Riot police in Kenya have clashed with opposition supporters today in a second day of protests against the disputed re-election of President Mwai Kibaki. Witnesses say police fired teargas and bullets at hundreds of supporters in Nairobi's Mathare slum and in the western city of Kisumu. Some injuries have been reported. The opposition has called for demonstrations through Friday to protest what it says was the government's rigging of last month's presidential elections.
IRAQ - UN: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the reduction in violence across Iraq and urged similar progress in the political arena. In a report to the Security Council Wednesday, Mr. Ban said "improvements in the political arena" are necessary to sustain recent gains in the security situation. Mr. Ban expressed disappointment at the political process in Iraq, saying it "has not shown the degree of progress that many had hoped for." He said he has instructed his special representative in Iraq (Staffan de Mistura) to review "every aspect" of the U.N.'s work to see how it could help in political reconciliation between Iraqi factions.
CHINA - US - IRAN:
A top U.S. diplomat has urged China to support new sanctions against Iran as Tehran's top nuclear negotiator arrived in Beijing to lobby against the move. Speaking with reporters today, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said he will discuss the issue with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo over the next two days. Negroponte said that while a recent U.S. intelligence report said Iran had suspended its research into designs of a nuclear warhead, it is still developing missiles and enriching uranium -- a process that can be used to make nuclear weapons.
AUSTRALIA - JAPAN - WHALING: Australia is sending a ship to pick up two activists detained on a Japanese whaling ship as Canberra tries to ease a tense standoff between the two sides. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says today an Australian customs ship, the Oceanic Viking, will pick the two men up -- an Australian and a Briton -- but stressed that it would be a difficult operation. He urged both sides to show restraint. Anti-whaling activists are threatening more action against the Japanese whaling boat for holding their two colleagues. The Japanese whaling fleet is demanding activists stay 10 nautical miles away and stop disrupting their hunt.
BURMA - BUS BOMB: State-controlled media in Burma say a bus conductor has been killed by a bomb that exploded on board the vehicle as it was traveling to Rangoon early Wednesday. Burma's official "New Light of Myanmar" newspaper reports today the bomb exploded in the back of the bus while it was stopped, killing the 35-year-old conductor. The conductor, Lwin Soe, is the third to die in less than a week in a string of bombings across the country.
Sri Lanka's military says air force jets have bombed and destroyed a Tamil Tiger rebel hideout in the country's north. Defense officials say today's attack took place near the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi. Officials say the hideout was completely destroyed. However, a pro-rebel website (TamilNet) says the bombs hit a civilian area and wounded seven people. On Wednesday, at least 26 people were killed and dozens injured when a roadside bomb tore through a packed bus.
BRITAIN - ASIA: The British Prime Minister is going to Asia today to visit China and India. It will be Gordon Brown's first trip to the region since he became prime minister. The visit is expected to focus on the environment and trade. The prime minister's first stop is China, where he is also expected to discuss the Beijing Olympics -- as London prepares to host the games in 2012. Prime Minister Brown has said developing a long-term business relationship with China could help create tens of thousands of British jobs.
BUSH - MIDEAST: U.S. President George Bush has returned to Washington after an eight-day Middle East tour, during which he called for Arab support of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and for help containing Iran. After talks Wednesday in Egypt with President Hosni Mubarak, Mr. Bush said peace between Israelis and Palestinians is possible, but warned it will not happen if Arab leaders turn away. He said he is optimistic a peace deal can be reached because he said Israeli and Palestinian leaders are committed to a two-state solution. President Mubarak said he supports Mr. Bush's effort to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement by the end of this year.
BANGLADESH - HASINA:
The trial of former Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened today in the capital, Dhaka. The former prime minister is charged with extorting more than 400 thousand dollars from a businessman in 2000 while she was in power. She has denied the charges. Today's (Thursday's) hearing was adjourned until Monday to give Ms. Hasina time to meet with defense lawyers to discuss her defense. The trial is expected to end within two months.
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