ALGERIA BLAST: Bombs have exploded outside the headquarters of Algeria's prime minister and a police station in Algiers. Authorities say the two blasts killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 80. Witnesses say a suicide car bomber carried out the attack at the headquarters of Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem. The other explosion was at a police station in the capital's eastern outskirts.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: The head of a
U.S. delegation that visited North Korea says Pyongyang has offered to take initial steps to shut down its nuclear program within a day of receiving funds which had been frozen in a Macau bank. New Mexico state governor Bill Richardson said today that the North Korean government told him that once the funds are received it will invite the International Atomic Energy Agency to Pyongyang to draft the terms for shutting down the Yongbyon reactor.
RED CROSS - IRAQ: The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is alarmed by the worsening humanitarian situation in Iraq and calls for better protection of Iraqi civilians from continuing violence. In a report issued today the Red Cross reports numerous instances of what it calls clear violations of international humanitarian law.
CHINA - JAPAN: Japanese and
Chinese leaders have signed agreements to cooperate on energy and environmental issues. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the agreements today in Tokyo. At the start of their three-day talks today, Mr. Abe said Mr. Wen's trip was a big step toward building mutually beneficial relations. Mr. Wen said improving bilateral ties is the most important goal of his visit to Japan - the first by a Chinese leader in seven years.
EAST TIMOR - ELECTION: East Timorese officials say there will likely be a second round of voting in the country's presidential election with first round results showing the top three candidates in a virtual tie. With 70-percent of ballots counted from Monday's vote, the election commission says Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta is slightly ahead of rivals Francisco "Lu Olo" Guterres and Fernando "Lasama" de Araujo. All three have about 21 percent of the vote.
INDIA - TRADE TALKS: Senior trade
officials from the United States, European Union, Brazil and India are meeting in New Delhi for talks on breaking a deadlock in global trade negotiations. The officials are holding bilateral talks today. On Thursday they will meet for the first talks between all four key members of the World Trade Organization (known as the Group of 4) since negotiations broke down last July over differences on farm subsidies.
SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka's military says soldiers killed at least 20 Tamil rebels in the north of the island in response to a rebel mortar attack. A pro-Tamil website says the three rebels were killed Tuesday fighting Sri Lankan soldiers in Vavuniya. A rebel spokesman also says the group killed 10 government troops in an ambush Tuesday in the same region. There has been no independent confirmation of either the government or the rebel report.
SUDAN - DAFUR: A senior U.S. diplomat travels to Sudan today to
discuss the crisis in the Darfur region as international pressure grows on Khartoum to accept an expanded peacekeeping force. State Department officials say Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte will press Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to allow United Nations troops into Darfur. South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki is in Sudan for talks on the situation in Darfur.
GOOGLE - DARFUR: The Internet search engine, Google, is using its popular online mapping service to promote awareness of the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region. Google has updated its Google Earth service with high resolution satellite images of Darfur to document destroyed villages and massive fields of refugee camps.
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