Large parts of the Gaza Strip are without power today (Monday) after the closure of Gaza's main power plant. Fuel supplies to the plant ended last Thursday as Israel sealed the border in retaliation for missile launches from Hamas-controlled Gaza. Israeli officials say they will ease the border closure when the rocket attacks stop. Palestinian and United Nations officials warn that Gaza could face a humanitarian crisis if the power outage and fuel shortage continues. Israel says such concerns are exaggerations. It says Hamas deliberately cut the power to put the blame on Israel.
SOKOR-US MISSILES: S
outh Korea plans to buy U.S.-built missiles able to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles launched by North Korea. Reports published Sunday cite an unnamed South Korean military source who says Seoul has successfully completed negotiations with the United States for the future purchase of SM-6 ship-to-air missiles. The missiles would be installed on a South Korean navy destroyer equipped with the U.S. Aegis weapon system. South Korea plans to build two more Aegis-equipped destroyers before 2012.
CHINA-POPULATION: Chinese officials say Beijing will punish celebrities who ignore the country's one-child policy. The official Xinhua news agency quoted city family planning chief Deng Xiangzhou today (Monday), as saying celebrities and the wealthy would be more heavily fined in the future for having more than one child. Chinese media have reported several cases in which well-off people paid only minimal fines for violating family planning restrictions. Xinhua mentioned the case of soccer star Hao Haidong, who was fined only 68 hundred dollars for having a second child, despite having an annual salary of nearly 691 thousand dollars, one of the highest for a soccer player in China.
MUSHARRAF-EUROPE: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is in Belgium today (Monday), beginning a four-nation tour in which he is likely to face tough questions from European political leaders. Before departing Pakistan (Sunday), Mr. Musharraf told reporters he hopes to improve Pakistan's image and remove (what he calls) "misperceptions" about recent events, such as the temporary state of emergency he imposed last year. The Pakistani president has meetings in Brussels (today / Monday) with Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and European Union officials (including foreign-policy chief Javier Solana).
ain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown is calling for sweeping changes at top global institutions to make them more representative and responsive to conflict and financial crisis. In an address to Indian business leaders today (Monday) in New Delhi at the end of a four-day trip to India and China, Mr. Brown said radical reforms are needed to reflect the rise of India and Asia. Mr. Brown said changes at the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Group of Eight industrialized nations could help promote cooperation, accountability and stability. He proposed that the IMF develop an early-warning system to alert experts to problems that threaten the global economy.
Audio in Lao.