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Sunday, November 2, 2008

YEMEN

U.S. Embassy Attackers Said Linked to Al-Qaeda

The six-man suicide squad that assaulted the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, on Sept. 17 had trained at al-Qaeda camps in the southern Yemeni provinces of Hadramut and Marib, and three of them had recently returned from Iraq, a Yemeni security official said Saturday.

Armed with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles, the attackers drove two cars packed with explosives into the embassy gate and sprayed it with bullets before being killed. Besides the attackers, 13 others died in the incident, including an 18-year-old American woman of Yemeni origin.

It was the deadliest direct assault on a U.S. embassy in a decade.

CHINA

Makers of Animal Feed Also Added Melamine

Animal feed makers deliberately added an industrial chemical to their products, ignoring a year-old government rule meant to protect China's food supply, an Agriculture Ministry official said in remarks made public Saturday.

Inspection teams have begun a nationwide "punishment" campaign against feed makers found using excessive amounts of melamine, the official said.

Of the 250,000 feed makers and breeders inspected, more than 500 were found to have engaged in illegal or questionable practices, with police further investigating 27 companies, the official added.

In the nearly two months since the Chinese government first acknowledged that melamine had contaminated the nation's milk supply, the chemical has been detected in eggs, candy and other products. Its presence in feed raises fears about the safety of meat and fish.

PERU

Army Is Given Go-Ahead To Curb Unrest in South

Peru gave its military a green light Saturday to step in to maintain order in the southern province of Tacna, where thousands of people blocked roads and cut water supplies this week to protest a mining royalty law.

The measure will remain in place until Nov. 7.

Friday marked a fourth day of protests in the provinces of Tacna and neighboring Moquegua, which are locked in a dispute over how to share millions of dollars in taxes paid by Southern Copper, one of the world's largest mining companies. There were no reports of protests Saturday.

Bolivia Ends U.S. Anti-Drug Effort

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced an indefinite suspension of U.S. anti-drug operations, accusing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of espionage and funding "criminal groups" trying to undermine his government. Morales is a close ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who in 2005 also suspended his country's cooperation with the DEA, saying agents were spying.

Electoral Verdict Near in Zambia

Acting leader Rupiah Banda is likely to be declared the winner of Zambia's presidential election Sunday, but opposition rival Michael Sata has vowed to challenge what he says was a rigged poll. Banda, a pro-business centrist who became acting president after Levy Mwanawasa died of a stroke in August, pulled ahead of Sata on Saturday night after trailing the challenger during two days of vote counting.

S. African Faction to Form Party

A breakaway faction of South Africa's ruling African National Congress has decided to form a new party to contest elections next year, a move that could reshape the country's post-apartheid political landscape. The rebellion by members loyal to former South African president Thabo Mbeki, ousted in September, has thrown the traditionally united party into disarray.

Brazil Seeks Meeting With Iran

Brazil's government is reaching out to Iran, suggesting its president visit the South American nation in the coming year, an official said. In Tehran, Brazil's foreign minister, Celso Amorim, gave Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a letter from President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva proposing the two leaders meet.

From News Services

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