U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says Hamas, with support from Iran and Syria, is trying to hinder peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem today (Monday), Cheney said there is evidence that Iran and Syria are supporting Hamas. He accused the two nations of doing everything they can to, in his words, "torpedo" the peace process. Cheney spoke after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for breakfast. The vice president is now in the Turkish capital, Ankara, for the last stop on his nine-day regional tour.
Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed to hold direct talks for the first time since the collapse of their unity government last June. Fatah and Hamas representatives signed a declaration Sunday in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, agreeing to the talks. Before Sunday's meeting, the two sides had not met face-to-face since Hamas seized control of Gaza last June from Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
IRAQ: The U.S. military in Iraq says a roadside bomb has killed four U.S. soldiers in southern Baghdad, pushing the American death toll in the five-year conflict to four thousand. A military statement issued today (Monday) said at least one coalition soldier was wounded in the bombing late Sunday. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, on a visit to Jerusalem today, said the latest death toll may have a psychological effect on the public. He expressed regret for every casualty and loss in Iraq and said the decision to send young men and women into harm's way is never easy.
Voters in the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan cast their ballots today (Monday) in the country's first ever national election. Thousands of people lined up at polling stations in the capital, Thimphu (PRON: Tim-poo) to vote, marking the nation's transformation from monarchy to a democracy. The two main parties vying for seats are both led by men close to the king, and they have similar ideologies.
PAKISTAN-UNREST: Pakistani officials say suspected militants have destroyed 36 oil tankers and wounded at least 65 people in an attack on fuel supplies for U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan. Officials say the attack occurred late Sunday in Pakistan's Khyber tribal district near the Afghan border. They say the suspected militants set off two bombs near the oil tankers, triggering a fire and explosion.
Audio in Lao.