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EU Leaders Meet to Work on Economic Rescue Deal


WORLD ECONOMY: France's finance minister says no one will be disappointed with the European economic rescue package leaders will work on today (Sunday) in Paris. Christine Lagarde says the plan will be quite specific. She did not disclose any details in her comments to reporters in Washington.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will host fellow European Union leaders today. They plan to unveil their coordinated response to the global crisis, which has frozen credit to customers and businesses.
U.S. President George Bush held a White House meeting Saturday with finance ministers from the Group of Seven major economic powers. He also visited a meeting of the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Bush said the world is in the economic mess together. He expressed confidence that major economies can meet the challenges.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan officials say more than 60 Taliban militants were killed in airstrikes overnight near the provincial capital of southern Helmand province. Authorities say the rebels attacked from three directions, but were pushed back by Afghan and NATO forces, supported by the airstrikes. NATO said in a statement today (Sunday) it had been observing the militants on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, gathering for a major attack.
The provincial governor's spokesman (Daud Ahmadi) said the militants were killed when they attacked a security base near Lashkar Gah.

IRAQ: Iraqi police say at least nine people were killed and 13 wounded in a car bombing at a market in Baghdad today (Sunday). Security officials said the attack occurred in a popular market in Bayaa, a predominantly Shi'ite area in the southwest of the capital city. Violence in Baghdad has fallen sharply recently with improved security, but insurgents are still able to carry out attacks with some regularity.

NOKOR - NUCLEAR: North Korea says it will resume disabling its Yongbyon nuclear facility and allow U.S. and International Atomic Energy Agency inspections to verify the work. North Korea's foreign minister said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency today (Sunday) that Pyongyang made the decision after Washington removed the Stalinist state from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. South Korea has also welcomed the Bush administration's move. Kim Sook, South Korea's chief envoy to multinational nuclear talks with the North, told reporters in Seoul today (Sunday) that his government welcomes the deal as an opportunity to get six-nation nuclear talks back on track.

THAILAND - PROTESTS: The Supreme Commander of Thailand's military today (Saturday) ruled out the possibility of a coup to end the long running anti-government protest in the country. He said top generals had been discussing the political turmoil in Thailand and have told civilian leaders it is up to the government to resolve the crisis.
Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat -- who has held the post for only about three weeks -- suggested today (Saturday) he has considered resigning in the wake of this week's violent protests.

BURMA - ENERGY: Burma's state media says the military government has signed agreements with companies from Thailand and Singapore to provide electricity from a hydro-power project. The New Light of Myanmar newspaper said today (Sunday) that the deal was signed in the administrative capital of Naypyidaw on Thursday The report said the project in the south will generate 600 megawatts of electricity, but gave no further details of the deal.
Burma, which has been ruled by the military since 1962, is under sanctions by the United States and European Union because of its human rights record and long-running house arrest of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

RUSSIAN - SPACE: A Russian Soyuz spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station, carrying a replacement crew and an American millionaire space tourist. The spaceship lifted off today (Sunday) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. On board are U.S. astronaut Edward Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov -- who will replace the current space station crew -- and video game magnate Richard Garriot.
Garriot paid Russia 30 million dollars for the privilege of a 10-day visit to the space station.

Listen to our World News for Lao translations and more details.

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