U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is calling on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to re-start peace talks immediately. Rice said today (Tuesday) Hamas must stop rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. She also said the United States is concerned about innocent Palestinian citizens in Gaza caught in the crossfire. Rice spoke in Cairo after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Ghiet. She holds separate talks today (Tuesday) and Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Pakistani authorities say a suicide bomb attack has killed at least five people and wounded 14 others in the eastern city of Lahore. Officials say two suicide bombers blew themselves up in the parking lot at the Pakistan Navy War College. Lahore's police chief (Malik Mohammad Iqbal) says the first bomber triggered his explosion at the gate, destroying the gate, and allowing the second bomber to enter the lot and trigger an explosion.
IRAN-NUCLEAR: The United Nations Security Council has voted to impose a third round of sanctions on Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium. Fourteen of the Council's 15 members voted for the sanctions Monday. Indonesia abstained. Indonesia's U.N. Ambassador (Marty Natalegawa) says his nation is not convinced more sanctions would help the situation. The resolution tightens existing sanctions on trade, and on the travel and assets of people involved in Tehran's nuclear and missile programs. It also calls for vigilance over banks in Iran.
U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are in a tight race in two key states holding presidential primaries today (Tuesday), while Senator John McCain is on the verge of clinching his party's nomination. Public opinion polls indicate Democrats Clinton and Obama are very close in the delegate-rich states of Texas and Ohio. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has said his wife needs to win both states to keep her campaign alive. Clinton lags behind Obama, with 11 straight losses in primaries and caucuses.
CHINA MILITARY-US : Chinese officials have announced an increase in defense spending of more than 17 percent this year. Jiang Enzhu, spokesman for China's National People's Congress, or parliament, told a news conference today (Tuesday) that military spending in 2008 will exceed 57 billion dollars, up 17-point-six percent from last year. The increase follows a similar one last year of nearly 18 percent. Other countries say China vastly underreports how much it spends on its military and the real figure could be three times as much as the publicly-released number.
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