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Panetta: Qaida ‘Still Real Threat’ to U.S. Despite Bin Laden’s Death

Despite the killings of Osama bin Laden and radical U.S.-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaida terror network remains a "real threat to the United States," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a TV interview late Wednesday.

CBS News released excerpts of an interview with Panetta scheduled to run Sunday, in which the Pentagon chief discusses U.S. strategy to disband al-Qaida's global networks.

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'Are You Ready for Saddam's Fate?', Student Asks Medvedev

Outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev suffered a rude jolt Wednesday when a student asked him if he was ready to stand trial for decisions taken during his rule and even face execution like ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The youth challenged Medvedev during a meeting with students, asking if he would shoulder the blame for protests that erupted over a planned job-swap which will see his mentor Prime Minister Vladimir Putin run for the presidency.

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Ivory Coast President Ouattara on First State Visit to France

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara makes his first state visit to France on Wednesday, less than a year after troops from the cocoa-rich nation's former colonial master helped evict his predecessor.

The main focus of the former IMF official's visit, which lasts until Saturday, will be the signature of a new security agreement with President Nicolas Sarkozy, whom he meets on Thursday ahead of a state dinner.

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Mass Grave Uncovered in Mainly Kurdish Southeast Turkey

Turkish authorities found the remains of 23 people in a mass grave in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey on the former site of military police headquarters, Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday.

The first remains were discovered earlier this month, during an archeological dig in Ickale, in central Diyarbakir, where ruins of an ancient palace dating back to the 13th century were being excavated.

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Russia to Deploy Missiles on EU Borders This Year

Russia plans to deploy Iskander missiles on the European Union's border later this year, a source in its western Baltic Fleet told the Interfax news agency on Wednesday.

A source told the news agency that senior naval staff had confirmed plans to assign personnel for a naval unit set to service the missile complexes in the Kaliningrad exclave that borders EU members Poland and Lithuania.

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Woman Dead as Bombs, Bullets Rain on Nigeria Police Station

Around 30 gunmen rained bombs and gunfire on a police station in Kano, killing a woman in the latest attack blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram in Nigeria's second city, residents said.

The northern city has lived in fear amid continued chaos since a coordinated wave of attacks after Muslim prayers on Friday killed at least 185 people, Boko Haram's deadliest ever onslaught.

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Putin Says Russia Will Never be a 'Dictatorship'

Russia will never become a dictatorship, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, as he continued his bid for a third term as president despite unprecedented protests against his rule.

"We have an open country and no matter what they say or write, no matter what scary statements they make about some sort of dictatorship, we don't have that and -- I hope -- never will," he told students of Tomsk Polytechnic University in Siberia.

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Deadly Unrest Shakes China’s Tibetan Areas

Police in China shot dead more protesters in Tibetan-inhabited areas as unrest spread, official media and an advocacy group said Wednesday, amid signs of a physical and virtual lockdown on the region.

China's Sichuan province, which has big populations of ethnic Tibetans, many of whom complain of severe repression, has been rocked by violent clashes this week -- some of the worst since huge protests against Chinese rule in 2008.

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6 Soldiers, 17 Taliban Killed in Northwest Pakistan Clash

Six Pakistani soldiers and 17 Taliban militants were killed in an overnight clash in a northwestern tribal district near the Afghan border, officials said Wednesday.

Some 50 Taliban fighters attacked Pakistani troops during a search operation in Jogi village of central Kurram tribal district late Tuesday, officials said.

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Obama Says Peaceful Outcome on Iran still Possible

U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that a peaceful resolution was still possible in the international showdown with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

But Obama vowed in his annual State of the Union speech that he would "take no options off the table," including the military option, in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

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