US special envoy Richard Holbrooke (pictured) is in Afghanistan for talks aimed at devising new ways to defeat a
Taliban-led insurgency in the country that US intelligence sources say is broadening in strength and scope.
Australian officials have warned residents to be vigilant as wildfires encroach on the town of Healesville. Police say they are closing in on the arsonists who are suspected of lighting some of the fires that have killed at least 181 people.
Part of the planning for the December attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 160 people was carried out in Pakistan, the country's top interior ministry official said for the first time. Six people have been arrested in connection with the attacks.
The pro-independence speaker of French Polynesia's assembly, Oscar Temaru (pictured), was re-elected president on Thursday for the fourth time since 2004, becoming the South Pacific archipelago's ninth president in just five years.
Police believe arsonists are responsible for blazes that killed 21 people and destroyed a whole town, killing up to 100. Two people have been arrested on unspecified charges. Wildfires across the country could see the death toll rise to above 200.
Australian police are investigating fresh arson attacks and looting but firmly deny rumours that the wildfires that have killed more than 180 people could have been started by Islamic militants waging "forest jihad."
More cars were sold in China than in the US in January, according to Chinese media - most likely due to a sales boost after the Chinese New Year and a post-Christmas slump in US consumption. Analysts say China could become the auto market leader.