U.S. President George Bush has reaffirmed his strong support for initiating the NATO membership process for Ukraine and Georgia. Mr Bush spoke (today/Tuesday) at a Kyiv news conference after talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. Both Germany and France have expressed doubts on the readiness of the two countries for the NATO membership process. In Paris, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon repeated his country's stand, in effect denying them the required unanimous approval at this week's NATO summit in Bucharest. Both President Bush and Mr. Yushchenko repeated previous assertions that NATO expansion is not aimed against Russia, and they insisted Moscow will have no veto on the issue when it comes up at the NATO summit.
Zimbabwe's main opposition party remained in the lead early today (Tuesday) over President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party - with more than half of Saturday's parliamentary election results declared. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and its breakaway faction have so far won 56 of the 210 parliamentary seats. The ZANU-PF party is trailing with 53 seats. No results from the presidential election are available, three days after the end of voting, fueling fears of vote-rigging.
NOKOR-SOKOR: A North Korea newspaper has singled out South Korea's new president in an editorial amid rising tensions between Pyongyang and Seoul. Today's (Tuesday) lengthy article in the Communist Party-run Rodong Sinmun is the first criticism of Lee Myung-bak since he took office in late February. Tuesday's commentary (carried by the Korean Central News Agency) warned Mr. Lee he will "be held fully accountable for the irrevocable catastrophic consequences" of his pro-U.S. policies. Relations between the two countries have deteriorated in recent days, after a top South Korean military official said the army would hit North Korea's nuclear sites if Pyongyang attacked it with atomic weapons.
Tibetan exile government has dismissed a report released by Chinese-state media that blamed it for orchestrating protests in Tibet. The exile government, based in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala, released a statement Monday denying involvement in unrest inside China. The statement was a response to a report published by China's official Xinhua news agency citing an alleged confession blaming the Dalai Lama and the exile government. Also Monday, a Chinese official denied the Dalai Lama's claim that police in Lhasa had posed as monks.
TIBET PROTESTS: Hundreds of Tibetan exiles and their supporters gathered outside the White House Monday to appeal to President Bush to condemn China's crackdown in Tibet. The demonstrators called on President Bush not to stand next to Communist Party officials at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in August.
Audio in Lao.