The US military disputed on Tuesday the toll of 96 civilians the Afghan government said were killed in a US-led coalition airstrike in western Afghanistan last month, saying only five to seven civilians had been killed. The Afghan government has said mostly women and children died in the bombardment of Taliban insurgents, an allegation backed by the United Nations.

The amount of money Mexicans sent home suffered its sharpest drop on record in July as the US economy slowed and the dollar fell, Mexico's central bank reported Monday. Remittances – Mexico's second-largest source of foreign income after oil – dropped by 6.9 percent in July compared to the year before. Over 20 percent of Mexican migrants work in construction in the US, a sector hit particularly hard by the US mortgage crisis.

Paraguay President Fernando Lugo warned Monday of a possible coup plot against his new government by "antidemocratic and retrograde" elements. He said that rival politicians had summoned a key military figure to gauge support for their political ambitions, but the alleged participants denied such a meeting ever happened.

Seeking to restore order in Bangkok after overnight violence between government opponents and supporters, Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej declared a state of emergency Tuesday in the city, calling it the "softest means available" for defusing tensions. One person was killed and 43 injured in the confrontation.

While visiting Hiroshima, Japan, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tuesday became the highest-ranking serving American official to pay respects at the memorial site of the world's first atomic bomb attack. No sitting US president or vice president has ever traveled to Hiroshima. Above, during a visit to the memorial peace park, Pelosi joins hands with other top legislators from the Group of Eight industrialized countries, who are meeting in Hiroshima.

Authorities in Indian Kashmir lifted a nine-day curfew on Tuesday, imposed to quell massive anti-India rallies, as separatists called for three days of calm with the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. At least 35 protesters in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley have been killed by Indian security forces in some of the largest pro-independence demonstrations since 1989.

British environmentalist Roz Savage completed the initial leg of her solo rowing trip across the Pacific Ocean Monday, reaching Honolulu after covering 2,900 miles in 99 days since leaving San Francisco. Savage will continue the historymaking crossing for a woman in early 2009 as a way to raise awareness about plastic debris polluting the ocean.

The outlook for Australia's key river system is "grim" as years of drought take their toll in the form of record-low inflows, an official report said Tuesday. The Murray-Darling Basin stretches through four states and is regarded as the nation's premier food-growing region, accounting for 41 percent of Australia's agricultural production.

Saying it's a "handicap" to speak poor English, France's education minister announced Monday that high school students will be offered optional intensive seminars in English-language skills during school vacations. Xavier Darcos said that while "well-off families pay for study abroad, I'm offering [instruction] to everyone right here."

A plane carrying 17 people on a humanitarian aid flight crashed in Congo, and an aerial survey showed no survivors, the United Nations said Tuesday. Air Serv International, a Virginia-based not-for-profit organization, operated the route.

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