U.S. defense officials say a missile launched from a Navy ship successfully hit a falling U.S. spy satellite 247 kilometers above the earth. Officials say a network of land, air, sea and space-based sensors confirmed that the satellite was hit late Wednesday. But it was not immediately known if the bus-sized satellite was destroyed. The missile strike was intended to destroy a tank aboard the craft holding 450 kilograms of a toxic fuel called hydrazine. A statement from the Pentagon said nearly all the debris will burn up on re-entry.
PAKISTAN: The leaders of Pakistan's
opposition parties are scheduled to meet today (Thursday) in Islamabad to discuss creating a coalition government that could oust President Pervez Musharraf. The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) emerged victorious over Mr. Musharraf's party in parliamentary elections earlier this week. On Wednesday, President Musharraf called for a "harmonious coalition" after the victory by the opposition parties. Some opposition politicians urged him to step down, but the president says he has no plans to resign.
BUSH-AFRICA: President Bush is in Liberia for the last stop on his five-nation tour of Africa. Mr. Bush and his wife Laura landed today (Thursday) in the capital of Monrovia. He will hold talks with his counterpart Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf before returning to Washington. Wednesday, Mr. Bush praised Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf as an example of the African continent's progress on democracy. Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf took office in 2006 as Africa's first elected female president.
A prominent research group has warned that armed groups in Kenya are still mobilizing and says violence could again break out if negotiations fail to resolve the crisis. The Brussels-based International Crisis Group said today (Thursday) the situation is highly volatile with extremists and militias on both sides preparing for a new confrontation. The group said that for the negotiations to be successful, the international community must increase its pressure, including threatening sanctions and making aid conditional on an agreement.
SOKOR-PRESIDENT: An independent investigation has cleared South Korean President-elect Lee Myung-bak of financial fraud, removing any obstacles to his inauguration on February 25th. A spokesman for special prosecutor Chung Ho-young told reporters in Seoul today (Thursday) he found no evidence Mr. Lee made millions of dollars through stock manipulation and embezzlement in 2001. His political rivals accused the incoming president of criminal behavior during December's presidential election campaign.
Audio in Lao.