PAKISTAN JUSTICE: Pakistani police say 11 people have been killed in clashes between rival political activists in Karachi, as the country's suspended chief justice arrived to meet his supporters. Officials say at least 25 others were wounded today when pro and anti-government activists traded gunfire ahead of huge rallies. Pakistani television showed people marching through Karachi streets carrying handguns, assault rifles and flags of a pro-government party. Scores of vehicles were set on fire.
IRAQ - OIL: A published report says between five million and 15
million dollars worth of oil a day is missing in Iraq, and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling. Citing a draft report from the U.S. Government Accountability office, "The New York Times" said today the losses amount to between 100 thousand and 300 thousand barrels a day of Iraq's declared oil production over the past four years.
UN - ZIMBABWE: Zimbabwe has been selected to head a United Nations panel focused on sustainable development, despite strong objections from some Western nations. The Commission on Sustainable Development voted by secret ballot on Friday to approve the nomination of Francis Nhema, Harare's minster of environment and tourism, to head the panel. The vote was 26-21, with three abstentions. The chair rotates among the world's regions, with Africa getting the pick this year.
TAIWAN - POLITICS: Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang has
announced his resignation, days after he lost the ruling party's primary for the 2008 presidential elections. Mr. Su said today in Taipei that in light of changing political developments, he was resigning in order to "free" himself from his position. Media reports say that Su's resignation has been approved by President Chen Shui-bian.
US - CHINA MILITARY: The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific says China's interest in developing an aircraft carrier fleet is "understandable," and that the United States would be willing to help. Admiral Timothy Keating made the comment today during a news conference in Beijing. Admiral Keating says he believes Chinese leaders are "intrigued" by the idea of having aircraft carriers.
BURMA - EU - TRADE TALKS: Officials from the Association of
South East Asian Nations and the European Union say they have agreed to allow Burma to participate in free trade talks between the two regional blocs. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in an interview with the Financial Times that ASEAN would negotiate collectively despite the political and economic disparities between its member states.
CASPIAN PIPELINE: The leaders of Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have agreed to build a new natural gas pipeline along the shore of the Caspian Sea. The presidents of the three former Soviet countries announced the deal today at a summit in the city of Turkmenbashi. Russia has been pushing for the coastal route for the pipeline over a rival U.S.-backed proposal to cross the Caspian Sea, bypassing Russian territory.
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