November 14, 2008 in Nation/World

Missile strike kills at least nine

 
Associated Press photo

Cuba’s Fidel Castro stands with Metropolitan Kirill in Havana in this October photo.
(Full-size photo)

Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. missile strike has killed at least nine people in a village near the Afghan border.

Two officials said the strike hit a house in the North Waziristan tribal region before dawn today. There was no immediate word on the identity of the victims.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

North Waziristan is a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qaida militants suspected of mounting attacks on U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

On Thursday, armed men kidnapped an Iranian diplomat in Pakistan’s northwest, a day after the slaying of an American aid worker – heightening fears that Islamic militants are hunting down foreigners.

The Iranian and his Pakistani bodyguard were driving over a narrow bridge in Peshawar when two gunmen blocked their way with a car and opened fire, said Banaras Khan, a police investigator who cited a witness. The attackers fled with the diplomat, and the guard was killed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Pakistani militants have taken responsibility for some of the recent attacks on foreigners in the region.

Santiago, Chile

Many not told they have HIV

Chile is scrambling to reach people who could be unknowingly spreading AIDS.

Public health services failed to tell 512 people that they tested positive for HIV, and private-sector services failed to inform an estimated 1,700, Health Minister Alvaro Erazo told lawmakers Thursday.

Chile’s public health service said some patients provided incorrect addresses, but in about half the cases, there is no evidence anyone tried to reach them. “There is no justification for that,” said Erazo, who was summoned to Congress after the scandal forced his predecessor to resign.

Now Chile is launching an intense campaign to locate and inform the patients. Erazo said it would be done with the most confidentiality possible. But it appears some health workers have not gotten that message.

Havana

Castro frail, alert in latest photo

Fidel Castro looks thin and frail but alert in a photograph from last month posted on the Web site of the Russian Orthodox Church and obtained by the Associated Press on Thursday.

The ailing 82-year-old former president is seen standing and peering at the camera with a hint of surprise on his face. His gray hair is combed back and his wispy gray beard is neatly trimmed. As if for support, he is holding on to the arm of Metropolitan Kirill, the church’s top foreign relations official.

The church said the picture was taken Oct. 20, when Kirill was in Havana for the consecration of a new Orthodox cathedral.

Castro is suffering from an unknown illness and has been holed up in a secret location. Raul Castro, Fidel’s hand-picked successor for nearly five decades, formally succeeded his brother as president this year.

From wire reports


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