PAKISTAN: A massive car bomb exploded in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least 91 people and injuring hundreds more. According to Pakistan’s Aaj TV, hospitals in the area are running short on blood supplies. The deadly attack came few hours after the arrival of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Islamabad. Meanwhile, Dawn TV reports that Secretary of State Clinton unveiled what she called the ‘first phase of a signatory energy program for Pakistan’ to help repair electrical facilities. Dawn TV also reports on the impact of the recent suicide attacks on the daily lives of Pakistanis.
CHINA: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged for a lasting military dialogue with China, after hosting a top Chinese general at the Pentagon. Gates said that the two sides should “break the on-again, off-again cycle” in their military relationship, according to a Pentagon spokesman.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke continued his trip in China today, engaging in high level trade talks with Chinese officials. The talks are expected to cover China-U.S. trade issues including currency, treasury bonds and US imports of Chinese tires.
Police in China say they have recovered more than 2000 children in six months who have been kidnapped to be trafficked. The Ministry of Public Security has set up a website “Babies Looking for Home” with pictures of some of those kidnapped, in an effort to return them to their families.
INDONESIA: Muslim women are to be banned from wearing tight jeans and trousers in the Indonesian district of West Aceh, the only province to implement partial Sharia law in the world’s largest Muslim country.
SOMALIA: As the Somali president flew in, militants fired mortars towards the Mogadishu airport. The president was not injured, but five people were killed in the violence.
GUINEA: Tens of thousands of Guineans are marking the one-month anniversary bloody massacre by striking. Human rights groups say that, on September 28, over 150 people were killed when soldiers opened fire on a crowd gathered at an opposition rally in the capital, Conakry.
SUDAN: On Tuesday President Obama extended America’s sanctions against Sudan. This move is in line with the new Sudan policy that uses combination of incentives and disincentives.
GERMANY: Angela Merkel was officially sworn in as the German chancellor after winning re-election last month.
The German Lutheran Church elected a female leader for the first time ever.
SPAIN: Spain is preparing to exhume the grave of poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was executed at the start of the Spanish Civil War by supporters of General Francisco Franco.
RUSSIA AND CIS: Russia’s top health official Gennady Onishchenko warned that the stigmatization of HIV patients is a major obstacle to combating the disease. He made the comments at UNAIDS’s third conference on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which kicks off in Moscow today. According to the BBC, there are now at least a million people infected with HIV in Russia.
Prime Minister Putin has ordered the governor of Kaliningrad to pay back wages to some 2,300 employees of the bankrupt airline KD Avia. The workers staged a protest in central Kaliningrad yesterday.
Unemployment in Russia hit 7.6% in September, according to a report released today by the Russian State Statistics Service.
That isn’t stopping fashion designer Giorgio Armani from opening three more stores in Russia, expecting an improvement in Russian luxury goods sales.
The New York Times reports on a new policy that some Russian professors fear will result in censorship in academia. St. Petersburg University is requiring that all faculty members receive permission from university administrators before publishing their work abroad or presenting it at overseas conferences.
The Guardian reports on a less-well-known literary award: the Russian Booker Prize.
MEXICO: Soldiers in Mexico discovered a secret tunnel along the U.S.-Mexico border that may have been used to smuggle migrants.
HONDURAS: The interim president in Honduras says talks to resolve the four-month long political crisis in the country will have to wait until after the November 29th elections.
AFGHANISTAN: According to Al Jazeera English, the Taliban has claimed responsibility for an attack on a guest house used by United Nations staff in the heart of the capital, Kabul, that killed 12 people – including six U.N. workers.
KUWAIT: In a blow to Muslim fundamentalists who want to fully impose Islamic Sharia law in Kuwait, Al Arabiya TV reports that the small oil-rich’s state constitutional court ruled today that women lawmakers are not obliged by law to wear the headscarf.
PALESTINE: The National reports that Hamas warned Palestinians in the Gaza Strip that they should not take part in January elections called by Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the rival Fatah movement.