President Bush is expected to reach out to the Iranian people today (Sunday) during a visit to the nearby United Arab Emirates. Mr. Bush's spokeswoman (Dana Perino) says he will tell Iranians in a speech that they can have a better future than what Iran's government is offering them. President Bush arrived in the UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi, today on the latest leg of his Middle East tour. Earlier, he ended his visit to Bahrain by having breakfast with military personnel of the U.S. Fifth Fleet that patrols Gulf waters.
Iran's government is accusing Washington
of using President Bush's Middle East tour to spread anti-Iranian sentiment in the region. An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman (Mohammad Ali Hosseini) said today (Sunday) that U.S. officials are exaggerating a recent incident in the Persian Gulf to paint Iran in a negative light. Washington says a fleet of Iranian naval boats threatened U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz on January 6th.
Georgia opposition leaders and tens of thousands of their supporters have rallied in Tbilisi today (Sunday), protesting what they believe was massive vote fraud in the recent presidential election. Georgia election authorities said earlier today the final official results of the disputed presidential ballot confirm that Mikhail Saakashvili won re-election with 53 percent of the vote. By winning a majority, Mr. Saakashvili avoids a runoff with opposition leader Levan Gachechiladze, who was second among the seven candidates with 26 percent of the vote.
HONG KONG PROTESTS: T
housands of people have marched in Hong Kong to protest Beijing's decision to delay the introduction of full democracy in the city. Protesters in today's (Sunday's) march demanded that Beijing allow Hong Kong citizens to directly elect their leader and all lawmakers by 2012. China's leadership ruled last month that direct elections for Hong Kong's leader would have to wait until 2017. Beijing also said full elections for the territory's legislature would not come before 2020 at the earliest. Organizers of today's rally say more than 20 thousand people joined the march as it proceeded from Hong Kong's Victoria Park to the city's government headquarters.
India's prime minister is in China for a three-day trip aimed at boosting the sometimes strained relations between the Asian nations. During his trip, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to hold talks Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao as well as other top Chinese officials and business leaders. The leaders of the world's two most populous nations are expected to discuss energy security, climate change, and a possible regional trade agreement.
Audio in Lao.