United Nations nuclear inspectors are in North Korea for the first time since they were kicked out five years ago. The International Atomic Energy Agency's chief inspector (,Olli Heinonen,) says his team will try to negotiate the disabling of Pyongyang's main nuclear reactor and a nuclear materials reprocessing plant attached to it. North Korea agreed last February to close its reactor in Yongbyon, but delayed the process because of a financial dispute with the U.S.
THAILAND-THAKSIN: A lawyer for
deposed Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says the politician will defy a police summons to appear in Bangkok to respond to fraud charges. Noppadon Pattam says a team of lawyers has advised the exiled former leader not to return to Thailand while it is under a military-led government. Noppadon said Mr. Thaksin would return to the country only after democracy has been restored and he can be assured a fair trial.
U.N DRUG REPORT: The United Nations says the global drug abuse epidemic is being brought under control, but can easily worsen. This year's U.N. Drug Report, released Monday, says addiction slowed in 2005 and 2006 and that the production of drugs as cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines seems to be under control. It says marijuana remains the world's most popular illicit drug. The report points to a sharp drop in coca cultivation in Colombia and a decline in opium production in Burma and Laos.
LAURA BUSH-AFRICA: U.S. First Lady Laura Bush and her
daughter, Jenna, are in the Senegalese capital, Dakar -- the first stop on their four-nation Africa tour to promote the U.S. campaign against AIDS and malaria. Mrs. Bush was greeted at the airport by Senegalese First Lady Viviane Wade and a group of dignitaries. Later today (Tuesday), Mrs. Bush will meet with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade at the Presidential Palace in Dakar.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: International Middle East peace negotiators are meeting in Jerusalem for talks following a summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Today's (Tuesday's) meeting brings together representatives from the Quartet on Middle East peace -- the United States, Russia, United Nations and European Union. Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair expected to be named the Quartet's special envoy to lay the groundwork for Palestinian statehood during the talks.
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