LAOS ADB LOANS: The Asian Development Bank (A.D.B.) says it will lend the government of Laos 100 million dollars between 2007 and 2011. The A.D.B. says the aid will go toward basic education, preventative health services, diversification of small farms and helping small and medium enterprises. The bank says Laos has made a commitment to improving the government's financial management. The A.D.B.'s representative in Laos says that, although the assistance is smaller than in previous years, success in fiscal management and continued economic growth in Laos could lead to bigger loans in the future. The time frame for the loans tracks the government's five-year socio-economic development strategy. The A.D.B. says Laos is one of the poorest countries in the Asia and Pacific region.
SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka authorities say at least 67 people--most of them sailors--were killed today by a suicide bomb attack on a military convoy. Scores of other sailors were wounded by the explosion.
KOREA NUCLEAR TEST: The leading U.S. envoy on North Korea's nuclear program is in Japan to discuss Pyongyang's nuclear threat.Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill is scheduled today to talk with Kenichiro Sasae, Japan's chief delegate to the six-nation talks on dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear program.
HAWAII EARTHQUAKE: The U.S. Pacific state of Hawaii has been declared a disater area after a strong earthqake hit the island chain early Sunday, causing damage but no serious injuries.
INDONESIA BIRD FLU: Indonesian health authorities say an elderly woman who died overnight is the country's 54th fatal bird flu case. The 67-year-old woman was from the town of Bandung in West Java. An 11-year-old boy died from bird flu in a Jakarta hospital Saturday night.
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