Police in Yemen were questioning as many as 30 suspects believed to have links to Al Qaeda, following Wednesday's attack on the US embassy. An embassy spokesman confirmed that a team believed to be from the FBI was on its way to take charge of the probe into the incident. Sixteen people – among them attackers dressed in military uniforms – died in the bombings, the fourth time the embassy has been targeted in the past five years. The US spokesman denied an Al Jazeera report that the embassy had closed.
Hospitals across China were swamped Thursday by parents seeking medical checkups for their infants as a result of the nation's latest food-safety scandal. A fourth child was reported dead, apparently after drinking formula laced with the chemical melamine, and, in Hong Kong, public health authorities ordered the recall of yogurt, ice cream, and other dairy products marketed by a sponsor of last month's Olympic Games. In Hebei Province, a dozen more people were arrested on suspicion of selling tainted milk or melamine, which is used in the production of plastics.
Stock exchanges in Russia were ordered not to reopen until Friday while the Kremlin tried in the meantime to head off investor panic by pumping another $20 billion into the banking sector. President Dmitry Medvedev said of the move, "There is no more important task; this is our top priority." The MICEX index, Russia's most widely watched, stands at its lowest level in almost three years. Other central banks were injecting funds into their nations' credit markets as well.
Government forces in Sri Lanka claimed to be within seven miles of the Tamil rebel movement's headquarters Thursday. But the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam had no comment on the matter, and the report couldn't be verified, since journalists are barred from the war zone. The government has set a goal of capturing the base, at Kilinochchi, by December. In a new security measure, authorities ordered all Sri Lankans who've fled to Colombo, the capital, to escape the fighting to register with the police
"Voters have turned away from us," a senior minister in Britain's Labour government observed Thursday as results of a new opinion poll showed the opposition Conservatives with their biggest approval rating in 20 years. The respected Ipsos-MORI survey, taken late last week, gave the Tories a 52 percent to 24 percent advantage. Prime Minister Gordon Brown must call a national election by mid-2010. The Labour Party, which has ruled since 1997, is due to hold its annual convention next week amid growing challenges to Brown's authority by lower-ranking members of Parliament.
The last remaining rescue plan for Alitalia, Italy's bankrupt national airline, was withdrawn by the consortium of investors offering it, news agencies reported Thursday.Five labor unions representing employees of the carrier had until midafternoon to accept or reject the offer, which would have resulted in the loss of 3,250 jobs and a merger with smaller rival Air One. Alitalia's federal administrator reportedly was poised to begin liquidation proceedings if the plan was rejected.
Nineteen inmates died and a dozen others were hurt Wed-nesday in the second prison riot in Tijuana, Mexico, in less than a week. Police responding to the violence in the La Mesa penitentiary not only had to deal with the rioters but also had to dodge rock-throwing relatives of the prisoners who'd gathered outside. The latter blamed the second riot on administrators, who, they claimed, had withheld food and water since the original incident last Sunday.