No unusual signs of activity have been observed in North Korea, intelligence analysts said, following published reports that its communist regime would issue "an announcement of important information" as soon as Monday. Speculation centered on the health of the North's leader, Kim Jong Il, whom officials in rival South Korea say has had recent brain surgery. Kim hasn't been seen in public in weeks.Skip to next paragraph
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Fighter jets bombed an ammunition dump for two Taliban training camps in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 30 militants and causing other heavy damage, military officials said Sunday. Earlier reports said the assault took place last Friday night and that 60 had died and "many others were wounded." The reports came as Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher was in the Pakistani capital, apparently to discuss strains in the relationship with the US over suspected American missile attacks on militant camps.
A third Russian soldier was confirmed dead and 10 others wounded Sunday after militants in volatile Ingushetia Province ambushed a convoy in which they were traveling. There was no claim of responsibility. A website operated by opponents of the provincial government claimed "around 50" soldiers had died, which would have made it one of the worst such incidents in the Caucasus region since major combat ended in neighboring Chechnya. But the claim was flatly denied by the Kremlin.
Advancing government troops have broken through "the last major defenses" of the Tamil rebel headquarters in northern Sri Lanka, the Defense Ministry claimed Sunday. The claim couldn't be verified independently, however, and the rebels did not comment. The military has been saying for two weeks that it was within 1-1/2 miles of Kilinochchi, the rebel stronghold. More than 70,000 people have died in Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war.
Almost two months after the Olympic Summer Games, a Chinese court found Beijing's former vice mayor guilty of bribe-taking Sunday. But his death sentence was suspended in what may have been a stern warning to other wayward officials. Liu Zhihua had been in charge of overseeing $40 billion worth of construction on Olympics-related infrastructure projects. Reporting on his case all but ceased in the runup to the Games to avoid tarnishing the city's image, critics said.
Bolivian President Evo Morales was ordered by physicians to suspend his official activities and not to resume them until he has undergone a checkup, his spokesman said Sunday. The leftist leader, who complained of feeling ill late last week, regularly works from 5 a.m. until after midnight as he seeks to advance an agenda that would redistribute wealth and power to the nation's indigenous majority. But he confronts a formidible challenge from state governors opposed to his plans.
Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn of the Inter-national Monetary Fund (IMF) said he's cooperating in an investigation into an alleged improper relationship with a former subordinate. Strauss-Kahn acknowledged "an incident in my private life [last] January" but maintained that "at no time did I abuse my position." The probe comes at a time when at least four nations have asked the IMF for help in the global financial crisis. A similar investigation last year cost World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz his job.
A powerful undersea earthquake rocked the capital of Tonga early Sunday night, but there were no immediate reports of loss of life or major property damage. The magnitude-7.1 quake did not cause a tsunami, observers said. The archipelago is near the so-called "ring of fire" in the South Pacific, where volcanic activity and earthquakes are common.