KABUL — President Hamid Karzai took key steps toward reforming the country's electoral system Saturday, naming a respected former judge to head Afghanistan's election-organizing body and backing down from a bid to keep international representatives off a separate team that monitors fraud.
The moves come after months of demands by the U.S. and its allies to clean up the electoral process following massive fraud in last year's presidential balloting. Without meeting those demands, the Afghan government risked losing both funds for an upcoming parliamentary vote and broader international support.
Iraqi leader promises Sunnis a major role
BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed Saturday that Iraq's Sunnis would be major players in the next government, as he positioned himself as peacemaker and front-runner to lead the country in his first interview with a Western media outlet since bitterly fought elections.
The Shiite prime minister, who appeared confident and jovial during an hour-long interview at his palace office, also invited a Shiite bloc led by rival Ayad Allawi to join him in governing, despite an acrimonious post-election period that saw his supporters label the Iraqiya bloc a front for the late Saddam Hussein's Baath party.
Suicide bombers kill at least 41 in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD — Two suicide bombers attacked a refugee camp in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 41 people and injuring 64 others in what appeared to be retaliation for the military's latest offensive against Taliban militants.
People had been lining up for food at a refugee camp in the volatile tribal areas' Orakzai region when the bombers struck, said North-West Frontier Province Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain. Police said a suicide bomber rushed up to the line and blew himself up.
As others rushed to the blast site to help the wounded, a second bomber detonated his explosives. All of the victims were Orakzai tribespeople.