ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

US Lawmakers: No Sign of Mistreatment of Hmong in Laos Camp


HAITI - EARTHQUAKE: Traumatized Haitians have spent the night on streets of capital, Port-au-Prince, fearing aftershocks after Tuesday's 7.0 magnitude earthquake left much of the city in ruins. Tens of thousands of people are feared dead and countess others are trapped in the rubble. Witnesses say survivors sang religious songs into the pre-dawn hours of Thursday as they awaited a massive relief effort by international aid organizations and governments around the world. Cargo planes began arriving late Wednesday at the airport with rescue teams and supplies from the U.S., Brazil, Iceland and other countries.

US - HAITI: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the U.N. special envoy for Haiti, says the earthquake that struck the island nation is one of the greatest humanitarian emergencies in the history of the Americas. Writing in The Washington Post newspaper, Mr. Clinton says Haiti immediately needs food, water, shelter and basic medical supplies. But once the current emergency passes, Mr. Clinton says the work of recovery and reconstruction will remain. He said plans for long-term development in Haiti by the Haitian government, neighboring countries and international agencies cannot be abandoned.

US - LAOS - HMONG: Three U.S. lawmakers who visited Laos recently say they saw no sign of mistreatment in a camp for ethnic Hmong people expelled last month from Thailand. Congressman Mike Honda told the French news agency Wednesday they had heard rumors that the Hmong were being treated poorly, or even executed in the camps. But he said at the camp he visited, named Pha Lak, he saw no sign of ill treatment. Honda traveled with Anh "Joseph" Cao and Eni Faleomavaega, who have also told reporters they saw and heard no evidence of human rights violations.

THAILAND - UNREST: Authorities in southern Thailand say a Buddhist couple was shot and killed by suspected Islamic militants Thursday, the latest victims in a bloody six-year long insurgency. The couple were riding to work on a motorcycle in Pattani province when they were gunned down. Police say after the shooting, the assailants burned their bodies. About 4,000 people have been killed in the southern provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala since 2004, when ethnic Malay Muslims began fighting for an autonomous homeland from the predominantly Buddhist government in Bangkok.

GOOGLE - CHINA: China is warning foreign firms to comply with government controls over the Internet, as officials begin to respond to a threat by U.S.-based Internet company Google to pull out of the country. In a statement issued Thursday, Cabinet official Wang Chen said it was the responsibility of all Internet companies operating in China to "guide public opinion." Wang said Beijing does not condone hacker attacks (an attempt to electronically break into a Website and deface it or steal information), since it is constantly the target of such attacks.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani security officials say a missile strike by a U.S. drone has killed at least 12 militants in the North Waziristan tribal region. Officials say the missile strike targeted Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, but it is not clear if Mehsud was killed in the attack. The missile hit a militant training camp in the Pasalkot area of North Waziristan Thursday. The area near the Afghan border is a known sanctuary for al-Qaida and Taliban militants. The United States has escalated its use of drone (pilotless aircraft) missile strikes in Pakistan since the beginning of the year.

IRAQ: An Iraqi court has sentenced 11 men to death for the massive truck bombings in Baghdad last August that killed more than 100 people. The court convicted the men of planning and implementing the August 19 attacks on the Iraqi ministries of finance and foreign affairs. The attacks left more than 500 others wounded. Iraq is preparing for nationwide parliamentary elections in March, and officials have warned that insurgents trying to disrupt the vote could launch attacks as the election nears.

INDIA - HINDU FESTIVAL: A stampede at the world's largest religious gathering in India has killed seven Hindu pilgrims. Hindu pilgrims poured into the northern Indian city of Haridwar Thursday for the beginning of the Kumbh Mela festival. More than 10 million people are expected to bathe in the Ganges River during the festival. It is held every three years and rotates among four Indian cities. The stampede broke out on Gangasagar island, where the Ganges flows into the Bay of Bengal. The pilgrims include Hindus from all walks of life who believe a dip in the waters washes away sins, and grants release from the cycle of birth and death. (News Updates)

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