KOREA NUCLEAR TEST: China says South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Chinese President Hu Jintao have reached a consensus on how to respond to North Korea's claimed nuclear test. China's official news agency, Xinhua, did not provide further information about today's (Friday's) meeting in Beijing between the two leaders. But South Korean officials said the two men support "necessary and appropriate" measures against North Korea.
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: The Nobel Peace Prize for 2006 has been
won by economist Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh and the Grameen Bank for their efforts to create economic and social opportunities for poor people.The Nobel Committee says lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways to break out of poverty. Through Grameen Bank, the committee says Yunus has developed micro-credit into an important instrument in the struggle against poverty across cultures and civilizations, particularly in helping poor women to advance their lives. Micro-credit is the extension of very small loans to people with no collateral or steady employment. The Nobel Peace Prize winners were chosen from a field of 191 candidates.
AFGHAN ATTACKS: Afghan authorities say a suicide car bomb blast near a NATO convoy in the southern city of Kandahar has killed at least seven civilians. A local police official said two NATO soldiers and several other people were wounded in the blast, which occurred today (Friday) on the main highway that links the city with the Afghan capital, Kabul. The attack took place a day after NATO-led forces and Afghan troops killed at least 20 suspected Taleban insurgents during a clash in southern Afghanistan.
IRAQ: Iraqi authorities say a bomb blast at a police station south of
Baghdad has killed a commander of a special police force and his aide. Officials say several other policemen and civilians were wounded in the explosion that ripped through the police station in the city of Hillah early this (Friday) morning. Iraqi security forces are frequent targets of attacks that have increased since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan about two weeks ago.
TAIWAN POL: Taiwan's opposition members have failed in their second attempt to force referendum on whether to oust embattled President Chen Shui-bian. Lacking support from Mr. Chen's Democratic Progressive Party, opposition members were unable to collect the two-thirds majority needed to approve the bill during today's vote. A previous recall attempt this year also failed.
INDONESIA-ASIA-HAZE: Environment ministers from haze-hit Southeast Asian nations are gathering in Indonesia to discuss ways to combat annual blazes that create a choking cloud of smoke over the region. Ministers from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei are meeting today (Friday) in the Indonesian town of Pekanbara on Sumatra island, one of the worst areas hit by haze each year. Jakarta said on Thursday that it would sign a regional treaty to boost cooperation in tackling the problem, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono apologized earlier this week for the smoke that has blanketed the region.
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