US - NO. KOREA: Japan's foreign minister and the U.S. ambassador to the country have met in Tokyo, amid reports North Korea is preparing to test-fire a long range missile. Japanese media say Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Ambassador Thomas Schieffer referred to the possible missile test as a "provocative action." Friday, U.S. officials said there were signs North Korea is preparing to launch a missile with inter-continental range. A State Department spokesman warned North Korea would become further isolated if it conducted the missile test.
US - IRAQ DETAINEES: A U.S. military investigation has found that Iraqi detainees were subjected to harsh and unauthorized interrogation techniques by U.S. special operations forces. The investigation found that some Iraqi detainees were stripped naked, chained in small cells for several days, and subjected to loud music that prevented them from sleeping. At least one detainee was fed nothing but bread and water for as long as 17 days. The report of the investigation was released Friday by the Pentagon to the American Civil Liberties Union, which requested it under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
BURMA POL: Burma's state-run media say the military
government has dismissed eight deputy Cabinet ministers and one supreme court judge, without giving reasons for the moves. Those dismissed include the Deputy Minister of Defense, Major-General Khin Maung Win, and Deputy Minister of Industry Thein Thun. The dismissed Supreme Court judge was Khin Maung Aye. New appointments to fill the posts were not announced.
BURMA - US - PROTESTS: U.S. activists say they are planning to hold demonstrations across the country Saturday to demand the release of Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, in recognition of her 61st birthday on Monday. The U.S. Campaign for Burma says it is organizing the demonstration in over 270 locations throughout the United States as well as 13 other countries. It says it will use the events to press the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution on Burma.
NEPAL PEACE TALKS: Nepal's government has
agreed to dissolve its parliament and share power with Maoist rebels who have been waging an insurgency for the past decade. The agreement was announced Friday after a 10-hour meeting between Nepal's prime minister, Girija Prasad Koirala, and the reclusive rebel leader known as Prachanda.
A statement signed by both men announced that Nepal's parliament would be dissolved in exchange for the Maoists dismantling what they called their parallel government in the countryside.
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