Pakistan seeks bailout

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan has sought an emergency bailout from the International Monetary Fund, a step forced on Islamabad after allies refused to come up with the cash needed to prevent the country going bust. The United States, China and Saudi Arabia have all rebuffed Pakistan's urgent money-raising requests, despite Islamabad telling its allies that it should be rewarded for its key role in the "war on terror." A separate political development in Pakistan on Wednesday might test the U.S. alliance further. A special debate in Parliament on counterterrorism policy resulted in an agreement that demanded "an urgent review of our national security strategy." It said that negotiation, not military action, would be the policy used to tackle extremism.

Britain passes stem-cell law

LONDON — British plans to allow scientists to use hybrid animal-human embryos for stem cell research won final approval from lawmakers Wednesday. The House of Commons also clarified laws that allow the screening of embryos to produce babies with suitable bone marrow or other material for transplant to sick siblings. It was the first review of embryo science in Britain in almost 20 years. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he believes scientists seeking to use mixed animal-human embryos for stem cell research into diseases such as Parkinson's will help improve — and save — millions of lives.


New test for eighth-graders

The College Board on Wednesday unveiled a new test that it said would help prepare eighth-graders for rigorous high school courses and college. The test, available to schools next fall, is intended only for assessment and instructional purposes and has nothing to do with college admissions, College Board officials said. "This is not at all a pre-pre-pre SAT," Lee Jones, a College Board vice president, said at a news conference. The College Board, which owns the SAT and the PSAT, made its announcement when an increasing percentage of high school students are taking the rival ACT.

Stevens' jurors stressed out

WASHINGTON — Jurors in the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, declared themselves stressed out after a few hours' deliberations Wednesday. Four hours after U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan declared "the case is yours," the eight women and four men passed the judge a note. Things had become "kind of stressful," jurors said, and they asked to go home for some "clarity."

Herald-Leader wire services