Laos has confirmed its first human death from bird flu. The Health Ministry said today (Thursday) that a 15-year-old girl who fell sick last month with the H5N1 virus died Wednesday in a medical facility in neighboring Thailand. A 42-year-old Lao woman is suspected to have died of bird flu last week, but tests have not confirmed whether she was carrying H5N1.
IRAQ: The new U.S. military commander in Iraq, General David
Petraeus, says his top priority is to provide security for Iraqis and that the buildup of American forces will continue. General Petraeus was speaking (today/Thursday) at his first news conference in Baghdad since taking over command last month. Petraeus said since coalition forces began a security crackdown in Baghdad three weeks ago, mostly Sunni Arab insurgents have sought to intensify attacks, which are aimed at provoking a civil war between the country's Shi'ite and Sunni communities
BUSH-LATAM: President Bush heads to Brazil today (Thursday) at the start of a six-day Latin America tour aimed at countering growing anti-American sentiment in the region. Mr. Bush and his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, will hold talks about cooperation in expanding the production of sugar cane-based ethanol in that country.
JAPAN NOKOR TALKS: Talks aimed at normalizing relations between Japan and North Korea have broken down
completely in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi. The nations' diplomats talked for less than an hour today (Thursday) before the North Korean delegation called off the meeting. The delegation also called an early end to Wednesday's meeting. The North Korean envoys are objecting to Japan's insistence that, before any other issues can be addressed, Pyongyang must provide a full accounting of the Japanese citizens that North Korea kidnapped in the 1970's and '80s.
US-JACKPOT: One of the two people holding winning tickets for the largest lottery prize ever in the United States has stepped forward. Ed Nabors, a truck driver from (the southern U.S. state of) Georgia, says he is still numb after winning half the Mega Millions jackpot, which was worth 390 million dollars. Officials say he will take home 80 million dollars after taxes. The other winning ticket was purchased in New Jersey. But that person has not yet claimed his or her share.
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