategy to blow up transoceanic passenger jets with liquid explosives, intelligence sources said Sunday. The death of British citizen Rashid Rauf, who is of Pakistani origin, could not be confirmed independently. But he'd been on the run since escaping from jail last December. The report came as NATO commanders praised the best cooperation "ever" from Pakistan's military in a coordinated assault on militants from both sides of the border with Afghanistan.
In a new test of President Hugo Chávez's support, Venezuelans streamed to the polls Sunday to vote for governors and mayors in 22 states. Analysts said they expect a mixed result, with the leftist leader's allies winning many races but losing others amid voter concern over inefficiency, corruption, and a rising crime rate. Chávez, who has said, "My destiny is at stake," lost a nationwide referendum last year that would have allowed him to remain in power indefinitely.
Tens of thousands of protesters were gathering in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday for what organizers called a final attempt to "finish off" Prime Minister Somchai Wonsawat's government. As part of their strategy, some also were setting up barricades in the streets to try to keep police at bay while they seek to keep members of parliament from meeting Monday. Police were ordered to respond only with nonlethal weapons but, if needed, may call for help from 2,000 Army troops on standby. To date, at least two people have died and dozens of others have been hurt in the campaign to oust Somchai, which began five months ago.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan "misrepresented" the situation, Zimbabwe's Foreign Ministry said Sunday, by claiming that he and others on his high-profile team had been denied entry for a humanitarian mission. But Annan, ex-US President Carter, and human rights activist Graca Machel, the wife of former South African leader Nelson Mandela, hadn't consulted with the government first, a spokesman said, and should reschedule their trip for a "mutually agreed date." The group denied any intention to involve itself in Zimbabwe's political affairs.
Calm returned to the capital of Guinea-Bissau Sunday after loyal troops repelled an armed attack by mutineers on President João Bernardo Vieira's residence. He wasn't hurt, but at least one attacker died and several soldiers were wounded. The assault came less than two days after the dominant PAIGC Party was declared the overwhelming winner of elections for a new parliament that opposition leaders said they'd "never accept." The former Portuguese colony, one of the world's poorest countries, has a long history of coups and attempted coups.
In response to a demand by one of Bangladesh's two main political parties, the critical election for a new parliament will be pushed back 11 days to Dec. 29, reports said Sunday. The Nationalist Party said it needed more time to prepare for the vote. Voters were to have chosen a new parliament in January 2007, but it was canceled and emergency rule was imposed in a crackdown on political corruption.
At least five people required hospitalization after a protest against Iceland's deep financial woes turned violent. Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside parliament in Reykjavik, the capital, Saturday to demand that its members resign, but a breakaway group converged on police headquarters, seeking the release of a man arrested in an earlier protest. He was freed, but not until after an attempt to storm the building was met with pepper spray. Iceland's currency has lost half its value this year amid the collapse of the banking system.