State television in Burma says the death toll from Cyclone Nargis, which hit the country Saturday, has risen to nearly four-thousand. It says almost three-thousand people are missing. Aid agencies have been rushing food and water into Burma since Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of people were left without shelter. Much of the largest city of Rangoon remains without power and thousands are working to clear fallen trees and power poles from streets. The airport, which closed Saturday, has reopened.
Chinese President Hu Jintao says he looks forward to a "warm spring" (cordial) atmosphere during his visit to Japan this week. Mr. Hu was optimistic in comments to Japanese reporters in Beijing Sunday that his visit will promote stronger ties between the two countries. The Chinese president said he believes the major trading partners can resolve an ongoing dispute over lucrative drilling rights in the East China Sea. His five-day visit from Tuesday will be the first to Japan by a Chinese president in 10 years.
RAN-NUCLEAR: Iran has again ruled out halting its disputed nuclear activities, saying it will reject any incentives offered by world powers that violate the Islamic Republic's right to nuclear enrichment. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said today (Monday) that the Iranian Government will not consider any proposals that would limit Tehran's access to atomic technology.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met today (Monday) in an effort to accelerate peace talks stalled on the divisive issues of settlements and roadblocks in the West Bank. The private talks followed a three-day visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during which she made direct remarks about the consequences of Israeli roadblocks in the West Bank.
AFGHANISTAN BLAST: Afghan officials say accidental explosions killed three children and injured at least 15 police officers in Kabul today (Monday). In the first incident, authorities said a group of children in the capital was playing with an old artillery shell when it exploded. The blast killed three of the children and injured two others. Afghanistan remains littered with unexploded munitions and landmines after decades of war. The second blast today (Monday) happened when a group of police officers were preparing for a mission.