10 policemen and six US troops killed by Afghan 'partners' in three attacks
A member of the Afghan National Police opened fire on his colleagues at a checkpoint in south-west Afghanistan yesterday, killing at least 10 fellow policemen.
The killings came a day after two Afghans, including a policeman, shot and killed six US service members in two separate attacks in neighbouring Helmand province in the volatile south of the war-torn country.
There have been 27 such 'friendly' attacks so far this year, resulting in 44 deaths.
Pair of earthquakes in Iran kill 180
TWO earthquakes exceeding magnitude 6 struck within 11 minutes of each other in northwestern Iran yesterday.
More than 180 people are dead and more than 1,000 are injured in the towns of Ahar and Varzagan, near Tabriz.
US and Turkey to create Syria plans
US SECRETARY of State Hillary Clinton and Turkey's foreign minister said yesterday that they are creating a formal plan for worst-case scenarios in Syria, including a possible chemical weapons attack on regime opponents.
In Syria itself, government forces yesterday pounded a suburb of Damascus with mortars and artillery shells, a day after rebels in the town abducted a state TV crew.
S Korea and Japan bicker over islets
SOUTH Korea's president has made a surprise election-year visit to islets also claimed by Japan, which quickly reasserted its sovereignty by recalling its ambassador from Seoul, warning the trip would worsen strained relations.
The trip to the tiny, rocky outcroppings between the countries was the first by a South Korean president and came as his popularity dropped ahead of a presidential election in December.
Indian bus cliff plunge leaves 52 dead
AN OVERCROWDED bus fell into a mountain gorge in north India yesterday, killing 52 and injuring 46 others.
The driver lost control of the vehicle on a sharp curve in Himachal Pradesh state, about 620km north of New Delhi. The bus then fell more than 100m into a gorge.
Spanish smash Mexican drugs ring
SPANISH police working with the FBI have halted an attempt by a Mexican drug smuggling and distribution ring to establish a European operation, authorities said.
Four suspected Sinaloa cartel members, including a cousin of the group's notorious leader Joaquin Guzman, were arrested in Madrid.
The Interior Ministry said the cartel wanted to make Spain a gateway for operations in Europe, but investigators intercepted a container carrying 373kg of cocaine in late July before moving in to make the arrests.
Libyan general shot dead in Benghazi
A LIBYAN army general, with a senior defence ministry role, has been shot dead in the eastern city of Benghazi. General Mohamed Hadia al-Feitouri was returning home from Friday prayers when a group of gunmen pulled up in a car and opened fire.
Benghazi has seen a spate of killings of security officers who served under ex-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The incident comes a day after Libya's new interim assembly assumed power.
Nuns won't bow to Vatican pressure
US NUNS who have come under fire from the Vatican have said they will hold further talks with church leaders, but will not "compromise their mission".
The Vatican said the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) violated church teaching on birth control and homosexuality, among other issues.
Church officials have appointed three US bishops to oversee an overhaul of their organisation.
LCWR is the largest organisation of nuns in the US, representing 80 per cent of the 57,000 nuns there.
Meteors to put on spectacular show
THE annual Perseid meteors are set to put on a spectacular sky show this weekend.
The best time to see the Perseid shower from Ireland is this morning before dawn, when as many as 60 meteors an hour may be visible. Despite the moon, the light from which can obscure the spectacle, this year's prospects for viewing are relatively good.