Witnesses in Burma say tens of thousands of Buddhist monks and their supporters have defied warnings from the military government to stop their pro-democracy demonstrations. Observers say orange-robed monks and civilians wound through downtown Rangoon today (Tuesday) carrying banners and chanting pro-democracy slogans. Witnesses say some of the demonstrators carried the "fighting peacock" flag, the emblem of the student unions that led a mass uprising in 1988. The army crushed that rebellion, killing an estimated three-thousand people. Reports from Burma say truckloads of government forces moved into central Rangoon after today's (Tuesday's) marches ended.
JAPAN-POL: Japan's parliament has elected Yasuo Fukuda of the
ruling Liberal Democratic Party as the country's new prime minister. Mr. Fukuda is a former cabinet secretary known as a quiet compromiser. He has promised to bring stability and moderation to Japan's turbulent politics. Japan's lower house of parliament voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Fukuda today (Tuesday) over main opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa. The upper house, which is dominated by the opposition, voted in favor of Ozawa. But the more powerful lower house holds the biggest sway in determining who will serve as prime minister.
IRAN-U.S: Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly today (Tuesday), one day after his visit to Columbia University spurred protests and sharp remarks. Mr. Ahmadinejad will join other world leaders, including U.S. President George Bush, as the U.N. General Assembly meets at its headquarters in New York City. On Monday, the president of Columbia University told Mr. Ahmadinejad that he exhibits all the signs of a "petty and cruel dictator." University President Lee Bollinger challenged Mr. Ahmadinejad to answer questions on Iran's nuclear program, as well as oppression of intellectuals, homosexuals and others in Iran.
U.S.-CHINA TRADE: The
World Trade Organization has opened a formal probe into a U.S. complaint that China inadequately protects intellectual property, like copyrighted movies, music and software. The WTO's dispute settlement body announced the formal investigation today (Tuesday) in Geneva. The United States filed a WTO complaint in April claiming China's structure for enforcing copyright and trademark protections is deficient and fails to comply with WTO rules.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other experts have urged more than 80 world leaders to act decisively on global warming. Mr. Ban convened an unprecedented climate change summit Monday at U.N. headquarters to build momentum for a December meeting in Bali, Indonesia, where negotiators will discuss a follow-up pact to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
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