U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has delivered a stern warning to Iran, urging Tehran to cease what she calls "provocations," after Iranian ships confronted the American Navy in the Persian Gulf. Secretary Rice describes the move as "provocative and dangerous," and says the United States will defend its interests and allies in the region. She was quoted today (Tuesday) calling Iran "the single greatest threat to the kind of Middle East" the world wants to see. Secretary Rice and President Bush begin a trip to the Middle East later today. U.S. military and government officials say that on Sunday, American ships were prepared to fire after several smaller Iranian boats acted aggressively in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
President Bush will meet with Turkey's president today (Tuesday) and take part in a video teleconference on reconstruction work in Iraq before he departs later in the day to the Middle East. During their morning meeting, Mr. Bush and Turkish President Abdullah Gul will discuss Turkey's recent offensives against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. They will also discuss other issues of mutual concern, such as Afghanistan and Istanbul's efforts to join the European Union. The visit will be Mr. Gul's first as president. In the afternoon, Mr. Bush will take part in a private video teleconference with members of the Iraq provincial reconstruction team and combat commanders.
KENYA: Diplomatic efforts for Kenya are intensifying as the head of the African Union arrives in the country today (Tuesday) to try and break a political stalemate from disputed presidential elections last month. Ghanaian President John Kufuor - the current head of the AU, will try to get Kenya's embattled President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to meet and work toward ending the country's crisis
US POLITICS: The
northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire votes today (Tuesday) in an important primary election, part of this year's process to select presidential candidates for the Republican and Democratic parties. Polls released Monday indicate Republican Senator John McCain has a slight lead on former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The Arizona senator told supporters that he would be the best candidate to face the challenge of radical Islam. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won last week's Iowa caucus, is running third in most New Hampshire polls.
THAILAND POL: Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says he will eventually join his wife in Thailand to prove their innocence in court. In a statement released in Hong Kong today (Tuesday), Mr. Thaksin said he would return to Thailand "at the appropriate time" to fight corruption charges against both of them. Police handed Pojamarn Shinawatra an arrest warrant at Bangkok's international airport upon her arrival from Hong Kong Tuesday, and she signed it. Pojamarn was then taken to the Supreme Court to hear corruption charges against her.
Audio in Lao.