The Israeli cabinet agreed Sunday to release 200 Palestinian prisoners, including two jailed 30 years ago for attacks on Israelis, as a gesture to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, government officials said. Dogged by a corruption scandal, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has pledged to use his remaining time in office to pursue efforts to reach a peace deal with Abbas.
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt broke his own 100-meter dash world record on Day 9 of the Beijing Olympics. Despite easing up before the finish of the men's race, he still lowered the mark by 0.03 seconds to 9.69. Above, he raises his golden running shoes in celebration. In the women's marathon, Romania's Constantina Tomescu (above, lower right) became the event's oldest Olympic champion, at 38, by opening up a big lead midway through the race en route to securing a 22-second victory margin over Kenya's Catherine Ndereba, the reigning world champion. In swimming, Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli (lower left) won the men's 1,500-meter freestyle to claim his country's first gold medal since the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in his return from a doping ban.
Iran launched its first domestically made satellite into space Sunday, the official IRNA news agency said. Iran sparked international concern in February by testing the rocket designed to carry the satellite, which some observers believe could be used for nuclear armaments.
In one of the deadliest recent attacks in Afghanistan, insurgents killed 10 policemen with a roadside bomb near Kandahar, officials said Sunday, prompting a move of Monday's independence celebration to an undisclosed location. Last week, Afghan and US-led coalition forces reported killing 90 militants during several days of fighting in the south of the country.
Tens of thousands of Muslims marched in Indian Kashmir Saturday to pay homage to Sheikh Aziz, a separatist leader who was killed by police last week in protests over a land dispute that is testing New Delhi's hold on the troubled region.
Zimbabwe's ruling party and main opposition have not yet reached a power-sharing agreement in talks at a regional summit of Southern African leaders, an opposition spokesman said Sunday in Johannesburg, South Africa, despite reports that talks were going "very well." A postelection political crisis has crippled the country
Many developing countries use untreated wastewater on cropsgrown in urban areas, according to a new study by the International Water Management Institute. In more than 70 percent of 53 cities studied in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, land is irrigated with wastewater that is either raw or diluted in streams.
Abu Bashir, the alleged mastermind of a bomb attack in India, is among 10 suspects arrested Saturday by police in New Delhi. All those taken into custody belong to the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India and are said to have been involved in a July 26 attack in which 45 people were killed during a series of 16 explosions.
Hoping to resolve a $16 billion environmental dispute in Ecuador, President Rafael Correa said Saturday he plans to meet with representatives of Chevron Corp. about the suit brought by 16,000 jungle residents. They have sued the US company over charges that the company's Texaco unit polluted the jungle and damaged the health of residents by dumping 18 billion gallons of oil-laden water from 1972 to 1992. Chevron has called the case a "judicial farce."