Dozens killed in bombings against Shiites

BAGHDAD - A suicide truck bomber flattened a Shiite mosque Friday in northern Iraq, and roadside bombs struck Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad, as at least 51 people were killed and scores wounded nationwide.

It was the second-deadliest day since U.S. forces turned over urban security to the Iraqis more than a month ago, raising fears that Sunni insurgents are intensifying a campaign to re-ignite sectarian violence that pushed the country to the brink of civil war.

Taliban head's death a blow to militants

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's Taliban chief was killed by a CIA missile strike, a militant commander confirmed Friday - a severe blow to extremists threatening the stability of this nuclear-armed nation and a possible boost to U.S.-Pakistani cooperation in fighting insurgents who wreak havoc along the Afghan border.

Pakistani officials vowed to dismantle the rest of the network run by Baitullah Mehsud regardless of who takes over, a move seen as essential to crippling the violent Islamists behind dozens of suicide attacks and beheadings in the country.

Already, the Taliban were holding a 'shura' council in the lawless, rugged South Waziristan tribal region to choose Mehsud's successor, intelligence officials and militants told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information. It was unclear when they might reach a decision.

Canada's PM plans visit to White House

TORONTO - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit the White House next month to meet with President Barack Obama.

Harper spokesman Dimitri Soudas said Friday that Harper has accepted an invitation to visit the White House on Sept. 16. The two leaders have already met several times but it will be Harper's first official trip to meet Obama in the U.S.

Obama visited Ottawa in February, shortly after being inaugurated, in his first visit to a foreign country as president.

'The two leaders are expected to discuss a range of issues, including the upcoming G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, cooperation on economic recovery and trade, climate change and energy, and security cooperation,' Soudas said.