raqi officials have condemned the deadly shooting of two women in Baghdad by foreign security guards on Tuesday. Guards employed by an Australian-owned company fired on the women's car as it approached their convoy in Baghdad's Karrada district. Iraqi police and witnesses say the guards raced away after the shooting, which killed a woman taxi driver and a female passenger, and wounded two others in the vehicle. The security firm, Unity Resources Group (which is based in Dubai), said it deeply regrets the incident. It says the guards fired on the speeding car after it ignored several warnings to stop, including hand signals and a flare.
United States, France and Britain have circulated a watered-down statement to the U.N. Security Council that "strongly deplores" Burma's recent military crackdown of pro-democracy protesters. The revised draft statement does not "condemn" Burma's repression of the protesters, but does demand a full account of those jailed, missing or killed. Burmese officials say the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters left 10 people dead. Dissidents put the number of fatalities at 200.
TAIWAN-CHINA: Taiwan put its military prowess on display for the first time in more than a decade today (Wednesday) in its annual National Day parade, as President Chen Shui-bian lashed out at the island's biggest neighbor and rival, China. In his address, Mr. Chen renewed his pledge to push for Taiwan's membership in the United Nations, and stressed the island's separate identity from China. He also argued that Taiwan was not the source of tensions with China. He said the problem was Beijing's totalitarianism, authoritarianism, and dictatorship.
SOUTH KOREA-CHINA: South Korea says it plans to lodge a protest with China after security officials in Beijing scuffled with its diplomats who were protesting the arrest of a group of North Korean asylum seekers. An official in South Korea said today (Wednesday) that the foreign ministry would be speaking with Chinese officials in Seoul to find out what happened. Korean media reports said Chinese security officials arrested four people believed to be North Korean refugees at a South Korean international school in Beijing Tuesday, in an apparent attempt to seek asylum.
RUSSIA-FRANCE: Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are holding a second day of talks in Moscow after the French leader said they narrowed their differences on Iran and Kosovo. The two meet today (Wednesday) at the Kremlin, following talks Tuesday at the Russian leader's country home near the capital. Mr. Sarkozy said after meeting Mr. Putin Tuesday that their positions on Iran's controversial nuclear program have moved "much closer." The French president also said they discussed a "path" toward a compromise on the future status of Kosovo. He did not elaborate.
World news in Lao.