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Bhutto's Son Vows to Fight for Democracy in Pakistan

The son of Pakistan's slain former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, launched his political career Thursday, vowing to continue his mother's fight for democracy.

In a speech marking the fifth anniversary of the leader's death Thursday, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said his Pakistan People's Party pledged to work for the poor and protect Pakistan against "terrorists."

US to Sell South Korea Spy Drones

The Obama administration has formally proposed the sale of advanced spy drones to South Korea, in a push to boost the Seoul government's ability to protect itself from attacks by the heavily-militarized North.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement that it has officially notified Congress of the proposed $1.2 billion deal for four high-altitude Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft, as well as training and logistical support. Analysts say congressional approval is likely.

Venezuelan VP Says Chavez's Health Improving

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro has reassured the nation that ailing President Hugo Chavez continues to recover from cancer surgery.

While touring a pediatric hospital in the capital, Caracas, Sunday Maduro told reporters that Chavez's health is improving with each day.

Russia Sends Naval Ships to Mediterranean, Eyes Syria Evacuation

Russia has sent warships to the Mediterranean after some of its senior diplomats said last week that Moscow may call for the evacuation of Russian citizens in Syria if the government in Damascus falls.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday that ships from its Baltic Fleet would replace other vessels that have been patrolling the Eastern Mediterranean since November.

The country's Interfax news agency quoted unnamed naval sources as saying the vessels were bound for Syria "to assist in a possible evacuation of Russian citizens."

Panetta, Dempsey Mourn Hawaii Senator

The Defense Department’s top civilian and military officials issued statements paying tribute to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, who died at age 88 yesterday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said the senator’s life “embodied the essence of the American Dream and the heroism of the greatest generation.”

Officials: Landmine Kills 10 Girls in E. Afghanistan

Afghan officials say 10 young girls died in an explosion as they were collecting firewood Monday in eastern Afghanistan.

Authorities say they believe the blast came from an old landmine, one of many that are hidden in fields and rural areas across the country after decades of war. But the area near Pakistan is in a volatile part of Nangarhar province, where Taliban militants are active and could have planted such a device.

Japan's Governing Party Resoundingly Ousted in Shift to Right

Japan's governing party has suffered a crushing election defeat. Results of parliamentary elections Sunday show the next government will be formed by the Liberal Democratic Party. The conservatives and their allies are expected to take a more hawkish approach in confronting the country's neighbors, but what they plan to do to reverse Japan's long economic decline remains murky.

Japanese voters, as forecast, have tossed out the party they brought into power three years ago.

Philippines Host Meetings with US Officials to Discuss Defense

As tensions continue to simmer between the Philippines and China over competing claims in the South China Sea, the Philippines is cleaving more closely to its Mutual Defense Treaty partner, the United States. Manila hosted several meetings this week with U.S. officials to discuss defense, maritime rule of law and strengthening other ties.

The Philippines has been more vocal in the past year about having a stronger stance against what it sees as aggressive territorial claims by China. At the same time the United States has been making a policy shift toward Asia and the Pacific.

N. Korean Missiles Don't Threaten US Yet, Analysts Say

Analysts say North Korea's successful launch of a long-range rocket is a major achievement for a country that has long wanted to obtain the capability to strike North America with nuclear weapons. But they say Pyongyang must still make several major technological advances before that threat becomes a reality.