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Pakistan Dismisses Fears over Safety of its Nuclear Weapons

Pakistan's foreign office on Wednesday dismissed fears over the safety of the nation's nuclear weapons revealed in leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.

The French News Agency quoted Pakistani foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit saying those "fears are misplaced."
U.S. diplomatic cables released by the website WikiLeaks show concerns about the security of Pakistani nuclear material and Islamabad's commitment to fighting insurgents along the country's border with Afghanistan.

The New York Times and The Guardian reported details of the cables Wednesday.

North Korea Claims Major Advance in Nuclear Program

North Korea has declared a major advance in its nuclear program a week after launching a deadly artillery strike on a South Korean island.

North Korean state media said Tuesday the country has a new uranium enrichment plant with thousands of working centrifuges and a light-water reactor that is currently under construction. They said both facilities are designed for peaceful energy use.

South Korea Announces, Then Cancels New Military Drill

South Korea's military has postponed a live fire exercise planned for Tuesday on an island shelled by North Korea last week.
South Korean forces on Yeonpyeong island initially alerted residents Monday by loudspeaker to shelter in bunkers for a live fire exercise to be held the next day.

But hours later, another broadcast on the island said the drill had been delayed. The South Korean military said the initial announcement by troops on the island was a mistake.

Chaos Erupts in Haiti After Election

Haitians voted Sunday in the most important elections in years in the earthquake and cholera-ravaged country.

Within hours of the election's start, chaos and confusion erupted at the polling places and protesters took to the streets around the Caribbean nation. Officials say two deaths have been reported.

Twelve of the 19 presidential candidates collectively denounced outgoing President Rene Preval, accusing him of devising a conspiracy to hand the presidency to his party's candidate, Jude Celestin. The candidates say they want the election canceled.

Bemba Supporters Say War Crimes Trial is Political

Supporters of former Congolese rebel leader and former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba say his war crimes trial is politically motivated. He faces two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The start of Bemba's trial was broadcast live on national television in Congo, reviving debate about both his political future and his responsibility for the conduct of his rebels when they crossed into the Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.

Used?

S. Korea Could Seek Deployment of US Tactical Nuclear Weapons

South Korea's defense minister says his country may consider having U.S. tactical nuclear weapons deployed on its soil for the first time in 19 years.

Defense Minister Kim Tae-young raised the possibility Monday during talks with a parliamentary committee about North Korea's latest nuclear escalation. He said the issue could be raised when a joint U.S.-South Korean military committee meets next month to discuss North Korea's nuclear programs.

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NATO Hoping to Press Reset And START With Russia

U.S. President Barack Obama has arrived in Lisbon, for a two-day summit meeting with partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and leaders of the European Union. The NATO leaders will concentrate Friday on updating the alliance's capabilities and improving its relationship with Russia.

When NATO's main decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council, meets late Friday, the main item of business will be to adopt a new strategic concept, laying out the alliance's role in the 21st century.

Security Forces in Guinea Accused of Excessive Force

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights is accusing the security forces in Guinea of excessive force during demonstrations linked to last weekend's presidential election. The agency says it is deeply concerned by the actions of the security forces which it says led to at least four deaths and 300 injuries earlier this week.

The announcement of the provisional election results by the Electoral commission triggered three days of widespread violence in the Guinean capital, Conakry.

Security forces resort to live fire