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Saturday
Nov272010

Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan's Paktika Province Targets Police

Image Courtesy - ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Afghan officials say two suicide bombers struck the police headquarters for Paktika Province in southeastern Afghanistan on Saturday. 

At least 12 policemen were killed and 16 were wounded.  Saturday's attack took place inside the police compound, with one bomber detonating inside the building and one just outside the entrance.   The two bombers were dressed as police officers and reportedly entered the headquarters about 20 minutes apart.  They had to pass three roadside security checkpoints to do so. 

A Taliban spokesman says its fighters carried out the attack in the province which borders Pakistan. 

Copyright ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov272010

Qantas and Airbus Back in the Air with the A380

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SYDNEY) -- Qantas returned two of its A380 jets to the skies on Saturday after an explosion grounded the fleet earlier this month.  The Nov. 4 engine explosion sent the A380 back to the Singapore airport for an emergency landing. 

The mid-air explosion was the most serious safety incident to date for the gigantic jet.  Qantas officials now say the fleet, with its Rolls Royce engines, has been closely examined.  The Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines needed to have some turbines replaced.  Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told reporters before Saturday's flight, "We are 100 percent comfortable with it."

Joyce is one of the 478 passengers to climb on board the first post-accident flight, bound from Sydney to Singapore and on to London. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov272010

Afghan War Hits Another Milestone

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The Afghan war hit another grim milestone Saturday: it has now lasted longer than the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

It took the Soviets nine years and 50 days to abandon Afghanistan after their invasion. On Dec. 27, 1979, 80,000 soldiers arrived; on Feb. 15, 1989, the last one walked home over a bridge. The Soviets believed they were leaving behind a functional, loyal government and sufficiently strong army to hold the country together. But the 250,000 mujahideen that the Americans, Pakistanis, and Saudis helped fund and train proved too hard to handle.

The U.S. and its allies have committed to four more years of robust military presence in the country. The U.S. military hopes that by committing to Afghanistan through 2014 (and beyond, in a lesser capacity), Afghans will trust that they won't be abandoned -- and therefore throw their lot in with the U.S., instead of sitting on the fence and waiting to choose the winning side.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov262010

New South Korean Defense Minister Vows to Strengthen Military

Photo Courtesy - Yonhap News Agency(SEOUL, South Korea) -- South Korean leaders have named a new defense chief amid a nationwide feeling of "enough is enough" following North Korea's deadly attack on the South.  Four people were killed when North Korea fired on the island of Yeonpyong on Tuesday.

South Korea's defense minister Kim Tae-Young resigned in the wake of the attack and the earlier sinking by the North of a South Korean warship.  The new defense chief, Kim Kwang-Jin vowed on Friday to "reform" and "strengthen" the military. 

New artillery blasts by North Korea were heard Friday on Yeonpyong.  Since the shells did not cross the maritime border, it is not considered "an act of war." Pyongyang warned that U.S.-South Korean plans for military maneuvers put the peninsula on the brink of war. The top U.S. military official in the region, General Walter Sharp, visited Yeonpyong following Tuesday's shelling and said both the U.S. and the U.N. are taking this very seriously.  "We and the United Nations Command will investigate this completely and will call on North Korea to stop any future attacks."

Also on Friday, South Korea stopped an aid shipment to the North from Northern China.  Reports from Seoul indicate that while people in South Korea are going about their business, it is with a sense that the provocations by the North, rumored to be directed personally by President Kim Jong-Il and his heir, Kim Jong-Un, have gone on too long and gone too far. 

Officials in the west worry the new tensions will inflame an already complicated situation in that part of Asia, further destabilizing the region.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov262010

Taliban Leader Says For First Time: Bin Laden Behind 9/11

Photo Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- For the first time, a senior member of the Taliban government that led Afghanistan until the U.S. invasion has admitted Osama bin Laden was behind 9/11.

In an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm, the Taliban’s former ambassador to Pakistan says that after the September 11 attacks, Mullah Omar confronted bin Laden.

“The Commander of the Faithful Mullah Omar met with Bin Laden in the presence of a large number of Taliban leaders and Al-Qaeda members, and asked him if they were behind the attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon,” Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the former Taliban ambassador, says in the interview. “Osama denied the allegations, but I now believe that Bin Laden planned the attacks without informing the Commander of the Faithful and then lied to him by denying his involvement in the attacks after they took place.”

Zaeef’s admission could be his personal reflections, in which case its significance is small. If, however, the admission signifies some kind of public acceptance among senior Taliban leaders that their association with al Qaeda was negative, then his words might be a signal that the Taliban is disassociating itself from al Qaeda – and that would have large implications on reconciliation talks.

It’s not clear which is true.

Zaeef, who was recently taken off the U.N. blacklist, has become a public figure in Kabul; he gives interviews to Western journalists, including ABC News' Miguel Marquez and Nick Schifrin, and he has been courted by aides of Afghan President Hamid Karzai as a possible back channel for reconciliation talks. But it’s not clear that he has any direct channels to the current Taliban leadership.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov262010

Will Royal Wedding Be Broadcast in 3-D?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal nuptials already seem poised to live up to the promised moniker "wedding of the century," with 3-D viewing purported to be part of the experience.

According to a report in the U.K.'s Daily Mail, some broadcasters are considering plans to make their coverage of the April 29 ceremony at Westminster Abbey available in 3-D, either in venues such as theaters and bars or at home, for viewers who have 3-D television.

Sky, the BBC and Virgin are said to be in joint discussions, The Daily Mail reported, quoting Jana Bennett, the director of BBC Vision as confirming early meetings had taken place with other broadcasters.

It would be a far cry from the televised 1981 wedding ceremony between William's parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, which was watched by tens of millions across the globe.

The couple announced their engagement Nov. 16, several weeks after William proposed during the couple's trip to Africa.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov262010

Suicide Bomber Arrested in Pakistan Ahead of Planned Detonation

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(ISLAMABAD) -- Police in Islamabad arrested a would-be suicide bomber and an accomplice on their way to their target Friday. One of the men was wearing an explosives jacket.

Authorities tell ABC News the likely targets were the parliament building and surrounding government buildings.

The arrest came as the result of a tip provided to police earlier this week about a possible terrorist attack.

Police are said to be in the process of getting more information from the apprehended to make further arrests.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov252010

South Korea Defense Minister Resigns Amid Outcry Over Attack

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-Young resigned Thursday, just days after an attack killed four people on a small island in a disputed territory.  A new chief is expected to be announced on Friday.

The president’s office tells ABC News that the decision to accept Tae-Young’s resignation, which was offered back in March after the sinking of a South Korean warship, is an attempt to "change the mood".

Public opinion and local media Thursday has been full of criticism that the military's response to the attack on the island of Yeonpyong was slow and ineffective.

The South Korean government has pledged to strengthen the military base on Yeonpyong Island and on other islands in the west sea and will consider land-to-land missiles that could destroy North Korean weapons in cliffside bunkers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has warned of destabilization in East Asia if North Korea continues to provoke its neighbors.

“It's a worrisome leadership in North Korea.  He [Kim Jong Il] is a very unpredictable guy, a very dangerous guy,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during an appearance on The View Wednesday. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov252010

Three Boys “Assumed Dead” Found Alive after 50 Days Lost at Sea

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW ZEALAND) -- Three teenage boys who were assumed dead are alive after surviving 50 days lost at sea in the South Pacific, reports the BBC.

Crew members aboard a tuna fishing boat Wednesday spotted the boys -- Edward Nasau, 14, and 15-year-olds Samu Perez and Filo Filo -- near Fiji and has taken them to a hospital for treatment of severe sunburn.

The boys, who went missing in a small aluminum boat during a sporting event on Oct. 5, said they survived by eating coconuts and a seabird.

A memorial had been held for the boys, who had been presumed dead following unsuccessful searches by the New Zealand Air Force.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov252010

New Zealand Mourns for Miners Killed in Blast

Photo Courtesy - Martin Hunter/Getty Images(GREYMOUTH, New Zealand) -- New Zealand is holding a day of mourning Thursday for the 29 miners killed in an explosion last week.

Around the country, flags hung at half-staff, churchgoers gathered at special services and lawmakers broke into a solemn hymn in parliament.

For those like Neville Rockhouse, the father of one of the missing miners, it's tough.

"It's a bad time," he says.  "And it's going to be pretty rough for a while but the families, they stick together, they come through.  And we'll come through."

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has promised some answers, saying, "The government is absolutely committed to running a commission of inquiry that will leave no stone unturned to insure that they get the answers to why their men are not coming home."

Recovery teams say it could take some time to get all the bodies out, given the high levels of explosive gases still present in the tunnels.

All 29 miners were believed to be dead after a second explosion rocked the Pike River Coal Mine on Wednesday.  The initial blast occurred last Friday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio