United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland is visiting earthquake-ravaged areas of Pakistan as aid workers try to reach more remote towns and villages in the region. Mr. Egeland is to discuss relief efforts with top government officials as well as other aid agencies.
Iraqi and U.S. forces are stepping up security
throughout the country ahead of Saturday's national referendum on a new constitution. Security forces are preparing to enforce a night-time curfew, starting tonight (Thursday) local time. They are also preparing to close Iraq's borders, ban all travel between the country's provinces and erect barriers around polling stations.
Russian news reports say more than 60 people, including 50 militants, have been killed in fighting between security forces and gunmen.
China says it rejects a U.S. congressional report critical of its human rights record.
The United States says it plans to give Laos more than three million dollars to fight bird flu. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt and Lao Health Minister Ponmek Dalaloy announced the funding package together on Thursday (Thursday) in Laos. The U.S. assistance will help develop diagnostic laboratories and improve response and reporting of outbreaks of the virus, especially in remote areas.
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