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As Year Closes, Sudan Peace Deal Faces Final Test

In early December, crowds gathered outside the police station in Khartoum to protest the detention of senior Southern party officials. The South's ruling party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, had organized a political rally with Northern opposition groups.

US Drone Strikes Kill 12 in Western Pakistan

Pakistani intelligence officials say two suspected U.S.

Russia's Lavrov Says US Slowing Progress on Arms Pact

Russia's top diplomat is accusing the United States of holding up progress on a new nuclear arms treaty, saying he does not expect the presidents of Russia and the United States to sign a new accord when they meet Friday in Copenhagen. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Thursday for Washington to accept deeper reductions to its nuclear arsenal and less intrusive verification measures than those in the current treaty. The two governments have been negotiating to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, known as START.  Earlier this year, President Obama and his coun

Mexico Drug Cartel Chief Killed

One of Mexico's most-wanted drug gang leaders has been shot dead. Mexican navy officials said Wednesday Arturo Beltran Leyva, head of one of the most powerful drug crime syndicates, was killed by security forces in a shootout in a high-end residential complex in the city of Cuernavaca. At least three other gang members were also killed in the clash, while a fourth committed suicide. Beltran Leyva's death is a victory for President Felipe Calderon's drug offensive as gang-related violence is jumping.  Despite deploying nearly 50,000 troops against the cartels since taking office in 200

Iran Test Fires Improved Long-Range Missile

Iran has test-fired what it claims is an improved version of its Sejil 2 medium-range missile, Wednesday, amid ongoing tension with the West over its nuclear program.   State television showed video of the Sejil 2 missile launch Wednesday, calling the test a success. The Sejil 2 has a range of about 2,000 kilometers, making it capable of hitting Israel and U.S.

Pakistan Battles Militants, Political Scandal in 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama has made Pakistan a key part of his new strategy in Afghanistan.  But as the U.S.

West African Summit Postponed Until January

The Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, has postponed a summit that was scheduled for Nigeria next week. The group's current chairman, Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, has been hospitalized in Saudi Arabia since late November. An ECOWAS spokesman announced Tuesday that the summit of heads of state has been moved to January 18.

Blast Kills 27 in Pakistan

Pakistani officials say the death toll from a suicide car bombing Tuesday in the central town of Dera Ghazi Khan has risen to at least 27.  Investigators say dozens of people have been injured in the blast, with some victims possibly trapped under rubble. The explosion occurred in a busy market near the home of a provincial government adviser Zulfikar Khosa.   Officials say several buildings - including the adviser's home - were heavily damaged.  However, no one was in the home when the attack occurred, and authorities are uncertain if the adviser was the target. The attack is the lat