Monday Newswrap

Top story today is the resignation of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf announced that he would resign earlier today after impeachment papers were filled against him earlier in the month. It marks an end to a political career that began when, in 1999, he lead a bloodless coup. As a key US ally in fighting terrorism, it will be interesting to see what effect the resignation will have on relations between Washington and Islamabad.

Also today, Russia has started to pullback from Georgian territory. However, a BBC News correspondent saw a convoy of Russian vehicles carrying around 60 soldiers heading deeper into Georgia. Also, Georgian television has video footage of Russian tanks literally crashing through a roadblock made up of Georgian police vehicles. The New York Times is even reporting that Russia is bringing missile launchers into the area. Meanwhile, Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger reports that Russian forces have control of a Georgian power plant. The Times of London reports of tough new rhetoric from Dmitry Medvedv.

In Japan, warrants have been issued for US and British anti-whaling activists. The three, two Americans and one Briton, are from the Sea Shepard Conservation Society. In Israel, Ministers have okayed the release of 200 Palestinian prisoners back to the West Bank. A ministerial press release said that the release would be a gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In Zimbabwe, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangari is to seek the help of regional leaders to solve the dealockm over a power sharing agreement. Tsvangari, of the Movement for Democratic Change, will head to Botswana today in a ten day tour of the region where he will seek support for a resolution in the talks with 'President' Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party.

The Iranian rocket test at the weekend "did not successfully launch" according to US Department of Defence officials. The DoD said that although the first stage of the launch may of been successful, the send stage was "was erratic and out of control," according to US intelligence. The rocket test was meant to show that Iran had the capability to put satellites into orbit.

The Independent has the story of Afghan women who have been jailed for being victims of rape. The social situation in both Iraq and Afghanistan has become grave since the coalition invasions. Earlier in the year, the Observer had a case study of the rise in so-called 'honour killings'. The newspaper reported that a 17-year old girl was murdered by her father for falling in love with a Christian British soldier. Her father defended his actions, and the girls mother was gunned down after she left her husband.

In US Presidential election news, Barack Obama raised $8-million in one night as speculation about his choice of running mate reaches fever pitch.

Tropical storm Fay is headed for Florida after claiming up to 35 lives in the Caribbean. The storm is expected to bring 4-10 inches of rain with it, raising fears of flooding. Also in the US, the Grand Canyon Dam has burst leading to several people being airlifted to safety.

In business, Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton has posted record profits of $15.4-billion, boosted by second-half profits of $9.37-billion. The company has, however, warned of weaker economic growth in the short term. BHP Billiton's London shares closed up 0.52% at £15.37.

Odd news, a disabled turtle has been given its own skateboard to get around; a baby whale thinks that a yacht is its mother and the Norwegian Royal family's boat sinks. In-depth, PRI's The World takes a closer look at Musharraf's resignation. Finally, an Australian mayor has come under fire for asking 'ugly girls' to come to his town, or in his words the "beauty disadvantaged".

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