A massive overhaul of India's security and intelligence agencies was announced Thursday in response to their handling of the Mumbai terrorist attacks. The government said it will set up an FBI-style investigative agency as well as 20 schools for counterterrorism agents. Also planned: a special command for maritime security, the filling of vacant jobs in other security agencies, the training of additional commando units, and closer coordination between state and local police agencies.
Rioting that has troubled Greece this week appeared to be spreading to other European countries, and authorities said there is evidence that it was being coordinated via the Internet. Another person was hurt Thursday in Athens as teenage gangs attacked police stations. Meanwhile, smaller but still violent protests were reported in Denmark, France, Italy, and Spain, most of them targeting police.
At least 55 people died Thursday when a terrorist entered a restaurant in Kirkuk, Iraq, and set off explosives he was carrying. The attack took place as Arab tribal elders were holding a meeting with representatives of President Jalal Talibani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. It was Iraq's worst since June, when 63 people died in a truck bomb explosion in Baghdad.
In a TV address, Zimbabwe's president declared that the cholera outbreak there is over, despite World Health Organization reports that the number of deaths continues to climb. The UN agency said the disease has taken at least 774 lives. It estimated that more than 15,000 others are infected. President Robert Mugabe accused the US, British, and French governments of wanting "military intervention" in Zimbabwe because of the outbreak. It also has spread into South Africa, which declared their border a disaster area Thursday.
Armed forces spokesmen in Sri Lanka vigorously denied claims that intense fighting around the Tamil rebel capital has cost the lives of 89 soldiers in the past two days. The claim, supported by photos, appeared on a rebel-affiliated website, which said the casualties came in two battles around Kilinochchi, a target of the military for weeks. But the military spokesmen said the pictures likely were staged. They put troop losses at 20 while saying 27 rebels had been killed.
Voters in Ireland will be asked again next year to decide whether they approve the Treaty of Lisbon, which is aimed at streamlining the decisionmaking process in the European Union, reports said. The treaty would replace the proposed EU charter, which was rejected by France and the Netherlands in 2005. But it, too, went down to defeat in Ireland last June, and opponents argued that holding another referendum would show "absolute contempt" for the 53 percent of voters who said "no" the first time.
Candidates for parliament in Bangladesh were given the OK to begin campaigning Friday as the government said almost two years of emergency rule will end next week. Lifting it also means that political parties may hold meetings prior to the Dec. 29 election, which will be the first in seven years. The state of emergency was imposed in early 2007 after weeks of violent clashes between supporters of the rival Nationalist Party and the Awami League that resulted in more than 30 deaths.
Bargain-hunters across Britain crowded into 815 stores in the Woolworths chain Thursday as it began what appeared to be a going-out-of-business sale. The 99-year-old company steadily has been losing ground to online competitors and supermarkets and has found no prospective buyers. Its collapse would be the largest yet of a retail chain in Britain, costing almost 30,000 employees their jobs.