Friday, August 29, 2008

THAILAND

Protesters push police off compound

BANGKOK | Protesters of the Thai government occupying the grounds of the prime minister’s office forced several hundred policemen off the compound early Friday and promised more action in their bid to oust the leader.

Police exercised restraint when the demonstrators — some armed with golf clubs, batons and bamboo sticks — pushed up to 400 officers out of the Government House grounds at about 1 a.m.

Thousands of supporters of the conservative People’s Alliance for Democracy spent a third night encamped at Government House in support of their campaign to force Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej from office.



The alliance accuses Mr. Samak’s government of serving as a proxy for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and faces several pending corruption cases. Mr. Thaksin is in self-imposed exile in Britain.

AFGHANISTAN

100 militants killed in fighting

KABUL | A four-day battle that began with an ambush on a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol in southern Afghanistan has killed more than 100 militants, the coalition said Thursday.

Militants wielding rocket-propelled grenades, guns and mortars attacked the joint patrol in the southern province of Helmand multiple times starting Monday, the coalition said. The combined force called in fighter aircraft for support.

MEXICO

Top court upholds abortion law

MEXICO CITY | Mexico’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a law allowing abortion in the capital, handing a victory to leftist city lawmakers over conservative President Felipe Calderon’s government and the Catholic Church.

In an 8-3 vote, judges said there were no grounds to overturn a law approved in 2007 by the Mexico City assembly that legalized abortions on demand during the first trimester and established free public clinics.

The landmark decision could open the door for other states in Mexico to follow the capital’s lead in relaxing laws that criminalize abortion, legal analysts said.

INDIA

Dalai Lama hospitalized

NEW DELHI | The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, was admitted to a hospital in India with “abdominal discomfort” but there was no cause for concern, doctors said Thursday.

The spiritual leader, who canceled two foreign trips after he complained of fatigue, was “cheerful” after reaching the hospital in Bombay, a hospital spokesman said.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner returned to Dharmsala, the north Indian town where Tibet’s self-proclaimed government in exile is based, on Sunday after a two-week visit to France.

INDIA

Hostage crisis ends with rebels killed

SRINAGAR | Government forces ended a hostage crisis early Thursday in the mainly Hindu city of Jammu in Indian Kashmir when they killed the last of three rebels thought to have seized eight people, army officials said.

The slayings ended a 20-hour gunbattle with rebels who were hiding inside a two-story concrete building in the outskirts of Jammu, a senior army official said.

Two hostages died in the gunbattle, along with the three militants. The other six hostages, including four children, survived. Three soldiers and three other civilians also died in the violence Wednesday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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