TAIWAN ELECTIONS: The opposition candidate in Taiwan has won the island's presidential eleciton. Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalist Party won the race with 58 percent of the vote, compared to 42 percent for Frank Hsieh, of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. Both candidates had pledged to improve ties with Beijing, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province. The new president will replace Chen Shui-bian, who has served the maximum two terms. Mr. Chen was widely seen as pushing the island toward independence, and Beijing refused to talk to him during his eight years in office.
NEWSMAKER: MA YING-JEOU: Taiwan's future president, Ma Ying-jeou, is a U.S.-educated lawyer who served as minister for justice and minister without portfolio during the 1990s. Mr. Ma unseated Chen Shui-bian, the current president, as Taipei mayor in 1998. Last August, Mr. Ma was cleared of corruption charges filed against him. The charges prompted his resignation as party chairman. Prosecutors accused him of misusing 365 thousand dollars in government funds while Taipei mayor. Mr. Ma has vowed not to provoke China with independence moves, so the two sides can co-exist and promote economic integration.
TIBET PROTESTS: China's Communist Party newspaper is calling on the government to "resolutely crush" Tibet's independence movement. A commentary in the "People's Daily" today accuses the Dalai Lama of plotting recent anti-government protests in Tibet in hopes of undermining the upcoming Beijing Olympics and splitting Tibet from China. The Dalai Lama has denied calling for protests. Reports from China say Beijing has sent elite units of the People's Liberation Army into Tibet to crack down on the protests. Witnesses in the Tibetan capital said armored troop carriers and other military vehicles in use there had their identifying numbers and insignia concealed.
PAKISTAN - POLITICS: The political party of slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto says it will announce its candidate for prime minister today. The Pakistan Peoples Party candidate is expected be revealed by Ms. Bhutto's 19-year old son Bilawal Bhutto Zadari. Earlier, the party (Muttahida Quami Movement) allied with President Pervez Musharraf said it was withdrawing its candidate for the post, "calling it a gesture of goodwill." The move clears the way for the PPP nominee to run uncontested. Ms. Bhutto's party won the most votes in February's parliamentary elections, but had struggled to name a candidate.
SRI LANKA VIOLENCE: Sri Lankan military officials say 10 sailors are missing after a navy vessel was destroyed off the island nation's northeastern coast today. The military says the fast attack boat was destroyed when it hit a sea mine laid by Tamil Tiger rebels. Six crewmen were rescued. A pro-Tamil Tiger Web site (www.tamilnet.com) says the boat did not hit a mine, but was destroyed in a suicide attack carried out by three ("Black Sea Tiger") militants. Fighting in Sri Lanka between the government and rebels has intensified since January, when Colombo formally pulled out of a fragile Norwegian-brokered truce.
US - SAUDI ARABIA: A U.S. official says Vice President Dick Cheney and Saudi King Abdullah have discussed how to deal with the rise in oil prices. The two men held talks Friday after Cheney arrived in Saudi Arabia from a visit to Afghanistan. The official says Cheney and the king discussed how to stabilize the markets now, and what is needed for the future. President Bush urged Saudi Arabia and other members of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) during a trip in January to boost production. Oil has risen in recent weeks to more than 100 dollars a barrel.
US PASSPORT FILES: The U.S. State Department says there will be a full investigation of the improper breach of the passport files of all three presidential candidates. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the Justice Department has been contacted. Democratic Party presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama says he expects a full congressional investigation. The office of Senator Hillary Clinton says she will closely monitor developments. Republican Party candidate John McCain says he wants an apology, and expects corrective action to be taken.
IRAQ: The U.S. military in Iraq says three soldiers have been killed in a roadside bomb attack, northwest of Baghdad. A statement said two of the soldiers were instantly killed Friday when the bomb struck their vehicle. The third soldier later died as a result of his injuries. The military says two Iraqi civilians were also killed in the blast. Also Friday, a U.S. soldier was killed and four others wounded by what the U.S. military called "indirect fire," a term usually used to describe rocket or mortar fire.
Listen to our World News for details.