KENYA - PLANE CRASH: Cameroon state radio says a Kenya Airways jetliner with 114 people on board has crashed in southern Cameroon. The radio report says the Boeing 737-800 jetliner, bound for Nairobi, went down near the town of Niete, in southern Cameroon, after taking off from Douala today. There was no word on casualties. Kenya Airways has not confirmed the report.
SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan military officials say the navy has sunk two Tamil Tiger boats off the east coast, killing at least 10 rebels. A military spokesman says the boats were sunk in a pre-dawn sea battle today. Two Sri Lankan sailors were wounded. He says the two vessels were among a flotilla of about 25 rebel boats moving in the waters some 225 kilometers northeast of the capital, Colombo.
AFGHANISTAN: Authorities in Afghanistan say a Taleban suicide bomber has killed two policemen in an attack in southern Helmand province. Police say a bomber with explosives strapped to his body rushed up to a police vehicle early today in the Nad Ali district and blew himself up. Reports say the Taleban has claimed responsibility for the attack. Helmand province is the frequent scene of the Islamic militant group's attacks.
PAKISTAN - JUSTICE: Thousands of demonstrators are expected to gather in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore today for a rally to show support of the country's suspended chief justice. Police Friday detained about 400 opposition activists ahead of the demonstration for Iftikhar Chaudhry in what authorities called a preventive measure. Chaudhry will be in Lahore today to deliver a speech to Lahore's Court Bar Association.
ADB - ASEAN: Asian foreign ministers have agreed to pool their vast foreign currency reserves to weather financial crises like the one that battered the region a decade ago. Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, along with China, South Korea and Japan said today they have agreed that a self-managed reserve pooling arrangement is an appropriate way to secure regional liquidity in times of crisis. The region has more than three trillion dollars in reserves.
FRANCE - POLITICS: French citizens in the country's overseas territories have begun casting ballots in a presidential runoff election to determine who will succeed President Jacques Chirac. Today's early voting comes a day before voters in mainland France cast their ballots for either conservative Nicolas Sarkozy or Socialist Segolene Royal. Early voting opens in the tiny island territories of St. Pierre and Miquelon off Canada's east coast. Voting also will take place today on the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, and in French Polynesia in the southern Pacific Ocean.
CHINA - TAIWAN - ST LUCIA: China has severed diplomatic relations with the tiny Caribbean nation of St. Lucia over its decision to restore diplomatic ties with Taiwan. China's official Xinhua news agency today quoted the country's ambassador to St. Lucia, Gu Huaming, has saying that he strongly objected to St. Lucia's decision to restore relations with Taiwan. China had already expressed opposition to Tuesday's resumption of relations between St. Lucia and Taiwan.
THAILAND UNREST: Police in southern Thailand say gunmen shot to death a Muslim man and his two children, in the latest violence to plague the restive region. Authorities say the man and his children were gunned down Friday while coming home from a mosque in Yala province. The identity of the assailants was not known. Meanwhile, protests by hundreds of Muslims continued in Yala province calling for the unconditional release of more than 20 suspected insurgents recently arrested.
US - VIETNAM - BUSINESS: Executives from 18 major U.S. corporations are discussing business opportunities with Vietnamese officials at a forum sponsored by the Washington-based US-ASEAN Business Council. Representatives of companies such as General Electric, Boeing and Exxon are in Hanoi to explore investment opportunities following Vietnam's recent entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
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