RICE-BRITAIN-NATO: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice departs later today (Tuesday) for London where she will meet with British officials to discuss growing concerns about NATO troop levels in Afghanistan. Rice will meet Wednesday with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband. The Bush administration wants NATO countries to commit more troops to Afghanistan, especially to the volatile southern part of the country where insurgent activity by the Taliban has been increasing.
U.S-THAILAND: The White House says President Bush telephoned Thailand's new prime minister Monday morning to offer congratulations. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Mr. Bush and Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej discussed the importance of Thai-U.S. relations. She added that Mr. Bush said he looks forward to meeting the new Thai prime minister soon. Mr. Samak, who heads the People Power Party, was inaugurated last week after receiving the endorsement of the nation's king.
WORLD BANK-CHINA: The World Bank has named a prominent Chinese academic as its new chief economist. World Bank President Robert Zoellick announced the appointment of Justin Lin (Lin Yifu) on Monday. Zoellick said Lin will be the first person from a developing country to hold the post. Lin was born in Taiwan and defected to mainland China during his military service in 1979 by swimming from the island of Kinmen, just off Fujian province.
US BUDGET: President Bush has submitted his administration's budget for 2009 to Congress -- a three-point-one trillion dollar spending plan he says will protect the country and boost economic growth. The document was unveiled Monday. If approved by Congress, it would freeze or cut some domestic programs and give more money to the military.
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