World in brief: Canadian premier seeks U.S. surgery
St. John’s, Newfoundland – The premier of Canada’s east coast province is undergoing heart surgery in the United States this week because the treatment he is seeking was not available in his home province.
The announcement of Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams’ plans has triggered a debate since Canada prides itself on its universal health care system.
Kathy Dunderdale, the province’s deputy premier who is taking over in his absence, said Tuesday that Williams decided to go to the U.S. for surgery after weeks of consultation with his doctors.
Taliban show no proof leader’s alive
Mir Ali, Pakistan – The Pakistani Taliban refused Tuesday to provide proof their leader survived a U.S. missile attack, just one day after promising to do just that. The reversal added to speculation that Hakimullah Mehsud was mortally wounded last month in a strike close to the Afghan border.
The backtracking came on a day in which U.S. drones launched an unusually intense attack in the northwest. The aircraft fired 17 missiles at houses, cars and bunkers in a region dominated by militants battling U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, killing 14 insurgents, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
The late-night missile strikes were the latest in an intensified CIA-led campaign in Pakistan, reflecting a U.S. belief that the eight-year war in Afghanistan cannot be turned around without the destruction of militant safe havens across the border.