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PAKISTAN: A drive against Taliban due

Pakistan has told U.S. military officials it plans combat operations soon against Taliban militants in a tribal area near the Afghan border that also is a haven for leaders of the al-Qaida-affiliated Haqqani network, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday. Speaking to The Associated Press in his Pentagon office, Panetta said Pakistan's military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, discussed the planned operation with the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen. He said the main target of the operation will be the Pakistani Taliban, rather than the Haqqani network.

CHINA: Husband to face new charges

The official account of the murder trial of the wife of a disgraced top politician made clear that she will be convicted, but never mentioned her once-powerful husband, suggesting the Communist Party wants to distance him from the crime. An extraordinarily long account by Xinhua News Agency said Gu Kailai and a household aide "confessed to intentional murder" in their trial Thursday in the death of British businessman Neil Heywood. Gu's husband, Bo Xilai, was ousted as party chief of Chongqing city as the scandal around Heywood's death in November unfolded. Bo is in the hands of the party's internal discipline commission, which is expected to issue a statement about his infractions. That would open the way for a trial with charges possibly including obstructing police work and abuse of power. In its 3,400-word account issued late Friday, Xinhua said four Chongqing police officers to cover up the murder. That statement could indirectly implicate Bo, Beijing lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan said.

BRITAIN: Huge fire in east London

As the Olympics closing ceremony was going on, firefighters battled a massive blaze at a recycling center. The fire, about 7 miles east of the Olympic Park, was brought under control by late Sunday. More than 200 firefighters had been sent to fight the fire in Dagenham, at the very edge of the capital.

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