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4/20/06 World News in Lao: Nepalese Troops Fire on Protesters; 3 Killed Near Kathmandu


Nepal: Security forces in Nepal have fatally shot at least three anti-monarchy protesters during demonstrations just outside a shoot-on-sight curfew zone around the capital, Kathmandu. Witnesses say the troops opened fire on a large crowd of protesters today (Thursday) in Kalanki, on Kathmandu's western edge. They also used tear gas. Hospital officials in Kathmandu say they are treating at least 37 injured people, several in critical condition.

China-US: Chinese President Hu Jintao has arrived here in Washington for summit talks with President Bush at the White House, due to begin in a few hours. The president and Mrs. (Laura) Bush will formally welcome Mr. Hu and his wife (Liu Yongqing) to the U.S. capital (in a ceremony on the south lawn of the White House) before the two leaders begin their talks in the Oval Office on a series of urgent economic and foreign-policy issues.

Iraq: Iraq's prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, has asked his Shi'ite Alliance to decide whether he should step aside to break a deadlock in efforts to form a unity government. An Alliance spokesman (Jawad al-Maliki) read a statement today (Thursday) that quotes Mr. al-Jaafari as saying it is up to the coalition of Shi'ite groups to decide his political future. Shi'ite Alliance officials say the coalition could meet soon to consider Mr. al-Jaafari's request, and they asked for postponement of today's scheduled meeting of Parliament.

SOKOR-Japan: To kyo says it is briefly delaying plans to conduct an oceanographic survey near islands claimed by both Japan and South Korea as the nations work to prevent a diplomatic dispute from escalating. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso says the countries' vice ministers and ambassadors are holding talks about the contested islands.

Burma-Blasts: Security officials in Burma say five explosions have rattled the city of Rangoon. Witnesses say at least one of the blasts detonated outside a post office, shattering its windows. Other explosions occurred near electricity transformers in the center of the city around 2 A-M local time today

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