Israel Blast: Israeli officials say Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is convening a Cabinet meeting today (Tuesday) to discuss possible responses to the suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv that killed nine people Monday and wounded at least 60 others. (Israeli) Government sources say the Israeli military is seeking permission for an assault that could include targeting Hamas political leaders for the first time since the militant group took over the Palestinian Authority. Hamas has defended the bombing as "self defense" against Israeli crackdowns in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Iran Nuclear: Diplomats from the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and other countries are convening today (Tuesday)
in Moscow for talks on the Iranian nuclear standoff. The talks will set the stage for a key Security Council meeting next week (on April 28th), when the Security Council is to hear a report about the Iranian nuclear issue from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Hu-US: China's President Hu Jintao is on the way from Beijing to the United States (today / Thursday), where he will try to convince the American people that China is not a threat to the West. The focal point of Mr. Hu's visit will be a summit with President Bush on Thursday in Washington. The leaders are expected to discuss trade issues surrounding China's 200-billion-dollar trade surplus with the United States.
Thailand Unrest: Thailand says it is extending a state of emergency in three southern provinces to cope with an insurgency that has killed at least 12-hundred people. Acting Prime Minister Chitchai Wannasathit said today (Tuesday) emergency rule will be extended for another three months (in the provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala). Emergency rule, which was imposed in July (for renewable 90-day periods), allows the government to use censorship, searches and seizures and wiretaps. Security forces can detain suspects without charges, and also have immunity from prosecution.
Vietnam Congress: Vietnam's ruling communists opened a party congress today (Tuesday) with plans to tackle corruption, chart economic reforms and reshape the party's leadership. 72-year-old President Tran Duc Luong and 68-year-old Prime Minister Phan Van Khai are expected to announce their retirement, and the future of the party's general secretary (Nong Duc Manh) is also in question during the weeklong meeting.