NOKOR - NUCLEAR: The chief U.S. nuclear negotiator is calling on North Korea to start shutting down its nuclear reactor now that its money in Macau has been unfrozen. Speaking in Seoul today, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said North Korea must follow through on its part of a February agreement to shut down the Yongbyon reactor by Saturday.
CHINA - JAPAN: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says his country and Japan should heal their wounds from war and work toward more cooperation. Mr. Wen made the appeal today in Tokyo in a speech to Japan's parliament on the second day of his visit to the country. He told lawmakers that Japan's invasion of China in the 1930's and 40's left indescribable scars in the hearts of the Chinese people.
THAILAND - SWITZERLAND: Thailand's king has pardoned a Swiss man who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for spray-painting graffiti over images of the revered monarch Officials in Thailand's northern city of Chiang Mai said today that Oliver Rudolf Jufer will be deported back to Switzerland. Jufer was sentenced in late March for five counts of lese majeste, the crime of insulting the monarchy.
INDIA - MISSILE: India says it has successfully test-fired a missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads across much of Asia and the Middle East. India's defense ministry says the Agni-three missile was launched today from Wheeler Island, off the eastern Indian state of Orissa. The ministry described the test as a "milestone" in India's development of missile technology.
AFGHANISTAN: An Afghan official says U.S. and Afghan forces have killed 35 Taleban militants in a battle in the south of the country. The spokesman for Zabul province's governor says the fighting erupted late Wednesday in the Shahjoy district. The official says Afghan forces called in support from U.S. warplanes after Taleban militants attacked.
PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Pakistani officials say a week of fighting between Sunnis and Shi'ites in northwestern villages has killed at least 40 people and injured 100 others. Officials say suspected Sunni gunmen raided a Shi'ite village Wednesday and killed five people in the latest clash this week.
IRAQ: An Iraqi Sunni lawmaker has been killed in an explosion inside the parliament building in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. Officials say Mohammed Awad -- a member of the National Dialogue Front -- was killed in the blast, which occurred in a cafeteria while several lawmakers were having lunch today.
US - SUDAN: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte will arrive in Sudan today to try to convince the government to accept U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur. State Department officials are not saying Negroponte will deliver an ultimatum to President Omar al-Bashir. But they say the veteran diplomat wants to see tangible action from Khartoum on removing any obstacles to an expanded presence in the war-ravaged region.
MEXICO - BILLIONAIRE: Forbes magazine says Mexican telecom giant Carlos Slim has become the world's second richest man, and is just a few billion dollars away from first place, held by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates Forbes says that in the two months since it calculated its annual ranking of billionaires, Slim added four billion dollars to his fortune.
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