In brief: NATO allies to reshuffle Afghanistan troops instead of expanding the force
NATO allies plan to reshuffle rather than expand their existing troop commitments to Afghanistan, sending more military trainers in place of combat forces. The aim is to prepare the Afghan army and police to take control of security, senior US and NATO officials said yesterday.
The decision underscores the difficulty NATO and Washington have faced in convincing European and other states to make new troop commitments.
Karachi in mourning for bomb victims
Pakistan's commercial capital, Karachi, was tense yesterday, a day after two bombs had killed 33 people. The attacks are being blamed on al-Qaeda-linked militants.
Most shops in the city of 18 million people were closed as several thousand mourners attended funerals of some of the victims. The bombs also wounded 170 people.
Actor Ian 'Wooster' Carmichael dies
VETERAN British actor Ian Carmichael has died, aged 89. The star of large and small screen from the 1950s to the 1970s had fallen ill over Christmas, said his wife, Kate.
Carmichael made his name in a series of films during the 1950s, including Private's Progress and I'm All Right Jack. During the 1960s and 1970s, he was successful in TV, particularly as Bertie Wooster in The World of Wooster.
Russia says it will buy French warship
A RUSSIAN naval official has said France will allow the sale of an advanced warship to Russia. The Interfax news agency reported Russia's naval first deputy chief of staff as saying French president Sarkozy had sanctioned the sale of a Mistral amphibious assault ship. There was no immediate confirmation from Paris.
G7 leaders discuss budgets and banks
A CRISIS in Europe over budget deficits was on the agenda at a meeting of ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven major industrial countries yesterday.
The gathering, in the Canadian Arctic, was also set to discuss differences in relation to the regulation of banks.
There are fears among some of the participants that US President Barack Obama's plan to break up big banks will further hamper the world's fledgling economic recovery.
Iraqi group's video of kidnap victim
A SHI'ITE militant group in Iraq has posted a video on the internet video, showing an American it says it abducted. The man appears to be a contractor who has been reported missing by the US military.
In the video, the man -- who did not identify himself -- said his abductors were demanding the release of militants and the prosecution of security contractors accused of killing 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007.