AUSTRALIA - APEC: President Bush is urging China to take an active role in efforts to fight global warming. Speaking to reporters in Sydney, Australia today, Mr. Bush said climate change issues will not be solved unless China is involved in setting goals. China was listed earlier this year as the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. Beijing says the country is still developing and can not afford to implement new energy-efficient technologies. Although the United States and China are the largest producers of greenhouse gases, neither country has ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
BURMA: President Bush has harshly criticized Burma's military
government -- calling its recent crackdown on peaceful protests "inexcusable" repression. Mr. Bush said today that he plans to call attention to Burma's human rights situation at this week's summit of Asian and Pacific leaders in Australia. The U.S. president has applauded jailed Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for promoting democracy despite being under detention for most of the past 18 years. Burmese activists have held a series of rare public demonstrations in recent weeks to protest the government's decision to sharply increase the price of fuel.
JAPAN - NOKOR: Japan and North Korea have opened rare talks in Mongolia, as part of a broader diplomatic effort to end North Korea's nuclear weapons programs. Japanese envoy Yoshiki Mine says to normalize relations, he is prepared to sincerely discuss ways Japan can atone for its colonization of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945. That issue is expected to top the agenda of the two-day talks that opened today in Ulaanbaator. During the talks, Japan will push to address a dispute involving North Korea's kidnapping of Japanese citizens. Mine says relations will not improve unless the issue is resolved.
US - CHINA - TOYS: The U.S. consumer protection agency has
announced a recall of more than 700-thousand Chinese-made toys that officials say contain lead, which can cause brain damage in small children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with U.S. toy company Mattel, said Tuesday that the surface paint on about 675-thousand "Barbie" accessory toys contained excessive levels of lead. The commission said the recall also affects more than 90-thousand products from Mattel's Fisher-Price label. It said no injuries have been reported from use of the products, but it urged consumers to stop using the toys immediately.
IRAQ: Authorities in Iraq say a bomb blast in Baghdad's mostly Shi'ite Sadr City district has killed at least 11 people and wounded about 20 others. Police said the blast occurred in a crowded square (al-Hamza) early today as buses were gathering to pick up passengers heading for work. Sadr City is stronghold of the Mahdi Army militia loyal to radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Meanwhile, the U.S. military says American troops have detained what the military calls a "highly sought individual" suspected of links to the al-Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. The military says the individual was captured during a pre-dawn raid in the southern city of Karbala today.
AUSTRALIA - US - IRAQ: Australian Prime Minister John Howard
has assured President Bush that his country will not reduce its troops in Iraq. The U.S. president met Mr. Howard in Sydney today ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit later this week. At a joint press conference, President Bush welcomed Australia's support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq. He said there are signs of reconciliation in the country, but stressed that Iraq still requires intensive international efforts. Mr. Bush and Mr. Howard signed a new defense trade treaty designed to reduce barriers to the exchange of defense goods, services and information.
GERMANY - TERROR ARRESTS: German authorities say three men have been arrested on charges of planning terrorist attacks on Frankfurt Airport and the U.S. military base in Ramstein. German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung told Germany's ARD broadcaster that the men represented an "imminent threat." The German federal prosecutors office confirmed today that it had ordered the arrest of three members of what it called an Islamic terrorist organization. A German public broadcast network (Sudwestrundfunk) has reported that two of the suspects arrested late Tuesday are German citizens and the third is Pakistani.
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