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World

August 27, 2008



The Afghan government has ordered a review of foreign troop actions amid allegations that large numbers of civilians have died in recent raids and airstrikes by US and NATO forces. The review calls for negotiating a possible end to "airstrikes on civilian targets, uncoordinated house searches, and illegal detention of Afghan civilians." Meanwhile, the government has established a task force in Kabul to seek the release of Kazuya Ito , a Japanese agricultural aid worker, who was kidnapped Tuesday at gunpoint with his driver, who was released. The Taliban claimed to be involved.

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A suicide bomber in Jalula, Iraq, drove a car laden with explosives Tuesday into a group of police recruits, killing 25 people, police and witnesses said. Elsewhere in the volatile Diyala Province, a roadside bombed killed five members of a family.

North Korea has stopped disabling its nuclear reactor and will consider restoring the plutonium-producing facility in anger over Washington's failure to remove it from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, Pyongyang said Tuesday.

In Thailand Tuesday, several thousand antigovernment protesters broke into the compound that houses the offices of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej in one of a series of actions against state agencies. The demonstrators didn't attempt to enter official offices, but made it clear they want to force out Samak's administration. The group contends Samak is a proxy for ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

A cargo ship rescued 25 African migrants from a sinking boat in the Mediterranean Sea, but survivors said up to 35 others died as the boat drifted for three days, the Spanish Red Cross said Tuesday.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained opposition leader in Burma (Myanmar), failed to retrieve food delivered to her home amid speculation Tuesday that she may have launched a hunger strike. Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for a total of 13 years.

Thousands of truck drivers across Japan held demonstrations Tuesday to protest rising fuel prices and warned they would add surcharges to cover spiraling costs. Truckers drove along city streets in slow-moving convoys with banners attached to their vehicles in the first such national protest. Japan imports nearly all its oil and is highly vulnerable to global price swings.

A top United Nations envoy urged Nepal's Maoist-led government and its former rebel army to release nearly 3,000 former child soldiers still languishing in Maoist camps. The Maoist army has said it recruited children for support services during the decade-long civil war.

A high-ranking Vatican official condemned an attack in India Monday by suspected Hindu hard-liners, who set fire to a Christian orphanage, killing a woman and seriously injuring a priest. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran called the act "a sin against God and humanity" in a published interview.

Rising rivers in eastern India swamped new areas on Tuesday, affecting more than 2 million people, prompting some angry villagers in Bihar to beat up government officials. Torrential rains have killed more than 1,000 people in South Asia since the monsoon began in June.

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