PAKISTAN: Bus attack kills 10 pilgrims
Suspected Sunni Muslim militants attacked a bus carrying Shia pilgrims in the southwest Thursday, killing at least 10 people. In the northwest, a roadside bomb hit a paramilitary convoy, killing seven soldiers, a government official said.
ISRAEL: A Holocaust pageant
Grinning and waving, 14 women who survived the horrors of World War II paraded Thursday in Haifa in an unusual pageant, vying for the honor of being crowned Israel's first "Miss Holocaust Survivor." Billed by organizers as a celebration of life, the event also stirred controversy. Many argued that judging aging women who had suffered so much on physical appearance was inappropriate, and even offensive. "It sounds totally macabre to me," said Colette Avital, chairwoman of Israel's leading Holocaust survivors' umbrella group. "I am in favor of enriching lives, but a one-time pageant masquerading [survivors] with beautiful clothes is not what is going to make their lives more meaningful." Pageant organizer Shimon Sabag rejected the criticism, saying the winners were chosen based on their personal stories of survival and rebuilding their lives after the war, and physical beauty was only a tiny part of the competition. "They are having a good time and laughing in the rehearsals," said Sabag, director of Yad Ezer L'Haver, or Helping Hand, which assists needy Holocaust survivors. Nearly 300 women from across Israel registered for the competition and contestants were whittled down to the 14 finalists who appeared Thursday.
FRANCE: Strauss-Kahn separated
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, and Anne Sinclair, who would have marked 21 years of marriage on Nov. 26, have separated, the magazine Closer reported on its website. They have been living apart for almost a month, the magazine said. Strauss-Kahn was a candidate for the French presidency before charges of sexual misconduct resulted from an incident in a New York hotel room.