SOUTH KOREA: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates maintained a tough stand Wednesday against North Korea, calling its nuclear threat more lethal than ever. He said, “We do not today - nor will we ever - accept a North Korea with nuclear weapons.”
CHINA: The admiral in charge of the U.S. Pacific Command said Wednesday that U.S. intelligence estimates have underestimated China’s military abilities annually over the past decade. “They’ve grown at an unprecedented rate,” he said.
A UN investigator presented a report to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday outlining some of the worst prisons in the world. It included the West African nations of Nigeria and Togo, cited for gross human rights violations.
SOMALIA: The Somali militant group Al-Shabaab has silenced two independent radio stations in the town of Baidoa. There was no reason given for the decision.
U.K.: British chancellor Alistair Darling blasted financial giant Goldman Sachs over plans to dole out huge bonuses to employees.
POLAND: The Polish Prime Minister said his country would agree to a revamped European missile defense deal. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Poland Wednesday and will travel to Romania and the Czech Republic later this week.
RUSSIA AND CIS: Members of Russia’s Communist Party have ended their boycott of Parliament, which they began last week to protest the results of the country’s regional elections. But protests over allegations of fraud continue. Moscow police have detained seven activists from the Left Front movement who were demonstrating outside Petrovsky Cathedral, demanding that a new election be held.
Soccer fans and supporters are lining up to congratulate members of the Russian team “Rubin”, who return today to their hometown Kazan following their victory over Spain’s “Barcelona.”
NICARAGUA: A panel of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court ruled against presidential term limits, freeing current President Daniel Ortega to seek re-election if the ruling is ratified.
BRAZIL: The death toll from a gun battle between police and drug dealers over the weekend in Rio de Janeiro has risen to 25. The spate of violence has raised concerns over the city’s ability to host the Olympic games.
AFGHANISTAN: According to Al Jazeera English former Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah has joined incumbent President Hamid Karzai in accepting the findings of a UN-backed panel that there had been massive fraud in Afghan elections. Both men say they areready for a run-off election which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 7th.
KUWAIT: A hijab controversy is now brewing in the small wealthy emirate of Kuwait. Al Jazeera is reporting on a fatwa issued by Kuwait religious ministry after two female Kuwaiti MP’s defied the country’s powerful Islamist movement by refusing to wear the hijab, or headscarf. The National — an English-language newspaper from Abu Dhabi — is reporting that Kuwait’s constitutional court has granted women the right to obtain a passport without their husband’s approval.
ISRAEL: Al Quds Alarabi, the pan-Arab newspaper published in London, reports on joint military exercises between Israel and the US. The paper says that this major air defense drill is being monitored closely by Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah. The exercises will start on Wednesday and will continue until November 5th.
Al Arabiya TV in Dubai is reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to start a campaign to lobby world bodies on possible changes to international laws of war following the Goldstone Gaza War report.
IRAN: Iranian state Press TV says that Iranian negotiators in Vienna have agreed to consider a draft deal — pending approval of the Tehran leadership — that would postpone its ability to make nuclear weapons by sending most of the material it would need to Russia for processing.
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