EAST TIMOR ATTACKS:
Australian forces have begun arriving in East Timor to aid in providing security after assassination attempts Monday on the nation's two top leaders. About 150 Australian police and troops along with the warship Perth, were sent to reinforce an international security force. Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, along with his East Timorese counterpart, told reporters in Darwin today that he has called for the U.N. mandate in East Timor to be extended. Acting President Vicente Gutteres has declared a 48-hour state of emergency, which bans demonstrations and imposes a nighttime curfew.
U.S CHINA ESPIONAGE:
The United States has announced the arrest of four people, including a Defense Department official, for allegedly spying for China. The Justice Department says Defense Department employee Gregg William Bergersen was arrested today (Monday) just outside Washington (in Alexandria, Virginia). Bergersen was a weapons systems policy analyst for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Officials allege he provided classified information to Tai Shen Kuo, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was arrested today in New Orleans.
BURMA POL: Burma's military leader has accused dissident groups and western countries of trying to derail the ruling generals' "road map" to democracy in a referendum on a new constitution scheduled in May. Senior General Than Shwe said in a statement read on state television today (Tuesday) that western countries were driving a wedge among national races, misleading the people and aiding and abetting anti-government groups to weaken the union. After years of delays, ruling generals announced on Saturday a plan to hold a referendum on a new constitution in May, and general elections in 2010.
U.S POL: Key primary elections are in play today (Tuesday) for U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton and her rival for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, Senator Barack Obama. They will face off in (the eastern states of) Maryland, Virginia, and in Washington, D.C. The three jurisdictions hold about 12 percent of the total delegates needed to reach the nomination. Clinton still holds a slim lead over Obama in the number of delegates needed to win the nomination at the Democratic National Convention later this year (one-thousand-136 to Obama's one-thousand-108). Meanwhile, the Republican frontrunner, Arizona Senator John McCain, has picked up the endorsement of President Bush's brother, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. The former governor called McCain a patriot and devoted conservative leader who has made tremendous sacrifices for the country.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani security forces are searching for the nation's ambassador to Afghanistan, Tariq Azizuddin, who disappeared Monday while driving through Pakistan's Khyber tribal district on his way to the Afghan capital, Kabul. Authorities say they have not heard from Azizuddin since early Monday and have not been able to reach him by telephone. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that he hopes Azizuddin is safe and will be released soon. Authorities say Azizuddin vanished in an area where several Pakistani Red Cross employees disappeared earlier this month. Authorities have closed the main road through the area.
Audio in Lao.