HONG KONG-ANNIVERSARY: Chinese President Hu Jintao led
celebrations in Hong Kong today (Sunday) to mark the former British colony's 10th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule. The territory's red flag was raised and Buddhist monks rang bells to celebrate the day Britain handed over the territory to China after 156 years of colonization. In a speech this morning, Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is on his first official trip to the city, said democracy in Hong Kong is growing in an orderly way. But he did not mention any timetable for universal suffrage.
IRAQ: Iraqi government figures show the number of civilians killed in Iraq declined in June, compared to the previous month. The data compiled from the Interior, Defense and Health Ministries show some 12-hundred civilians were killed in Iraq last month, a drop of more than 35 percent from May. The decline comes months after the start of a U.S. troop surge in Baghdad and al-Anbar province to quell violence. Saturday, U.S. troops in Iraq said they killed 26 suspected militants in a raid in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, the stronghold of the anti-Western Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
AFGHANISTAN: Afg han officials say an investigation into NATO and U.S.-led air strikes in southern Afghanistan shows that 62 Taleban and 45 civilians have been killed. The toll was the latest in a series of conflicting reports about how many people died when fighter jets pounded militants in a village in southern Helmand province late Friday. A NATO spokesman has acknowledged that some civilians were killed in Helmand province, but has said the death toll is nowhere near as high as Afghan officials have claimed.
BUSH-PUTIN: U.S. President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to discuss several contentious issues when the Russian leader visits the Bush family home in (the northeastern U.S. coastal state of) Maine today (Sunday). Heavy security is in place at the compound in Kennebunkport for Mr. Putin's arrival late Sunday afternoon at the start of a two-day visit.
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