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Bush Vetoes Iraq Funding Bill


US - IRAQ: President Bush has vetoed an emergency funding bill for the U.S. military that sets a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. In an address to the nation Tuesday, Mr. Bush said the bill substitutes the opinions of lawmakers for the judgment of military commanders. He said it also mandates what he called "a rigid and artificial" deadline for withdrawal that sets a date for failure.

IRAQ: The U.S. military says another group of 37-hundred American troops has arrived in the Iraqi capital, joining U.S. combat units deployed in the city to support the security crackdown launched in mid-February. A military statement today said the new brigade (from the northwestern U.S. state of Washington) will help Iraqi security forces clear, control and retain key areas of Baghdad in order to reduce violence.

AFGHANISTAN - VIOLENCE: U.S.-led forces and Afghan police say they have killed five militants during a gunbattle at a checkpoint in southern Afghanistan. Military officials say eight militants driving in three vehicles opened fire at troops late Tuesday at the checkpoint in Kandahar province's Marus district. The troops returned fire, killing five militants. Three others escaped. No coalition or Afghan forces were wounded.

INDONESIA - BLAST: Indonesian police say a grenade has exploded outside a mosque in the eastern city of Ambon. Police say today's attack was meant to terrorize people and that no one was wounded. It is unclear who threw the grenade. The city was the center of sectarian violence from 1999 to 2002, when fighting between Muslims and Christians killed at least five thousand people.

MACAU - PROTEST: Authorities in the southern Chinese territory of Macau are investigating whether police injured a man when they fired warning shots into the air during a Labor Day protest. Officials said today a man in his 50s was hit by a bullet while he was driving his motorbike near the rally. Media reports in Hong Kong say the bullet hit his neck and passed into his lung. The man was hospitalized for treatment.

NOKOR - DEFECTORS: South Korean media say four North Koreans have crossed the two nation's contested maritime border in a wooden boat and are seeking political asylum in the South . The reports today say authorities picked up the group late Saturday night near South Korea's Yeonpyong island in the Yellow Sea. South Korean officials, who did not wish to be named, have confirmed that the four say they want to defect from North Korea.

MEDIA FREEDOM - EAST ASIA: A U.S.-based media watchdog says Burma and North Korea impose some of the strictest media controls in the world. The annual report by Freedom House says North Korea is at the bottom of a list of 195 countries because media is barely able to operate there and because the press acts only as a mouthpiece for the government. Burma landed just behind North Korea. China, Laos and Vietnam also were ranked low on the list.

US - IMMIGRATION: About 200-thousand people rallied in several U.S. cities Tuesday to demand more rights for illegal immigrants. The biggest rally was in Chicago, where around 150-thousand marchers waved American flags and called for unity among immigrants and their supporters. Many protesters said they were angry about a recent FBI raid in a Mexican neighborhood in the city.

WORLD BANK - WOLFOWITZ: The former head of the World Bank's ethics committee says bank President Paul Wolfowitz did not consult with the panel over a promotion and a large pay raise he arranged for his girlfriend. Ad Melkert made the assertion Tuesday before a special panel investigating the matter. Melkert's statement contradicts Wolfowitz's previous statement that the board approved the action.

SUDAN - ICC: The International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague (in the Netherlands) has issued arrest warrants for a Sudanese government minister and a militia leader accused of war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region. The arrest warrants charge Ahmed Haroun, Sudan's secretary of state for humanitarian affairs, and Ali Kosheib, a leader of the Janjaweed militia, with 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including murder, torture, and rape.

FRANCE - POLITICS: France's presidential election finalists are to debate today in a two-hour, televised event ahead of this Sunday's vote. The debate between conservative frontrunner Nicholas Sarkozy and Socialist Segolene Royal begins at 9 p.m. local time and is expected to draw more than 20 million French viewers - an audience size usually reserved for World Cup soccer finals.

Listen to our World News for details.

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