NEWS FROM THE WIRES
CURRENCY WARS — Fears of an emerging currency war flare as the euro hits $1.40 for the first time in eight months and the U.S. steps up pressure on China to let its currency rise.
KOLONTAR, Hungary — Red sludge flows into the mighty Danube, threatening a half-dozen nations along one of Europe’s key waterways. Monitors take samples every hour to measure damage from the toxic spill of industrial waste and emergency officials declare one Hungarian tributary dead. There’s also encouraging news: The Danube is apparently absorbing the slurry with no immediate harm. By George Jahn.
AP photos, video.
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Two suspected suicide bombers attacked the most beloved Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s largest city Thursday, killing at least 10 people, wounding 65 others, and sending a stark reminder of the threat posed by Islamist militants to this U.S.-allied nation.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Airstrikes and ground operations by NATO and Afghan troops killed dozens of insurgents, including a senior Taliban leader who spearheaded attacks against security forces, the alliance said Thursday as the war in Afghanistan entered its 10th year. Sixteen militants were killed in air raids and ground fighting overnight in the Darqad, Yangi Qala and Khwaja Bahawuddin districts of Takhar province, Gen. Shah Jahan Noori, provincial police chief, told The Associated Press. More than a dozen insurgents were wounded.
NEW YORK — The biggest surprise about Mario Vargas Llosa’s winning the Nobel prize is that it took so long. The 74-year-old author and political activist, a charter member of the Latin American “Boom” of the 1960s, has for decades been regarded as one of the world’s greatest writers, a masterful and provocative mixer of literature and social consciousness in his work and in his life.
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
OSLO, Norway (AP) — Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo tops speculation for the Nobel Peace Prize — one betting site has already declared him the winner — though some experts expect a more low-key choice on Friday.
Two women are also hot candidates in this year’s Nobel buzz: Afghan women’s rights activist Sima Samar and Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina.
JERUSALEM — In the clearest sign that a deal may be emerging to keep the Mideast peace effort alive, a top Palestinian official says his side would accept a U.S. proposal for Israel to avoid new settlement construction for two months. The Israeli prime minister is placating hard-liners with a seemingly unrelated issue — a new loyalty oath to the Jewish state. By Josef Federman.
LOWELL, Ind. — Each case followed the same pattern: A disheveled man approached people in rural towns and asked nonsensical questions about honeybees — then he started shooting. One person has been killed and two wounded, and authorities have set off on a two-state manhunt to find a gunman some have dubbed “the Honeybee Shooter.” By Tom Coyne.
Transportation security officials removed passengers from a Bermuda-bound flight Thursday at Philadelphia International Airport after reports that someone was helping to load the plane without a security badge.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Back-to-back bombings at a vegetable market south of Baghdad on Thursday afternoon killed at least five people, including a policeman who was searching for explosives, Iraqi security and medical officials said.
GULF OIL SPILL-LUCRATIVE LAWSUITS
MIAMI — More than 100 attorneys are scrapping for a chance to be the superstars representing Gulf of Mexico oil spill victims, seeking leadership roles and more of the money from what could be a multibillion-dollar gusher of litigation against BP and other companies. A judge in the next few days will pick the elite corps of about a dozen lawyers to represent thousands of fishermen, restaurateurs, hotel operators and property owners who say their lives were upended by the spill. By Curt Anderson.