7 US troops killed in Afghanistan

KABUL - Bombs and bullets killed seven American troops on Monday, the deadliest day for U.S. forces in Afghanistan in nearly a year - and a sign that the war being fought in the Taliban heartland of the south and east could now be expanding north.

Separately, Taliban militants claimed on a militant Web site that they were holding an American soldier whom the U.S. military says insurgents might have captured last week. The Taliban statement, however, did not include any proof, such as a picture or the soldier's name.

UN meets over N.Korea missiles

UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council is meeting to discuss North Korea's recent missile tests.

Pyongyang has increased tensions lately. On Saturday, U.S. Independence Day, the North fired seven ballistic missiles into the ocean off its east coast in violation of three U.N. resolutions in its biggest display of missile firepower in three years.

A diplomat who asked to remain anonymous says the council is discussing a possible condemnation of North Korea at the meeting, which Japan requested.

The council punished the North after its May nuclear test with a resolution and tough sanctions to clamp down on alleged trading of banned arms and weapons-related material, including authorizing searches of suspect ships.

Police restore order in western China

URUMQI, China - Chanting 'Strike down the criminals,' hundreds of paramilitary police with shields, rifles and clubs took control of the streets Monday in the capital of western China's Muslim region, a day after the deadliest ethnic violence in decades.

State media said at least 156 people were killed in the unrest, which did not bode well for China's efforts to mollify long-simmering ethnic tensions between the minority Uighur people and the ethnic Han Chinese in Xinjiang - a sprawling region three times the size of Texas that shares borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries.