China's state media says the confirmed death toll from the massive earthquake in Sichuan province has risen to more than 32 thousand. The official Xinhua news agency said today (Sunday) that the toll has climbed to 32 thousand-477, with more than 220 thousand injured. Authorities expect the death toll to climb past 50 thousand. About five-million people have lost their homes. Rescue teams from Russia, South Korea and Singapore joined Japanese workers Saturday. Two U.S. Air Force transport aircraft loaded with tents, food and lanterns were on the way to China.
An aid agency is warning that thousands of children in Burma will starve to death in the next few weeks unless food is rushed to them. Save the Children said in a statement today (Sunday) that thousands of young children in areas hit by Cyclone Nargis more than a week ago are suffering from acute malnutrition. The U.N.'s top relief official is expected to arrive today (Sunday) in Burma to urge the country's leaders to permit the delivery of humanitarian aid to cyclone victims.
BUSH-MIDEAST: U.S. President George Bush is expected to urge
Arab leaders to reject the policies of countries such as Iran and Syria, which he says restrict political and economic freedom. President Bush will relay his message today (Sunday) during a speech at the Middle East World Economic Forum in the Egyptian town of Sharm el-Sheik as he ends a five-day tour of the region. The president will urge Arab nations to oppose what he calls Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. In his speech, the U.S. president also will call on regional leaders to confront the Palestinian militant group Hamas. He is expected to reassert his commitment to both Palestinians and Israelis as the two sides pursue a peace deal.
U.S. President George Bush and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani say they are determined to continue fighting terrorism. Mr. Bush thanked Mr. Gilani today (Sunday) for his support for the fight against terrorism, and for understanding the threats facing the United States. The men met in the Egyptian town of Sharm El Sheikh ahead of an economic forum. It was Mr. Bush's first meeting with the new Pakistani new prime minister.
AFGHANISTAN: An Afghan official says security forces have freed an Indian and a Nepalese national kidnapped a month ago in the western province of Herat. Herat's intelligence chief says Afghan forces freed the pair in a raid today (Sunday). Unidentified gunmen kidnapped the men April 21st while they driving in an Afghan province near the Iranian border. It is unclear whether any ransom was paid for their release. Taliban militants are active in the area, but they never claimed responsibility for the kidnapping