NEW DELHI, India (AP) -- In a tough warning from India's military, the army chief said Friday that his country is "ready for war" and threatened massive retaliation if Pakistan struck with nuclear weapons.
Gen. Sunderajan Padmanabhan said the buildup of Indian and Pakistani troops at the border had brought the two countries "quite close to an actual war." But he repeated India's policy that it would not be the first to use nuclear weapons in any conflict.
The Indian army chief's comments came as Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, prepared to announce comprehensive measures against religious violence and extremism.
Rioters rampage in Buenos Aires
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Rioters ransacked banks, destroyed ATM machines and set fires across downtown Buenos Aires early Friday after a night of street protests against a government freeze on bank deposits turned violent.
The latest protests came after a largely peaceful nighttime demonstration by thousands of middle-class Argentines demanding access to savings trapped in accounts. The government partially froze accounts on Dec. 1 to stop a run on the banks and announced measures to put a tighter grip on the financial system Thursday.
Meanwhile, the peso was traded freely for the first time in 10 years Friday, when a 3-week-old ban on foreign exchange transactions expired. Because of a shortage of pesos caused by the banking freeze, the floating rate was just slightly weaker than the official rate of 1.4 pesos per dollar -- settling in an early range between 1.5 and 1.6 Friday morning.
Zimbabwe crackdown prompts criticism
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Parliament's passage of measures that would legalize a crackdown on Zimbabwe's opposition prompted a fresh wave of international criticism Friday.
Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu of South Africa warned that the country was sliding toward dictatorship, New Zealand said it should be suspended from the Commonwealth and the European Union met to consider imposing diplomatic sanctions on the troubled southern African country or reducing aid.
Kinnock called for a ban on visits to the EU by Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, and on his close associates and for a freezing of their assets abroad.
Israel destroys runway at Gaza airport
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israel sent tanks and bulldozers Friday to tear up runways at Palestinian-controlled Gaza International Airport and warned of further actions if Palestinian attacks do not stop.
Israeli forces detained 11 Palestinians, eight suspected of weapons smuggling and three suspected militant activists, the army said.
Israeli bulldozers also destroyed a Palestinian police post in the Gaza Strip that had earlier been abandoned, Palestinian security sources said.
The raids in Gaza were in retaliation for a Palestinian attack that killed four Israeli soldiers, the army said.
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