Update as of 0900 Eastern Time:
Bottom Line Up Front:
1. Russian Lawmakers ask Russian President to back recognition of break-away Georgian Republics
2. Pakistan Militants strike Pakistan Lawmakers home.
Russian lawmakers asked President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday to recognize the independence of two breakaway regions of Georgia: Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Neither Russia nor the United Nations currently recognize either region as independent, despite both declaring de facto independence from Georgia.
The two regions have autonomous governments backed by Russia.
On Monday, both houses of Russian parliament -- the Federation Council and the Duma -- voted unanimously for such recognition. They acted after several committees, including the committees on foreign affairs, defense and the Commonwealth of Independent States, met to consider the matter.
However the parliamentary votes are not legally binding and Medvedev will make the final call.
"We have more political-legal grounds than Kosovo to have our independence recognized," South Ossetia President Eduard Kokoity told the upper chamber, according to the Interfax news agency. "When I say 'we' I mean both South Ossetia and Abkhazia."
From Fox News:
Russian lawmakers voted unanimously Monday to ask the president to recognize the independence of Georgia's two rebel provinces, a move likely to anger the United States, the European Union and other Georgian allies.
The twin votes by the upper and lower houses of the Russian parliament came after intense fighting between Russia and Georgia over the two separatist provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The votes were not legally binding and it was up to President Dmitry Medvedev to make the final call on diplomatic recognition. Still, experts say the blessing by lawmakers gives the Kremlin an extra bargaining chip in its dealings with the West as it tries to reassert influence in the former Soviet republics and resist moves by Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO.
"Today we must fulfill what is I think our historic mission — to defend small countries from aggressors," Federation Council member Boris Spiegel told Associated Press Television before the vote.
Currently, neither Russia nor any other member of the United Nations recognizes the two provinces' independence claims. Both won de-facto independence in the 1990s after wars with the Georgia, and have survived ever since with Russia's financial, political and military support
Militants attacked the home of a lawmaker in Pakistan's violence-plagued northwest Monday, killing 10 people in the latest unrest to hit the country since the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf, authorities said.
The politician survived the attack but his brother died, said military spokesman Col. Baseer Haider. The Islamic movement, the Taliban, claimed responsibility.
Militants used rockets and grenades to launch their attack at the home in the village of Shah Dheri in the Swat valley, a tourist area where security has continued to deteriorate despite a three-month-old peace pact.
The home belongs to Waqar Ahmed Khan, a member of the Awami National Party and a member of the provincial assembly of the North West Frontier Province, where the Swat valley is located.
The valley, a rugged area near the Afghanistan border where the central government has long exerted little control, has been the site of an intense military offensive since late July.
More to follow:
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