Pakistan's military says at least 50 armed students have been killed in a raid on the Red Mosque in Islamabad, while eight soldiers have died. Hospital officials say at least 15 soldiers and several militants have been wounded in the fighting. At least 50 militants are reported to have been arrested. At a news conference today (Tuesday), military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said two-thirds of the mosque has been cleared.
US-IRAQ: A new poll shows opposition to
the Iraq war at its highest level ever in the United States, as the Senate debates military spending priorities this week. The poll by USA Today and Gallup surveyed more than one thousand Americans between Friday and Sunday. Of those, more than 70 percent favor removing nearly all U.S. troops from Iraq by April. Only one in five (20 percent) said the increase in U.S. forces in Iraq since January has made any difference. The poll also showed President Bush's approval rating has dropped to 29 percent, down from 33 percent in early June.
NOKOR-NUCLEAR: China says it wants the six-nation talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program to resume by the middle of the month. A foreign ministry spokesman (Qin Gang) told reporters in Beijing today (Tuesday) that China is working closely with the other countries to set a date for the talks. Officials close to the negotiations said earlier that the discussions are likely to resume in Beijing on July 18th. Representatives from North and South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan last met in February. At that meeting, North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program in exchange for political concessions and fuel aid.
THAILAND-THAKSIN: Thailand's Supreme Court has agreed to hear a corruption case against deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The case accuses Mr. Thaksin and his wife, Pojamarn, of wrongdoing in the purchase of land. It is the first corruption case of a deposed prime minister to reach Thailand's top court. A representative of the nine-member judges panel that will hear the case said today (Tuesday) the first trial would be held on August 14th. Mr. Thaksin and his lawyers have said he will not return to Thailand until he can be assured a fair trial.
PARIS-CHARM OFFENSIVE: Paris is launching a charm offensive to try to make the city more welcoming to tourists. On Monday, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe began the campaign near the Eiffel Tower to encourage Parisians to be friendlier toward visitors and visitors to try more French products.
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