NoKor – Nuclear: The chief U.S. nuclear envoy on North Korea has met with a top North Korean official in Beijing ahead of this week's six-party negotiations.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill used the word "businesslike" to describe his lunch meeting today (Tuesday) with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan. He said they will meet again this afternoon.
The pair are in Beijing for a meeting Wednesday of the chief delegates from the six-nation talks on ending North Korea's nuclear program.
Envoys from South Korea, Japan, China and Russia will also be joining the talks.
Chinese state media quoted Kim as saying the six-party talks will focus on the next stage of the nuclear disarmament process.
U.N. inspectors confirmed Monday that North Korea had shut down its main nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.
Japan – Quake: Japanese authorities are investigating a possible leak at a nuclear power plant damaged in Monday's deadly earthquake in the country's north.
Officials at the (Kashiwazaki Kariwa) plant say around 100 barrels containing low-level nuclear waste tipped over and some lost their lids during the six-point-eight magnitude earthquake.
The earthquake near Niigata prefecture triggered a fire and caused a radiation leak at the same plant Monday. Water containing radioactive materials spilled from the plant into the sea.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant, says both accidents are not threats to the environment.
The government has ordered the plant to remain shut until its safety measures are thoroughly reviewed. Similar reviews have been ordered for nuclear power plants across the country.
China Slavery: A Chinese court has sentenced one man to death and 28 others to prison for their roles in a slave labor scandal at brick kilns in northern China.
A Shanxi provincial court today (Tuesday) imposed the death sentence on a brickyard employee (Zhao Yanbing) after he confessed to beating a worker to death.
His supervisor, the foreman of a kiln in Shanxi (Heng Tinghan), received a life prison term.
Other kiln employees were convicted on various charges including illegal detention, forced labor and causing intentional injury.
They had run the kilns like prisons, beating and forcing hundreds of children and adults to work 14 to 16 hour days for little or no pay.
Many of the workers, including mentally handicapped people, were freed last month when thousands of soldiers raided kilns in Henan and Shanxi provinces.
Thailand South: Police in Thailand say a bomb attack has killed a police officer and wounded 18 people in the country's southern province of Yala.
Two bombs exploded in this (Tuesday) morning's attacks. There were no injuries when the first bomb, planted on a motorcycle, went off during rush hour. The casualties occurred when the second device detonated as police and reporters rushed to the scene.
Bombings and drive-by shootings occur almost daily in Thailand's southern region, where an Islamist insurgency has killed more than two-thousand people since 2004.
Cambodia - Religion: Predominantly Buddhist Cambodia has banned Christian missionaries from door-to-door proselytizing, which the government says disturbs society.
The directive from the Ministry of Cults and Religions also prohibits missionaries from using money or any other means to convince people to convert to their religion.
Local authorities say missionaries have been known to use sweets and money to persuade children to abandon Buddhism in favor of Christianity.
Most of Cambodia's 13 million people are Buddhist. Its Muslim and Christian minorities largely live in peace, although some house churches have been attacked in the past.
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