THAILAND COUP: Thailand's coup leaders have appointed an anti-corruption body to investigate alleged graft under deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. It is not clear if the nine-member body appointed today (Friday) will investigate only reports of corruption allegedly committed by Mr. Thaksin and his administration, or if the panel will expand its investigation to all government officials. The military government has detained at least four of Mr. Thaksin's top aides and fired or detained police officers and others close to the former prime minister.
PALESTINIANS - ISRAEL: A Hamas official says there will be no
Palestinian unity government with the moderate Fatah party if recognizing Israel is a condition. But the aide to Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said today (Friday) Hamas is prepared to back a 10 year truce with Israel. He spoke one day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly any new Palestinian government would recognize Israel.
President Bush is meeting today (Friday) with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf at the White House for talks on the war on terrorism. Ahead of the talks, General Musharraf told CBS television (60 Minutes) the United States threatened to bomb Pakistan if it did not cooperate in the U.S.-led war on terror after the September 11th attacks in 2001. He said (in the interview to be broadcast Sunday) the threat came from Richard Armitage -- an assistant U.S. secretary of state at the time. The State Department has not commented on General Musharraf's remarks.
INDONESIA - EXECUTIONS: Indonesians angered by today's
(Friday's) executions of three Christian militants have rioted in several central and eastern towns, throwing rocks at government offices and torching cars. In Atambua in West Timor, the hometown of one of the executed men, at least one thousand Christians protesters broke into the jail there. Officials say about 200 inmates escaped. Violence has also been reported in East Nusa Tenggara province and Central Sulawesi.
IRAQ: Iraqi police have found at least 10 more bodies in Baghdad - the latest victims of apparent sectarian violence. The discovery of the bodies comes after the special United Nations investigator on torture said torture in Iraq may be worse now than it was when Saddam Hussein was in power. Speaking to reporters in Geneva Thursday, Manfred Nowak said torture in Iraq is - as he put it - totally out of hand. He said he has reports of torture at official Iraqi detention centers and by private militias.
POPE - ISLAM: Pope Benedict has invited the ambassadors of
Muslim countries to the Vatican to meet with him next week in an effort to explain comments about Islam that the Roman Catholic leader says were misunderstood. Monday's meeting at Castel Gandolfo, the pope's summer residence, will also include Muslim religious leaders. Pope Benedict said the comment about Islam and violence are not his own views. He says he deeply respects Muslims as worshippers of one god.
HUNGARY PROTESTS: Thousands of Hungarians protested
peacefully into the early morning hours of Friday calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany. Four days of protests have followed the prime minister's admission in a tape broadcast Sunday that he lied repeatedly to voters about the economy.
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