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4/21/06 World News in Lao: Nepal Protesters Defy Curfew to Stage Anti-Monarchy Rallies


Nepal: Tens of thousands of anti-monarchy protesters have staged a rally in Nepal, despite a curfew and shoot-to-kill orders from the government. Witnesses say the huge crowd of protesters marched, waved party flags and chanted anti-monarchy slogans today (Friday) in the Kalanki district on the outskirts of the capital, Kathmandu. The protesters are demanding that King Gyanendra give up control of the government. Nepal state radio says King Gyanendra will address the nation late today.

Pakistan - Militant: Pakistan security officials say soldiers have killed a suspected senior al-Qaida militant in a gun battle in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan. Officials say the man is believed to be Abu Marwan al-Suri, a Saudi Arabian national. They say he was killed Thursday at a checkpoint near Khar, the main town in the Bajaur tribal district, when he opened fire on security personnel, killing one of them.

Japan - Afghanistan: Japan's government has approved a six-month extension of the country's naval mission to support U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan Japanese officials said today (Friday) that the extension goes into effect on May 1st, when the current mission is set to expire.

China - US: Chinese President Hu Jintao wraps up his four-day visit to the United States today (Friday) with a policy speech. His address at Yale University in (the northeastern state of) Connecticut comes one day after Mr. Hu held talks with President Bush at the White House. They discussed a number of key issues, including trade, human rights and the nuclear disputes involving North Korea and Iran.

Cambodia - Iraq: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has rejected a request by the United States to send troops to Iraq. The Cambodian leader said today (Friday) that he will not send forces because the reconstruction effort in Iraq is not a United Nations' operation.

Cambodia Pol: Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hun Sen says the country will abolish prison sentences for defamation, making the crime punishable only by fines. The Cambodian leader said today (Friday) that the change has to be approved by parliament later this year before taking effect.

Malaysia - Burma Fire: Officials in Malaysia say a fire at Burma's embassy in Kuala Lumpur has killed one person. It is not clear if the victim was an embassy worker. No other injuries were reported from today's (Friday's) fire. Officials say the building has been damaged, but the extent is not yet known. Authorities say they are investigating the cause of the fire.

US - Casino Jackpot: A great-grandmother from (the state of) New Jersey left an Atlantic City casino this week a happier -- and richer -- woman. Eighty-four-year-old Josephine Crawford won a 10-million dollar jackpot at Harrah's, the biggest win ever at an Atlantic City casino. The widow and retired waitress has gambled at Atlantic City for nearly thirty years, but never won more than a thousand dollars.

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