Puported Taliban spokesman says some hostages in bad health
n KABUL, Afghanistan - A purported Taliban spokesman warned Friday that some of the 22 South Korean hostages were in bad health, saying hours after the kidnappers' latest deadline passed that the captives were crying and worried about their future.
In eastern Afghanistan, two NATO soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in a major clash with militants in a high mountain area where American soldiers do most of the fighting.
Pakistan bomb attack kills 13
n ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A suspected suicide bomber killed at least 13 people at a hotel Friday after hundreds of stone-throwing protesters clashed with police as the capital's Red Mosque reopened for the first time since a bloody army raid ousted pro-Taliban militants holed up there.
U.S.-Iraqi troops clash with militia
n BAGHDAD - A fierce gunbattle broke out after a joint U.S.-Iraqi force arrested a rogue Shiite militia leader in Karbala on Friday, leading to an airstrike and the deaths of some 17 militants, the military said.
U.S. troops also captured four militants suspected of links to networks that smuggle weapons and fighters from Iran, which Washington accuses of fueling the violence in Iraq with its support of Shiite militias.
U.S., India settle nuclear deal
n WASHINGTON - The United States and India said Friday they had worked out a plan to share civilian nuclear fuel and technology, an accord that would reverse three decades of American anti-proliferation policy.
Critics say the initiative could spur the spread of nuclear weapons and sends the wrong message to countries like Iran as they pursue atomic programs. India built its bombs outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which provides civil nuclear trade in exchange for a pledge from nations not to pursue nuclear weapons.
Gorbachev slams U.S. unilateralism
n MOSCOW - Former President Mikhail Gorbachev said Friday that the fall of the Soviet Union, which he helped bring about, ushered in an era of U.S. imperialism responsible for many of the world's gravest problems.
Gorbachev is lauded in the West for ushering in democratic reforms but widely despised in Russia for paving the way to the economic free-for-all of the 1990s.