U.S. General: Kidnapped Britons Held By Group Supported by Iran

A North African man and his wife went on trial Wednesday on charges they ran Web sites that supported al-Qaida-linked groups with videos of people killed by terrorists and information on how to make bombs. (AP)

U.S.

Harsh Criticism for EPA's New Plan to Test for Contamination at Homes near WTC

The Environmental Protection Agency did not provide the public with sufficient information, nor did it follow an advisory panel's recommendations when designing a second program to test for indoor air contamination at residences in lower Manhattan near the disaster site of the World Trade Center, according to a preliminary government study. (ABC News)

Bribe Accusations Hit Second Jefferson

Less than three weeks after U.S. Congressman William Jefferson, D-La., was indicted for bribery, his chief political strategist -- and brother -- is facing similar accusations. (ABC News)

SPAIN

Explosives Found in Car near Spanish Resorts

Spain's civil guard, on national alert after Basque separatists called off a ceasefire, said on Thursday it had found a car packed with explosives near seaside resorts next to the border with Portugal. (Reuters)

AUSTRIA/RUSSIA

Austria Frees Russia Spy Suspect

Austria has released a Russian space agency official who was arrested last week on suspicion of spying. (BBC)

GABON / DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Fraud Inquiry into Leaders Breaks 'Special Protection'

Police have opened an unprecedented investigation into claims that two African heads of state with close ties to Paris have used millions of pounds of embezzled public funds to acquire lavish properties for themselves and their families in France. (The London Times)

INDIA/CHINA

A Preference for Boys is Causing Massive Headaches in India and China

More than 10 clinics and pharmacies line a 200-meter stretch of what is known as "hospital street" here. One clinic stands out from the rest: It is closed. A sign outside reads, "X-ray, ultrasound (diagnosis)." Neighbors of this town in Haryana state, northern India, are reluctant to discuss the closure, which happened about a year ago. (Asahi)

U.S./ISRAEL RELATIONS

Washington to Increase Military Aid to Israel

The United States will increase its military assistance to Israel and sign a new agreement securing American aid to the country for the next decade, President George W. Bush announced Tuesday following his meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. (Haaretz)

SIERRA LEONE

Sierra Leone Court Delivers First War-Crimes Verdicts

Sierra Leone's special war-crimes court handed down its first verdicts on Wednesday, finding three leaders of a militia guilty of war crimes that include killing, raping and mutilating civilians. (Mail and Guardian)

AUSTRALIA

Australia to Ban Alcohol for Aborigines

Australia's prime minister announced plans Thursday to ban pornography and alcohol for Aborigines in northern areas and tighten control over their welfare benefits to fight child sex abuse among them. (AP)

ANALYSIS & OPINION

Costly Collateral Damage in Afghanistan

Seven Afghan children perished Sunday in a U.S.-led bombing attack on Al Qaeda fighters hiding in a mosque and a madrassa. Survivors of the attack said the Qaeda men beat children who tried to leave the buildings. (Boston Globe)

The Challenge Posed by Gaza to the Arab 'Moderation'

By Hazem Saghieh

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