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July 29, 2007 at 10:00 PM
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Pakistan invades al-Qaida badlands

MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan, July 29 (UPI) -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has abandoned a truce with Islamist guerrillas and ordered his army to root them out, it was reported Sunday.

Pakistani soldiers face an estimated 8,000 gunmen in North Waziristan, the rugged and remote borderland shared with Afghanistan, The Sunday Times of London reported.

The gunmen are believed to be a mix of foreign al-Qaida fighters, Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Islamists and local Waziris whose families for centuries have resisted outside rule. Even in recent times, mapmakers were killed to keep the topography of the land a mystery, the British newspaper reported.

Pakistani soldiers last week closed the roads into Miran Shah, the provincial capital, and occupied the hills around it with artillery. As of Saturday, an estimated 80,000 Pakistani troops had been deployed throughout Waziristan in what Musharraf's critics say is a war on his own people.


N. Korea reaffirms nuke disarmament

MANILA, Philippines, July 29 (UPI) -- North Korea has not stepped back from its commitment to nuclear disarmament, Philippine diplomats said Sunday.

North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun Sunday told Philippine counterpart Alberto Romulo that six-nation talks on nuclear disarmament have been fruitful, Voice of America reported.

The conversation reportedly occurred Sunday in Manila on the sidelines of an Asian security forum, VOA said.

North Korea this month shuttered its atomic reactor at Yongbyon in return for 50,000 tons of fuel oil.

The United States, China, Japan and Russia have pledged aid and diplomatic concessions if North Korea permanently seals its atomic facilities and discloses any other nuclear material stored in the country.


Feingold urges quick Iraq pullout

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said Sunday he wants to begin bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq without necessarily waiting for a September progress report.

Army Gen. David Petraeus, who oversees U.S. forces in Iraq, is scheduled to provide Washington with a report in September on any progress in Iraq following this year's deployment of tens of thousands more troops.

Feingold, appearing on "Fox News Sunday," was asked if he'd still seek a pullout if Petraeus' September report were good. He said he'd be "happy to acknowledge any signs of success" but he didn't envision such a report.

"I'll listen to whatever he says. But he's not going to be the only person I consult with," said Feingold. "I'll give all the respect to Gen. Petraeus' remarks that are due, but every indication I get -- and I'm on the Intelligence and the Foreign Relations committees, we get a lot of information on this -- suggests that it is virtually impossible that he's going to be able to give the kind of rosy scenario that you've concocted here."


Leahy seeks Gonzales compromise

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- The chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary says he will consult with the panel's top Republican on potential action against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday he has given Gonzales a chance to review the testimony he provided lat week, and Gonzales has "a week to correct it if he wants."

"If he doesn't correct it, then I think that there are so many errors in there that the pressure will be very, very heavily felt, whether it's a special prosecutor, a special counsel, efforts within the Congress," Leahy said. "This is a matter that I'd like to approach on a bipartisan fashion."

Democrats and Republicans alike, Leahy said, "were incredulous" at some of Gonzales' responses and don't trust him.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican, said he also wants to give Gonzales a chance to correct his testimony before deciding whether to pursue action such as appointing a special prosecutor.

"(We) do not yet know the details of the wiretaps without warrants, and that's an invasion on privacy, and we haven't yet gotten to the bottom of that," said Specter, who called the Department of Justice "dysfunctional."


Bush welcomes new British PM to Camp David

CAMP DAVID, Md., July 29 (UPI) -- U.S. President George W. Bush Sunday welcomed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Camp David, the presidentisl retreat in Western Maryland.

The welcome was relatively casual, with Bush driving Brown away from the facility's helipad in a golf cart -- and doing what a reporter called "a 360" in front of the media before waving and speeding off.

"It's a great pleasure to be at Camp David," Brown told Bush at one point. "It has so much history associated with it. Do you come here quite a bit?"

Bush said, "I do -- a lot."

The president and the prime minister plan to speak with reporters Monday at Camp David.

As Brown prepared Saturday to leave for the visit, he said the United States remains the United Kingdom's "most important bilateral relationship."

Brown's comments were intended to put to rest speculation he might distance himself from Bush, the BBC reported, as the two leaders prepared to discuss international issues such as Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Sudan, Kosovo, world trade and climate change.

"The relationship with the United States is not only strong but can become stronger in the years ahead," said Brown.

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