Pakistan: Pakistani security forces used tear gas and batons to disperse lawyers holding protests today (Monday) against emergency rule imposed by President Pervez Musharraf.
The biggest clash took place in the eastern city of Lahore, where more than a thousand lawyers rallied at the High Court, shouting "Go, Musharraf, Go." Police also beat back protesters in Karachi and Rawalpindi. Hundreds of lawyers have been arrested.
Pakistan's government denied rumors that General Musharraf has been placed under house arrest. Officials said he was at the presidential palace today (Monday), meeting with foreign diplomats to explain his decision Saturday to impose emergency rule.
Mr. Musharraf said he acted to curb growing extremist attacks and judicial activism.
Critics, however, believe he was trying to pre-empt a judgment by the Supreme Court on whether his re-election last month while still army chief was legal.
Hundreds of activists, lawyers and opposition leaders have been rounded up by police since Saturday. A blackout of independent broadcasters continues.
Pakistan Reaction: The United States says it has postponed a defense cooperation meeting with Pakistan planned for this week because of President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of a state of emergency.
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman was due to lead a Pentagon delegation to Islamabad on November sixth and seventh for the discussions.
But Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, traveling in Beijing with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said today (Monday) that officials hope to reschedule the meeting as soon as conditions are more conducive to achieve the important objectives at hand.
On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States will review its financial aid to Pakistan because of the emergency rule.
Turkey – Iraq: Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Bush are meeting at the White House (later) today (Monday) for talks on how to stop Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq from attacking Turkey.
After repeated Kurdish cross-border attacks, Turkey is threatening to send troops into northern Iraq, unless Iraqi and U.S. forces there take action against Kurdish guerrillas.
The United States has warned Turkey not to begin any military action that could destabilize northern Iraq. U.S. officials say the United States, Turkey and Iraq should work together to counter the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.
On the eve of the Bush-Erdogan talks, the PKK released eight Turkish soldiers captured in a cross-border raid two weeks ago that killed 12 Turkish troops. The Kurdish regional government in Iraq says it pressured the rebels to release the soldiers.
Israel – Palestinians: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice heads to the West Bank today (Monday) to meet with Palestinian officials including President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
The talks in Ramallah come during Rice's eighth visit to the region this year to try to help Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare for a U.S.-sponsored Mideast peace conference.
In Jerusalem on Sunday, Rice warned that Palestinians could turn toward extremism if Israelis and Palestinians do not negotiate a peace agreement.
(Speaking at a policy institute forum,) Rice said officials must act now to establish a Palestinian state. Otherwise, she said, a loss of hope and a sense of deprivation could drive the next generation of Palestinians to embrace radicalism.
In remarks at the same event, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he believes progress toward a two-state solution can be made within the next year.
Earlier in the day, Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Rice that Israel's security must be ensured before it accepts the creation of a Palestinian state.
China – US: China and the United States have agreed to open a military hotline.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the decision today (Monday) at a joint press conference with Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan. He did not say how soon the hotline would be established.
China's official Xinhua news agency said the link was the first of its kind that Beijing has established with another country at the defense ministry level.
Gates is in Beijing for talks to strengthen ties between the United States and China.
Ahead of the visit, Gates said he did not see China as a military threat to the United States. But he voiced concern over an 18 percent increase in China's military spending to a level equivalent to 45-billion dollars.
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