U.S. drone attack kills 9 in Pakistan
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ISLAMABAD -- U.S. drones fired eight missiles at a compound owned by a powerful militant commander in northwest Pakistan on Monday, killing nine suspected insurgents, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
It was unclear whether the commander, Sadiq Noor, was at the compound in Dre Nishter village in the North Waziristan tribal area during the attack. He is the most important commander for Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a prominent Pakistani militant focused on fighting in Afghanistan.
The strikes have caused tension between Washington and Islamabad. They are extremely unpopular in Pakistan because many people believe they mostly kill civilians, an allegation disputed by the U.S.
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. and China began their annual human rights dialogue Monday that gives Washington a chance to broach thorny issues but also demonstrates its limited leverage with Beijing.
Human rights groups urged the U.S. to press China over a crackdown on rights lawyers and activists and repression in Tibet -- where dozens of Buddhists have set themselves on fire in the past year to protest Beijing's authoritarian rule.
The Obama administration says human rights are central to its foreign policy toward China, but as the Asian power's international stature has grown, America's leverage in pressing individual cases appears to have diminished.
BEIJING -- The Central Military Commission, China's most powerful military body, has approved the deployment of a garrison of soldiers from the People's Liberation Army to guard islands claimed by China in the South China Sea, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.
The announcement came as Chinese authorities told state media that 45 legislators elected over the weekend to govern the 1,100 people who live on the island groups of the Spratlys, the Paracels and the Macclesfield Bank -- known in Chinese as the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands -- met for the first time Monday.
The two moves appeared designed to reinforce China's claims over the South China Sea.
LONDON -- British police are investigating new tabloids in the country's growing phone hacking scandal, including the Trinity Mirror PLC newspaper group as well as the U.K.'s Express Newspapers, a senior Scotland Yard official said Monday.
More than 100 new allegations of "data intrusion" also are being probed.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers' comments to a judge-led inquiry into media ethics indicated that the scandal, which erupted last year at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World and has involved hundreds of victims, could end up burning the now-defunct tabloid's U.K. competitors as well.
JERUSALEM -- Police are investigating whether residents of a rogue West Bank settlement used forged land deal documents in an effort to thwart their upcoming court-ordered eviction, an Israeli anti-settlement group charged Monday.
Under a Supreme Court order, Israel's government must dismantle the Migron outpost by Aug. 1 because it was built on private Palestinian land.
On Sunday, the government asked the Supreme Court to delay the evacuation by a month, its latest attempt to put off a potential clash with extremist settlers. The court has yet to rule.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published July 24, 2012 12:00 am