Pakistan: Bhutto vows 'blow'
ISLAMABAD Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto vowed Wednesday to inflict a "severe blow" to the re-election plan of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf by pulling her party's lawmakers out of parliament unless he yields in stalled power-sharing talks.
Her threat was part of frantic, last-minute maneuvering before Saturday's presidential election by national and provincial legislators that Musharraf is expected to win, assuming his lawyers can fend off two more legal challenges to his candidacy. In an interview broadcast late Wednesday, Musharraf still expressed confidence he would win a new five-year presidential term and dismissed the mass boycott by opposition lawmakers aimed at robbing the vote of legitimacy.
Iraq: Ambassador wounded
BAGHDAD Security contractor Blackwater, under investigation in the killings of at least 16 Iraqis, turned a helicopter into an air ambulance Wednesday after bombs wounded the Polish ambassador to Iraq and members of his staff. The helicopter evacuated Ambassador Edward Pietrzyk and three security guards to a U.S. military hospital. Witnesses said the explosives were planted on both sides of the narrow side street where the Polish embassy is. About 1,000 Polish troops are in Iraq.
Myanmar: 'People are terrified'
YANGON After crushing the democracy uprising with guns, Myanmar's junta stepped up its campaign to intimidate citizens Wednesday, sending troops to drag people from their homes in the middle of the night and letting others know they were marked for retribution.
People living near the Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's most revered shrine and a flash point of unrest during the protests, reported that security forces swept through several dozen homes about 3 a.m., taking away many men and even some women for questioning. "People are terrified," said Shari Villarosa, the acting U.S. ambassador in Myanmar. "People have been unhappy for a long time. Since the events of last week, there's now the unhappiness combined with anger, and fear."
Russia: Moon agreement
MOSCOW Russian and U.S. space chiefs signed agreements Wednesday to cooperate on unmanned missions that would search for potential water deposits beneath the surface of the moon and Mars.
The agreements signed by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and Russian Space Agency chief Anatoly Perminov deal with putting Russian instruments on board NASA probes that would be sent to the moon and Mars.
South Korea: Nuclear pledge
SEOUL North Korea pledged Wednesday to detail its nuclear programs and disable all activities at its main reactor complex by the end of the year, its firmest commitment to disarm after decades seeking to develop the world's deadliest weapons.
The agreement at talks in China came on the same day North Korean leader Kim Jong Il held talks in the communist nation's capital of Pyongyang with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun at the first summit between the two countries in seven years. In Washington, President Bush hailed the nuclear deal and said it reflected the "common commitment" of the talks to shut down North Korea's atomic weapons program.
Venezuela: Chavez blames CIA
CARACAS President Hugo Chavez accused the U.S. on Wednesday of trying to spur a military rebellion, saying the CIA is behind the distribution of leaflets inside army barracks calling for his ouster.
Speaking to dozens of army officers at Venezuela's largest military base, Chavez urged soldiers to resist calls for a coup from "oligarchs and their imperialist masters," a reference to the United States.
Vietnam: Typhoon kills 2
HANOI Typhoon Lekima slammed into Vietnam's central coast Wednesday night, killing two people, destroying hundreds of houses and unleashing floods in one of the country's poorest regions.
The storm made landfall in Quang Binh and Ha Tinh provinces around 7 p.m., packing winds of more than 80 mph, disaster officials said. Disaster officials had evacuated about 400,000 people from the region, moving them to schools and public buildings further inland.