Wisconsin Governor Rejects Talks; At Least 30 Reported Killed in Afghanistan Suicide Blast
Wisconsin Governor Stands Behind Controversial Bill
After six days of protests in Wisconsin over a bill that would curb collective bargaining rights and other benefits in an attempt to narrow the state’s budget deficit, Republican Gov. Scott Walker stood behind the legislation in an interview on Fox News Sunday.
Walker said the complaints over unionizing were “a red herring” and that the changes in state employees’ contributions to health and other benefits were necessary to close an imminent shortfall in the budget. He said that smaller sacrifices on the part of many employees was preferable to laying off thousands of workers.
As many as 50,000 demonstrators amassed in Madison Saturday, as protests approached the one-week mark. There were counter-demonstrations from tea party supporters. The legislation has been stalled since Democratic lawmakers refused to show up at the capitol last week, thus preventing a vote from being held in the largely Republican state legislature.
Suicide Bomber Kills 30 at Government Office in Northern Afghanistan
A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a government building Monday as people waited in line to get identification cards, killing an estimated 30 people and wounding 40. The midday attack happened in the northern province of Kunduz, which has seen an uptick in violence in recent months as Taliban fighters and other militant groups and NATO forces have clashed.
The governor of Kunduz, Mohammad Omar, was killed along with 20 others in a mosque in October, just days after he warned of the Taliban’s growing presence.
In a separate incident, NATO has expressed regret over the accidental deaths of six civilians in Nangarhar when troops targeted insurgents planting roadside bombs but an errant weapon hit a family home.
Suicide Bomber Targets Iraqi Police Station
A suicide bomber in a truck filled with explosives killed 10 and wounded 18 outside a police station in Samarra on Monday morning after driving the truck through a checkpoint. The station had received a battalion of officers, dispatched after recent violence against Shiite pilgrims. A revered Shiite dome in the southern city was destroyed in 2006, touching off sectarian violence between Shiites and Sunnis that left tens of thousands dead.
Outbreak of Violence Kills 53 In Juarez
In a 72-hour period, 53 people were killed in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, which is plagued by high levels of drug violence. Four police officers were among those killed in a period from Thursday through Saturday of last week, according to the state attorney general.
The border city is one of the most violent in Mexico, and home to a turf battle between the Juarez cartel and the Sinaloa cartel. This year the city has averaged eight murders per day. In the recent rash of violence, the city’s morgues were overwhelmed by the number of bodies.
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American Jailed in Pakistan Worked for CIA
Raymond Allen Davis, the American who was arrested and is being held in Pakistan over a fatal shooting of two armed men, reportedly was working covertly for the CIA tracking militant groups inside the country.
Davis was working as a CIA security contractor for the U.S. consulate in Lahore, current and former U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity told the Associated Press.
Davis said he shot the two men in an attempted robbery as they approached him on a motorcycle. The United States repeatedly has said he has diplomatic immunity and should be released immediately.
The case has stirred tensions between Islamabad and Washington.