ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Bangladesh PM Warns "Tough Action" Against Mutineers


BANGLADESH - UNREST: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has warned mutinous paramilitary border guards that her government will take "tough action" if they do not surrender. Ms. Hasina said Thursday in a nationally televised address that the people of Bangladesh should remain calm as her government tries to stop the deadly mutiny. Police in Bangladesh say mutinous soldiers fired at several border guard posts across the country and renewed violent attacks in the capital. Officials said the government shut mobile phone networks during the attacks.

OBAMA - ECONOMY: President Barack Obama presents his first budget proposal to Congress Thursday, and administration officials say it will seek a $634 billion fund for health care reform as well as cuts in some programs. The president has said he intends to cut the U.S. government's budget deficit in half in four years, despite the need for large amounts of new spending in attempts to reverse the country's economic decline. On Wednesday, President Obama called for new, stronger regulation for the financial industry after meeting at the White House with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the top members of two Congressional financial committees.

US - RIGHTS REPORT: A new human rights report by the U.S. State Department says hundreds of millions of people worldwide were denied fundamental freedoms by their governments last year. In releasing the report, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the U.S. will seek to live up to its own human rights ideals. She said the promotion of human rights is essential to U.S. foreign policy. The report says a "disturbing" number of countries imposed burdensome, restrictive, or repressive laws and regulations against non-governmental groups and the media, including the Internet. Vietnam, China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan were among the countries named.

CHINA - US HUMAN RIGHTS: China has rejected the findings of a U.S. State Department report that says human rights conditions in the country remained poor and worsened in some areas in 2008. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters Thursday that China is willing to discuss human rights with any country, but only on the basis of mutual equality and mutual respect. He also urged the United States to reflect on its own human rights problems and accused Washington of using human rights as an excuse to interfere in other countries' internal affairs.

NOKOR - ROCKET: A South Korean newspaper says North Korea has built an underground fueling facility near where the communist regime is preparing for a rocket launch. The Dong-a Ilbo says the underground station has been built at the Musudan-ri launch facility in the northeastern province of North Hamkyong. The newspaper says it learned about the fueling stations from South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials. The underground fueling stations would make it more difficult for spy satellites to detect signs of a possible missile launch. Pyongyang announced earlier this week that it will launch an experimental communications satellite from North Hamkyong.

TIBET - CHINA: Tibetans in their homeland and in exile have marked the beginning of their traditional New Year holiday with prayers but little celebration. One year after the largest protests in half a century swept across the Tibetan plateau, many Tibetans instead decided to mourn victims of the crackdown. On the first day of the Year of the Earth Ox, foreign journalists reported that Tibetans appeared to be observing an informal boycott of festivities as riot police patrolled the streets of some towns in Tibet. Tibetan exiles on Wednesday held protests at Chinese consulates in New York and Kathmandu, while others gathered to say prayers for their dead compatriots.

ASEAN - BURMA: The United States is urging the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to push for reform and political progress in Burma, as regional leaders gather in Thailand over the next few days. Speaking with reporters Wednesday in Vietnam, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scot Marciel urged ASEAN members to use their contacts in Burma to encourage new thinking and reform, and increase openness and political progress in the country. The U.S. official's comments come as ASEAN leaders are scheduled to begin holding a summit in Thailand on Friday. Burma is a member of the 10-nation bloc.

US - MEXICO - DRUGS: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced the arrests of 755 people during a 21-month crackdown against one of Mexico's most violent drug cartels. Holder said Wednesday that 52 of the suspects were arrested Wednesday in (the U.S. states of) California, Maryland and Minnesota as part of "Operation Xcellerator," which targeted the operations of the infamous Sinaloa cartel. Holder said authorities had seized more than 23 tons of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines. Three aircraft, three maritime vessels, nearly 150 vehicles and 169 weapons were seized as well.

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