American faces murder charges in Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan — Pakistan will pursue murder charges against a U.S. consular employee suspected of shooting two armed men during a possible robbery attempt, a prosecutor said Friday as protesters called for the American to be severely punished.

The killings in this bustling city on Thursday have attracted intense media coverage in Pakistan, and the government — already viewed by some critics as being subservient to the United States — will be under pressure to allow the law to run its course.

Year of the Rabbit portends trouble

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Year of the Rabbit conjures images of fluffy bunnies, but fortunetellers in Asia predict that the coming year on the Asian lunar calendar will be anything but cuddly.

Among key predictions for the new year beginning Feb. 3: terrorist threats, continuing tensions between China and the United States, natural disasters around the world and wobbly global markets.

As the Lunar New Year approaches, Asians from Hanoi, Vietnam, to Harbin, China, put great stock in the soothsayers' predictions using feng shui — the traditional practice of foretelling events through dates and classical texts.

In feng shui lore, the Year of the Rabbit is associated with the natural elements of metal and wood. This is a likely recipe for conflict, according to Hong Kong-based feng shui consultant Raymond Lo.