US-Iraq: President Bush has pledged to stand by Iraq's new government until it is capable of defending itself. During a surprise visit to Baghdad Tuesday, Mr. Bush told (Iraqi) Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki the future of country is in his hands, and that the United States will help him succeed. (Speaking in Arabic,) Prime Minister Maliki said his government is determined to succeed and will defeat terrorism with the help of the United States. Mr. Bush, who is now back in Washington, also met with Iraq's president and the speaker of the Iraqi parliament while he was in Baghdad.
US-Vietnam-WTO: The United States Congress has introduced bills that would normalize trade relations with Vietnam, one of the last hurdles in Hanoi's bid to join the World Trade Organization. If approved by a U.S. Congressional vote, the legislation would grant Hanoi permanent normal trade relations status. The two countries paved the way for Vietnam's entry into the W.T.O in late May when U.S. officials in Hanoi signed a trade deal with Vietnam.
Indonesia-Volcano: Authorities in Indonesia have placed the Mount Merapi volcano on the highest alert level again, following a spike in activity. Reuters news agency quotes an official at the state-run volcano monitoring center as saying the status was upgraded today (Wednesday) because of increasing hot clouds.
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