Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says he will give his full support to the country's incoming government, despite the defeat of his political allies in February parliamentary elections. In a speech in Islamabad at a military parade celebrating Pakistan Day (today/Sunday), Mr. Musharraf said a new era of real democracy has begun in Pakistan. He defended his nine years of rule as a journey toward democracy and development. The president also said he hopes whichever new government is formed will maintain political peace and continue the struggle against terrorism and extremism.
CHENEY MIDDLE EAST:
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says the Bush administration is dedicated to moving forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem today (Sunday), Cheney said the United States is also involved in dealing with threats it sees emerging in the region. He said these include threats to both Israel and the United States. Mr. Peres referred to Iran as a threat to Israel. He said no one can claim that remarks Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes against Israel are less serious than they seem.
POPE-EASTER: Pope Benedict called for an end to injustice, hatred and violence around the world in his Easter message (today/Sunday). He appealed for solutions to the turmoil in Tibet, Darfur and the Middle East. Benedict celebrated Easter Mass before tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims huddled under umbrellas in a rain-soaked St. Peter's Square. A white canopy on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica protected the 80-year-old pontiff from the chilly rain.
IRAQ: Iraqi police say a suicide truck bomber has killed 10 Iraqi soldiers and wounded 30 other people in an attack in the northern city of Mosul. Police say the bomber crashed an explosives-laden truck into an Iraqi army base today (Sunday), targeting soldiers as well as civilians. Elsewhere, the U.S. military in Iraq said its forces killed 12 suspected insurgents in a raid in Diyala province. Also Sunday, Iraqi police said gunmen in three cars opened fire on pedestrians in southern Baghdad, killing at least six people and wounding 16 others.
TAIWAN ELECTIONS: Taiwan's president-elect says he has no plans to visit China soon, but will work to improve ties with Beijing, as he promised during his campaign. Ma Ying-jeou told reporters today (Sunday) that he wants to first work on urgent problems in terms of relations with mainland China. Mr. Ma, the opposition Nationalist Party candidate, won Taiwan's presidential election Saturday, with 58 percent of the vote. He ran on a platform of creating a China policy that would defuse decades of tension, including a possible peace treaty with the mainland. However, he vowed there will be no unification with China, promising that the issue would not be discussed during his presidency.
Audio in Lao.