Election result is challenged by government
The announcement of final results from Afghan parliamentary elections deepened a confrontation between election officials and the government of President Hamid Karzai, which vowed to challenge the outcome even as it was endorsed by international officials. Over all, the results of the September election indicated that the 249-seat lower house of Parliament would be dominated by war lords and other power brokers. The New York Times said its analysis showed Karzai will be able to count on the support of at least 100 members.
Ambulance service records war toll
The only ambulance service in war-torn Mogadishu said Wednesday that more than 4,200 bystanders have died in warfare the last two years, and the U.S.-based Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict said Somalia is more dangerous for civilians than Afghanistan or Iraq. The head of the city's ambulance service, Ali Muse, blamed pro-government forces from the African Union and Somali troops for about 80 percent of the civilian deaths. Officials, meanwhile, said the African Union's forces arrested six of its own peacekeepers after two civilians were killed in a burst of indiscriminate gunfire.
Police clash with Christian rioters
Hundreds of Christians smashed cars and windows and tried to assault the local governor's office in Cairo on Wednesday after police violently stopped the construction of a church. One Christian was killed in the confrontation, 68 people were injured and 133 were arrested, the Middle East News Agency said. The government said construction was halted because the building was not licensed to become a house of worship. Mina Zarif, the priest of the nearby church of Mar Mena, blamed the security forces for the confrontation.
Washington: The Obama administration has added the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, a Pakistani charity affiliated with a prominent al-Qaida-linked militant group, to its terrorism blacklist. The charity is believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the banned organization blamed for deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.
Sana, Yemen: A suicide car bomber struck a convoy of Yemeni Shiites on their way to a religious ceremony on Wednesday, killing 17 and wounding more than 15 people. Suspicion fell on al-Qaida, though it has not directly assaulted the country's Shiite minority before.
Caracas, Venezuela: A nuclear reactor that Venezuela plans to build with Russian help will be used to generate electricity and for medical and industrial purposes — not to make weapons, according to an agreement published Wednesday in the Venezuelan Official Gazette.
Mexico City: A Mexican air force cargo plane crashed at Monterrey International Airport on Wednesday, killing five military personnel, the Defense Department said.
Baghdad: Eleven people were killed across Iraq in separate drive-by shootings and bombings, including one that targeted members of an anti-al-Qaida militia, Iraqi officials said Wednesday.
Melbourne, Australia: American Gabe Watson, convicted in the death of his wife while on their honeymoon, was being returned today to the United States, where he is expected to be charged with murder.