Thai Coup Reaction: The military overthrow of Thailand's prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, is causing condemnation and concern worldwide. Australia's foreign minister (Alexander Downer) says the coup is "unacceptable," and he is urging an immediate restoration of democratic rule in Bangkok. New Zealand also criticized the military action. Prime Minister Helen Clark says her country condemns any attempt to overturn a government by unconstitutional and undemocratic means. The European Union demanded an immediate return to democratic order. Other leaders took a less critical tone, while still voicing deep concern about events in Thailand.
Japan Pol: Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has chosen Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe as its new party leader, which virtually assures his election as Japan's next prime minister. The staunch conservative's victory was widely expected today (Wednesday). Abe captured two-thirds of the 702 votes in the election at the party's Tokyo headquarters.
UN General Assembly : United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan on Tuesday opened his last General Assembly session, and offered a harsh assessment of the state of the world. With his 10-year term coming to a close, Mr. Annan used the first day of the 61st General Assembly to express concern about poverty, disease, war and terrorism. And he said continuing hostilities in the Arab-Israeli conflict are threatening the U.N.'s credibility.
IMF-World Bank-WTO Talks: The World Bank and International Monetary Fund's annual meetings have ended after two days of discussions in Singapore on funding for developing nations and a call to revive collapsed world trade talks. In closing remarks today (Wednesday), World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz repeated his call for more aid for developing countries.
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