SUHARTO OBIT: One of Southeast Asia's longest serving leaders, former President Suharto of Indonesia, has died at the age of 86. Authorities in Jakarta say Mr. Suharto died early this (Sunday) afternoon after slipping into a coma. The former president had been hospitalized since January fourth, under intensive care for multiple organ failure. In a radio address, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on Indonesians to pray for Mr. Suharto. The government declared a seven-day period of mourning for the late president, who is to be buried Monday. Mr. Suharto's daughter, Siti Hardiyanti, told reporters that the family asks for forgiveness for any of his faults, and she appealed for all of his mistakes to be absolved. Mr. Suharto is credited with uniting Indonesia and lifting it from poverty to become one of the most dynamic economies in the region.
In a key political test of the U.S. Democratic Party's presidential hopefuls, Senator Barack Obama has won the primary election in South Carolina by a substantial margin over Senator Hillary Clinton. Obama received 55 percent of the vote, while Clinton (a senator from New York) finished with 27 percent and former Senator John Edwards (of North Carolina) came in third with 18 percent. In his victory speech, Obama emphasized his message of change, characterizing the Democratic primary race as being about the past versus the future. He also reached out to Republicans voters, saying the change he seeks extends beyond any particular political party.
RUSSIA ELECTION: Russia's Election Commission has barred former prime minister and Kremlin critic Mikhail Kasyanov from the March presidential election. The commission ruled today (Sunday) that Kasyanov had tens of thousands of invalid signatures on his nominating petition. Independent candidates need at least two-million valid signatures from across the country to register to run for president.
gypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit is warning that his country's hospitality to Palestinians from Gaza will stop when Egyptian lives are put in danger. Gheit said Saturday that about 40 Egyptian border guards have been wounded in clashes since Palestinian militants knocked down barriers between Gaza and Egypt last week. Thousands of Palestinians have poured into Egypt since then, emptying shops in the town of Rafah of food and supplies. Israel sealed its borders with Gaza nearly two weeks ago to protest rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas militants.
KENYA: Police in western Kenya are battling to stop ethnic clashes that have left at least 45 people dead since Thursday. The fighting in the western town of Nakuru has also prompted soldiers to deploy to the area. Police say fighting has also spread to the nearby town of Molo. Witnesses say the fighting in the region is mostly between ethnic groups who support the opposition and those who belong to President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe.
Audio in Lao.