Update as of 0800 Eastern Time:
Bottom Line Up Front:
1. Afghanistan and Pakistan
From CNN (Afghanistan and Pakistan):
The NATO-led alliance in Afghanistan said its troops fired at militants inside Pakistan in coordination with Pakistani soldiers.
The coordination, announced Monday by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, was noteworthy since Pakistan has, in recent months, complained that international forces were violating the country's sovereignty by going after militants on its soil.
ISAF said Sunday's artillery fire was in response to an attack on an allied base in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan. Militants twice fired rockets into the base from across the border, the alliance said.
Once ISAF soldiers pinpointed the origin of the rocket launches, they fired 20 artillery rounds in coordination with the Pakistani military.
"ISAF and Pakistani soldiers observed all fired artillery rounds," an alliance statement said. "The Pakistan soldiers assured ISAF that they would engage any insurgents attempting to flee deeper into Pakistan."
No NATO soldiers were hurt in the rocket attack.
ISAF also re-released a statement from September that said its forces can return fire on militants in self-defense under a deal with Pakistani authorities.
From Fox News (Afghanistan and Pakistan):
Taliban militants attacked Pakistani tribal leaders near the Afghan border, triggering a gunbattle and an explosion that killed seven people, an official said Tuesday.
The clash happened late Monday in Bajur, a lawless region in Pakistan's northwest where troops and tribal militias have been battling Taliban guerrillas for more than three months.
Israr Khan, a government representative in the semi-autonomous region, said Taliban gunmen surrounded a group of elders from the Mamund tribe in a fortress-like compound in the village of Inayat Kili.
An hourslong gunbattle between the two sides killed a commander of the Taliban fighters as well as two guards in the compound, Khan said. Four elders also died when an explosion hit the compound, he said. It was unclear what caused the blast.
Taliban spokesman Maulvi Umar confirmed the death of a militant commander in Monday's clash.
Pakistani and U.S. officials have applauded efforts by some tribal leaders to establish militias to fight Taliban and Al Qaeda militants blamed for attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan as well as targets in Pakistan.
The militias' emergence in Bajur and other parts of Pakistan's northwest has drawn comparisons with so-called Awakening Councils that helped turned the tide against Al Qaeda in Iraq.
However, some observers warn that arming more groups in the impoverished border region will only sustain the anarchy in which violent extremism has flourished.
Militants have repeatedly attacked pro-government elders in shooting and suicide bomb attacks in recent months, killing scores.
He claimed that the Taliban captured seven elders and said their fate will be decided by Maulvi Faqir Mohammed, the Taliban leader in Bajur.
From Fox News (Iraq):
Iraqi lawmakers Monday began debate over a pact with the United States that will allow U.S. forces to remain for three more years, while an Iranian official close to that country's leadership praised the Iraqi Cabinet for approving the deal.
The comments from Iran's judiciary chief marked the first time that the deal has met with clear-cut approval in neighboring Iran. Meanwhile, Syria, target of a deadly cross-border raid by U.S. forces in recent weeks, criticized the deal as virtual surrender to America.
More than two-thirds of the 275-seat legislature attended Monday's session, raising confidence that parliament will be able to muster a quorum for the Nov. 24 vote. The session ended after the agreement's text was read to lawmakers, the first step to adopt legislation.
Lawmakers are expected to meet again on Tuesday.
The Cabinet approved the pact Sunday, meaning the political parties in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's coalition government are expected to have similar success in securing parliamentary support. If parliament approves, President Jalal Talabani and his two deputies must ratify it.
Under the agreement, U.S. forces must vacate Iraqi cities by June, leave Iraq by the end of 2011 and grant Iraqi authorities extensive power over the operations and movements of American forces. It also prohibits the U.S. from using Iraqi territory to attack Iraq's neighbors, like Syria and Iran.
More to follow:
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