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August 25th, 2009
World Links: Four U.S. Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan, Iranian Reformist Faces "Maximum Punishment"

Afghanistan’s election commission says President Hamid Karzai and top challenger Abdullah Abdullah both have roughly 40 percent of the nationwide vote for president with 10 percent of ballots in. The commission plans to release partial results each day for the next several days, and final results will be ready next month.

Four U.S. soldiers operating under NATO are killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, making the 2009 death toll for foreign forces in Afghanistan the highest since the war began nearly eight years ago.

Negotiations to exchange an Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas for hundreds of jailed Palestinians are advanced by German involvement. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in London for talks with his U.K. counterpart Gordon Brown to discuss the Middle East peace process.

An Iranian prosecutor calls for “maximum punishment” of a senior reformer for acting against national security, in the fourth mass trial of moderates after Iran’s disputed election. Saeed Hajjarian, disabled by an assassination attempt in 2000, is accused of fomenting unrest and having contacts with British intelligence.

South Korea fails to send its scientific satellite into orbit after launching its first rocket into space. The rocket successfully lifted off from the country’s launch pad on the southern coast but failed to put an attached scientific satellite into the target orbit.

Chinese President Hu Jintao makes his first trip to Xinjiang after last month’s deadly ethnic riots. At the same time, there is confusion about how many rioters will face criminal charges and when their trial will start.

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