Burma Protest: Witnesses in Burma say as many as 100-thousand people have taken to the streets of Rangoon to protest the country's military leadership.
Today's (Monday's) non-violent rally is the biggest challenge to the government since 1988, when the military killed hundreds of pro-democracy activists to stop mass demonstrations.
The latest round of protests began last month after the government raised the price of fuel. They have since turned into a general demonstration against Burma's military leaders and the poor conditions facing Burma's impoverished citizens. Burma's revered Buddhist monks are at the forefront of the movement. Dressed in saffron-colored robes, they wind their way through Rangoon's streets each day chanting prayers for democracy and national reconciliation.
Their presence has empowered civilians who normally cower at the threat of military retaliation.
Indonesia – Militant: Indonesian prison officials say a militant serving a 20-year term for masterminding a deadly cafe bombing in 2004 has escaped from jail in the east of the country.
Officials at the Gunungsari prison on Sulawesi island say the inmate, Jasmin bin Kasau, escaped late Friday by using a rope to climb over a wall.
He was serving a prison term for his involvement in the bombing of a cafe on Sulawesi island more than three years ago, which killed four people.
Muslim-Christian violence in Sulawesi killed around one thousand people between 1998 and 2001.
Vietnam – SoKor Brides: Vietnamese police say they have broken up an illegal marriage brokering service in Ho Chi Minh City.
Police said today (Monday) they raided a restaurant Sunday where 65 young women were waiting to be introduced to two South Korean men.
Vietnam's "Thanh Nien" newspaper says the brokers can earn 15-hundred dollars for each successful match they make.
Commercial matchmaking services are illegal in Vietnam, but each year thousands of young Vietnamese women marry men from South Korea and Taiwan.
The International Organization for Migration, Vietnam's Women's Union and the Justice Ministry have established a Web site (www.vovietchonghan.org) to inform Vietnamese women about the risks of marrying unknown foreign men and living abroad.
Articles on the Web site discuss the threat of human trafficking, abuse and even death.
Japan Pol: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has apologized to the nation for creating a political crisis with his abrupt resignation earlier this month.
Making his first public appearance since his resignation, Mr. Abe said today (Monday) that illness was the main reason why he decided to step down. He spoke in a weak voice from a Tokyo hospital.
The prime minister was hospitalized with a stress-related gastro-intestinal disorder 11 days ago, a day after announcing he would step down. His resignation followed a scandal-plagued first year in office.
On Sunday, Mr. Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party chose former chief Cabinet secretary Yasuo Fukuda to take over the party and become prime minister. Parliament will formally vote Fukuda into office Tuesday.
Pakistan Pol: Pakistan riot police detained dozens of activists as they rallied outside the country's Supreme Court today (Monday), protesting President Pervez Musharraf's bid for re-election.
Since Saturday, authorities in Pakistan have been clamping down on opponents to General Musharraf as the Supreme Court finishes its review of a series of legal challenges against him.
The challenges argue that General Musharraf's dual role as military chief and political leader is not legal, and that he is not eligible to run for re-election.
General Musharraf has offered to step down as military chief if he is re-elected as president in the October sixth election.
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