US-IRAN-IRAQ: A senior U.S. official has warned Iran to stop helping insurgents in Iraq with weapons technology. U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns says U.S. forces have detained Iranians suspected of "giving very sophisticated explosive technology to Shi'ite insurgent groups" in Iraq. The U.S. diplomat made the remark in an interview with (U.S.) National Public Radio, which is recorded for broadcast later today (Thursday).
AFRICA-CHINA: Chinese President Hu Jintao is heading
to Liberia today (Thursday) as part of an eight-nation tour of Africa aimed at strengthening Beijing's already close economic ties to the continent. Mr. Hu left for Liberia from Cameroon, where he signed a series of economic agreements, including more than 54 million dollars in loans. He will be the first Chinese leader to visit Liberia since the two countries reestablished diplomatic relations in 2003.
MACAU-NOKOR: Hong Kong's leading English language newspaper reports that the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has been living in China's southern territory of Macau for the past three years. The "South China Morning Post" said today (Thursday) that a six-week investigation conducted by the newspaper confirmed that Kim Jong Nam and his family have been living in the former Portuguese enclave.
THAILAND-BIRD FLU: Thai livestock officials have confirmed the country's
third outbreak of bird flu this year - this time among chickens in the country's central region. They say laboratory tests found the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in at least six chickens in Ang Thong province. The second outbreak was confirmed last week in a northeastern (Nong Khai) province bordering Laos.
CAMBODIA-U.S. PEACE CORPS: The U.S. Peace Corps is launching its first ever program in Cambodia. Thirty Peace Corps volunteers are flying out of San Francisco to Phnom Penh Wednesday to begin working in the Asian nation. The Peace Corps says the volunteers will work as English teachers and support local teachers to improve their language skills. It says the volunteers will also work to develop sustainable community activities to enhance Cambodians' quality of life.
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