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Hurricane Gustav Headed to US


HURRICANE GUSTAV: Powerful Hurricane Gustav is headed toward the U.S. Gulf coast after hitting western Cuba, where it caused considerable destruction, but no deaths.
It has weakened since crossing Cuba, but is expected to strengthen as it travels across the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The U.S. Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning early today (Sunday), meaning hurricane conditions are expected by early Monday along parts of the coast, including the city of New Orleans.
The hurricane center says Gustav's winds have decreased to just over 200 kilometers per hour after striking Cuba with winds of 240 kilometers per hour.
Forecasters say Gustav will remain a major hurricane until landfall, likely to hit somewhere near New Orleans, which was devastated three years ago by Hurricane Katrina.

THAI AND POLITICS: Thailand's Parliament convened an emergency session today (Sunday) to debate solutions to the country's spiraling political crisis.
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej has admitted that his administration has not been able to control anti-government protesters, and he called the emergency session in the hope of finding a solution.
Hours before Parliament met, Mr. Samak said in his weekly radio address that he would not declare a state of emergency to deal with the protesters. However, he said he would not bow to their demands that he step down.

INDIA-KASHMIR: Hindus in Indian-controlled Kashmir have ended a two-month protest today (Sunday) following the government's decision to grant Hindu pilgrims temporary use of land near one of their important temples.
Indian authorities say the 40-hectares of forest land will be available for temporary accommodations during the annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine. The government will retain ownership of the land.
Tensions have run high in the Himalayan region since June, when the government announced plans to transfer the land in a Muslim-majority area to the Hindu-shrine.


MEXICO CRIME: Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans have marched in locations across the country to demand a stop to a wave of killings, abductions and shootouts.
Mass protests took place Saturday in all of Mexico's 32 states. In Mexico City, an overflow crowd of more than 100-thousand gathered in the capital city's main Zocalo square. Many demonstrators carried signs that read "Enough. We want to live in peace."
Violence has continued to climb in spite of a crackdown launched by President Felipe Calderon after he took office in 2006.
Mr. Calderon deployed more than 25-thousand soldiers and federal police to fight drug cartels.

AFGHANISTAN VIOLENCE: The U.S.-led coalition, Afghan government and the United Nations have agreed to launch a joint probe into the August 22nd U.S. air strike in western Afghanistan that allegedly killed up to 90 civilians.
The U.S.-led coalition says 25 militants and five civilians were killed when troops called in air strikes following an attack by militants in Herat province.
The United Nations has said it found "convincing evidence" of the higher death toll after an on-scene investigation.

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