TIBET PROTESTS: Chinese authorities have accused Tibetan protesters of killing innocent people and offered leniency if the demonstrators surrender before Tuesday. China's official Xinhua news agency said today that rioters in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa Friday burned schools, hospitals, shops and houses. Xinhua said 10 people were killed. The news agency said prosecutors and police in Tibet threatened harsh punishment for any of the rioters who did not turn themselves in by midnight Monday. Residents of Lhasa told VOA (Tibetan Service) that more than 20 Tibetans were killed Friday.
TIBET REACTION: Dozens of Tibetan exiles in India have set off on a new march to their riot-hit homeland in China. The trek today came after Indian authorities arrested 100 people Thursday, who were attempting a similar march. A court ordered those marchers detained for two weeks after they said they would not stop using India as a base for protesting Chinese rule in Tibet. Tibetan exiles and their supporters worldwide are staging rallies in solidarity with this week's demonstrations in Lhasa, and world leaders are urging China to use restraint after reports of violence against protesters in the Tibetan capital.
CHINA POL: China's parliament has re-elected Communist Party chief Hu Jintao to serve as president for another five-year term. The nearly three thousand deputies of the National People's Congress voted almost unanimously to re-elect Mr. Hu. The vote today had been widely expected. The parliament is regarded as a rubber-stamp body for the ruling Communist Party. The parliament also elected Xi Jinping as vice president and Wu Bangguo as chairman of the 11th National People's Congress Standing Committee. Xi is the son of a revolutionary and is widely seen as President Hu's successor.
IRAN ELECTIONS: Election officials in Iran are counting votes cast in Friday's parliamentary elections, which are expected to keep power in the hands of the country's conservative faction. The semi-official Fars news agency says preliminary results show conservatives winning at least 70 percent of the seats in the 290-seat legislature. Government officials say more than 65-percent of Iran's 44 million eligible voters cast ballots in the elections.
AFGHAN VIOLENCE: A suicide bomber detonated his car near international troops in eastern Afghanistan today, killing a child and another civilian. At least three other people were wounded. Local officials said the bombing, outside the city of Khost was aimed at a convoy of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. In related news, the Pentagon said Friday that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has transferred a high-level Afghani al-Qaida member with close ties to Osama bin Laden to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says neither Israel nor the Palestinians have met their obligations under the internationally sponsored Middle East "road map" to peace. Rice said Friday that without following road map obligations, it is difficult to sustain the peace process. She spoke to reporters traveling with her to Chile. Earlier Friday, peace talks resumed in Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians, with a U.S. envoy (General William Fraser) leading the meeting.
ISLAMIC CONFEFENCE: The Organization of the Islamic Conference has concluded its 11th summit with a declaration denouncing terrorism and calling for dialogue between Muslims and Christians. The declaration was issued late Friday in Dakar, Senegal, after two days of discussions about strife in Muslim nations and negative perceptions of Islam. Dozens of heads of state and the United Nations secretary-general attended the gathering. In the "Dakar Declaration," leaders condemned extremism and dogmatism as incompatible with Islam, which they say is a religion of moderation and peaceful coexistence.
BLAIR - EMISSIONS: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is urging the United States, Japan and Europe to make revolutionary cuts in greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Mr. Blair made the appeal today at a meeting in Tokyo of officials from the world's top 20 greenhouse gas emitters. He said the world has reached a critical moment on climate change. Mr. Blair is calling for a binding agreement from both poor and rich nations that would replace the Kyoto Protocol.
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