Following yesterday’s withdrawal of challenger Abdullah Abdullah from the Afghan run-off presidential election, the election was called off and the Afghan Election Committee declared incumbent President Hamid Karzai the winner, BBC News.
34 people have died in a suicide bombing attack near Pakistan’s Army headquaters in Rawalpindi, Voice of America. Pakistan is offering rewards totaling $5m U.S. for information that leads to the capture or killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, the top Taliban commander in Pakistan, and his 18 lieutenants, AFP. Reports from the field with the Pakistan Army’s mission in South Waziristan, CNN International.
BBC News has the story of a 14-year-old b0y whose family was visiting Peshawar for a wedding last week. He lost nine family members who had gone to the market where suicide bombers detonated a bomb that killed over 100, watch his story.
Voters in Maine will have a say on whether gay marriage will continue in the state. A no vote on Question 1 will allow gay marriage to continue, Bangor Daily News.
As was rumored yesterday, Afghan run-off presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has withdrawn from the November 7 run-off election against incumbent president Hamid Karzai. Abdullah claims that there is no way that a free and fair election can take place, Bloomberg.
More information is now available about last week’s militant attack on a United Nations guest house in Kabul, Afghanistan. The UN says that it took over an hour for security forces to reach the area after the house was attacked, Associated Press.
Somali pirates who kidnapped British tourists Paul and Rachel Chandler have moved the couple onto land. The pirates are demanding a $7 million ransom from the British government, New York Times.
Anthony Sowell, the resident of the Cleveland, Ohio home where the bodies of 6 women were found last week, has been taken into custody. Sowell was released from prison 4 years ago after serving a 15-year sentence for rape. Sowell was a registered sex offender and was required to meet regularly with local police. Police discovered the bodies when they went to Sowell’s home to arrest him for sexual assault. The 6 bodies found in the house were all female and all died violently, CNN. Stories of women who said they were attacked by Sowell, including one who was held captive in his home before escaping, Fox News.
Today is the 40th running of the New York City Marathon. Watch live online at NYCmarathon.org. Many of the runners are running for charity this year. Watch for actor Ed Norton who is running the race with 3 Maasai warriors to raise support for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, maasaimarathon.com.
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah may boycott next week’s run-off election. The run-off election follows the August 20 presidential election which was beset by fraud and other irregularities. Abdullah is calling for Independent Election Commission chief Azizullah Lodin to be replaced before the run-off election between him and current President Hamid Karzai, Voice of America. Q & A on the Afghan election, BBC News.
Six militants have been arrested in last week’s attack on a United Nations guest house in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed 5, Reuters.
An Iraqi being held on suspicion of involvement in last week’s deadly car bombings in one of the most secure zones in Baghdad has died while in custody. The man grabbed a security officer’s gun and shot the security officer before being fatally shot by another officer, CNN International.
Today is the 50th anniversary of Hawaii becoming a state, but celebrations will be low-key. Some native Hawaiians regret that Hawaii lost its independence, USA Today.
At least 4 police officers are dead in separate suicide bombing attacks in Grozny, Chechnya. The attacks follow a massive suicide truck bombing in Ingushetia earlier in the week where 25 people were killed and over 250 injured, New York Times.
Controversy continues to surround the release of convicted Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. Critics assert that al-Megrahi’s release was influenced by business concerns, in particular the UK’s interest in Libya’s oil reserves. In April, the UK and Libya signed a prisoner transfer deal that would have allowed al-Megrahi to serve out his sentence in a Libya prison. There are 26 Libyans in UK prisons. Al-Megrahi was the only Libyan prisoner in Scotland and the only prisoner convicted of a terrorism-related offense, New York Times.
While still denying that Taliban leader in Pakistan Baitullah Mehsud has died in a drone airstrike, deputy leader Maulvi Faqir Mohammad said he has taken over command, Al Jazeera.
Both current President Hamid Karzai and leading challenger Abdullah Abdullah have claimed victory in yesterday’s Afghan election. The votes are being counted and the results should be released next week. Voters will have until September 17 to make complaints before the election results are final. About 26 people died in Afghanistan due to violence by insurgents yesterday. The voter turnout is estimated at between 40% and 50%, Guardian.
A North Korean delegation laid a wreath at the memorial altar for former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung who, in 2000, was the first head of state to meet with his North Korean counterpart since the Korean War. After escalating tensions, the visit could be a sign that North Korea is open to relaxing relations, Yonhap.
In-depth look at the 46 million (about 15% of the total U.S. population) individuals in America who are uninsured, NPR.