The Lebanese army has launched an investigation into the assassination of a senior army officer killed in a car bombing on the outskirts of Beirut Wednesday. Brigadier General Francois al-Hajj and his driver were killed shortly after leaving his home on way to the military headquarters. The initial investigation indicates that a car packed with explosives and parked by the roadside was detonated by remote control.
IRAQ: Top American officials in Iraq
have "strongly condemned" Wednesday's car bombings in the mainly Shi'ite southern city of Amarah that killed at least 40 people and wounded about 125 more. In a joint statement (today / Thursday), Ambassador Ryan Crocker and the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, also promised to work closely with Iraqi authorities to help bring the attackers to justice.
BALI-CONFERENCE: The United Nations top climate official is warning that a deadlock between the European Union and the United States over pollution cuts could derail efforts to create a new pact on global warming. Speaking with reporters today (Thursday) as the U.N.-sponsored climate talks in Bali entered their final stretch, Yve de Boer voiced concern about the pace of the talks, which end Friday. De Boer said that if delegates cannot find some way of agreeing on a draft text, the whole effort could fall apart.
The United States and China are focusing on their ability to cooperate as they wrap up two days of tough economic talks that included clashes over Beijing's massive trade surplus. In a statement released today (Thursday) at the end of the latest China-U.S. Strategic Economic Dialogue outside Beijing, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said both sides recognize the need to fight economic nationalism and protectionism.
MALAYSIA-RIGHTS: Malaysia has
detained five ethnic Indian activists, under a tough security law that allows them to be held indefinitely without trial. The five men are leaders of a local ethnic Indian activist group called the Hindu Rights Action Force. The group organized a recent protest that drew thousands of ethnic Indians to rally in the streets against alleged racial discrimination.
Audio in Lao.