President Bush says U.S. troops will complete their mission in Iraq despite threats from al-Qaida. Mr. Bush told reporters at his Texas ranch Thursday videotaped threats by al-Qaida's leaders are meant to force the United States to withdraw from Iraq and abandon broader efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.
Mr. Bush was referring to a videotape from al-Qaida deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, that aired on the Arab satellite channel al-Jazeera (Thursday). In the tape, Osama bin Laden's deputy warned the United States it could face thousands of military casualties in Iraq if it does not withdraw.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has pledged to deport foreign extremists who advocate violence, as part of new measures drawn up in the wake of bomb attacks in London. During a news conference today (Friday), Mr. Blair detailed a new deportation proposal that would target any foreign national who fosters hatred and advocates violence. Mr. Blair says the government will be drawing up a list of extremist Web sites and organizations to help determine who should face deportation.
Japan is sending a rescue vessel to help the Russian navy try to save seven sailors trapped in a small submarine nearly 200 meters below the surface, off the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's far east. Russian officials say their deep-sea observation vessel is tangled in a fishing net on the seabed (about 75 kilometers from the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky), but the seven-man crew is reported in good condition.
The head of the World Food Program is urging the Burma to change polices that he says are hurting efforts to combat malnutrition among children. Speaking in Bangkok today (Friday) after a four-day tour of Burma, WFP executive director James Morris said about a third of the children in Burma are chronically malnourished and in some areas the proportion is as high as two-thirds. He noted that many mothers are also malnourished and the humanitarian cost is enormous.
A bilateral meeting between the United States and North Korea in Beijing today
(Friday) failed to reach a solution over Pyongyang's nuclear program. The two sides met for an hour on the 11th day of six party talks with no sign of nearing an agreement.
North Korea continues to demand the right to have a peaceful nuclear program, while the United States insists that Pyongyang completely abandon its nuclear activities. Chief U.S. envoy Christopher Hill indicated today (Friday) he is not ready to compromise, saying that any agreement must protect U.S. interests.
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