QUETTA, Pakistan

Taliban bombing kills 43; suspected U.S. strikes kill 7

A suicide bombing claimed by the Pakistani Taliban killed at least 43 Shiite Muslims at a procession in southwest Pakistan on Friday. The assault sharply drove up the toll of sectarian assaults in a country battered by massive flooding.

To the northwest in Pakistan’s restive tribal regions, two suspected U.S. missile strikes killed at least seven people in an area controlled by one of the main groups battling Americans in neighboring Afghanistan, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

Two other militant bombings left at least two people dead and several wounded on a day convulsed by the violence that threatens the stability of Pakistan’s weak civilian government — an essential but problematic Western ally in the fight against Islamist militants.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

UPS cargo plane crashes in desert, killing two pilots

A UPS cargo plane en route to Germany with two crew members on board crashed shortly after takeoff Friday outside Dubai, officials said.

The state news agency WAM, quoting the General Civil Aviation Authority, reported that the “bodies of two pilots” had been found at the scene, but UPS did not confirm that.

The Boeing 747-400 went down inside an Emirati air base near a busy highway intersection about 10 miles southeast of Dubai’s international airport. WAM said the crash occurred in an unpopulated desert area, suggesting there may not have been casualties on the ground.

Smoke rose from the crash site, which was shielded from the highway by walls. Migrant laborers from a nearby camp gathered along the roadside to watch.


Castro dons full uniform for first time in four years

Fidel Castro dusted off his full military uniform for the first time since stepping down as president four years ago, a symbolic act in a communist country where little signals often carry enormous significance.

The revolutionary leader wore the olive-green cap and uniform — minus the star and laurels he held as commander in chief — at a speech early Friday to students at the University of Havana. The clothing choice was sure to revive speculation the 84-year-old is seeking a larger role in Cuban politics after turning power over to his younger brother Raul.

Castro repeated his warning that the world stands on the brink of a nuclear conflagration due to tension pitting the United States and Israel against Iran. He has returned to the message almost daily since emerging from seclusion in July.