CHINA - QUAKE: Chinese authorities have begun draining a swollen lake formed by last month's deadly earthquake in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The official Xinhua news agency says the water level of the lake had risen to the point where it could flow into a man-made drainage channel. Fan Xiaoguan, deputy commander of the Chengdu Military Area Command, said with operations underway, a naturally formed dam is no longer in imminent danger of collapsing. More than one million people are estimated to be in areas that could be inundated if the natural dam breaks.
US POLITICS: U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton today will formally suspend her historic quest to be America's first woman president, and throw her support behind her Democratic party rival, Barack Obama. Clinton's campaign says the New York senator will speak to supporters in (the National Building Museum in) Washington (at 1600 GMT) about the need to unify the party behind Obama. The two senators held a private meeting in Washington on Thursday night. Today's rally comes just days after the end of the Democratic party's divisive primary campaign in which Clinton garnered more than 17-million votes.
US - G8 FUEL PRICES: U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman says fuel price subsidies are not the remedy for rising oil prices. Bodman told reporters in (Aomori) Japan today that although global demand for oil is increasing, oil production has been capped at 85 million barrels a day for the last three years. He called for an increase in energy investment. His comments come one day after oil prices surged more than 11 dollars a barrel to set a record of more than 139 dollars in New York trading. Bodman called price increases "shocking," but said consumers will not change their habits if their countries keep fuel prices low through subsidies.
INDONESIA - DIVERS: Indonesian police say five foreigners who disappeared Thursday while scuba diving in the eastern part of the country have been found alive. A local official (Police Chief Buce Helo) said today that fishermen found the divers along the coast of an island near Komodo National park. The three divers from Britain, and one each from France and Sweden, disappeared Thursday in the waters near Komodo island. Authorities launched a search and rescue operation after fellow divers reported the people missing. Komodo National Park is known for being home to the world's largest lizards, called Komodo dragons.
ZIMBABWE - ELECTION: Zimbabwean police have detained another opposition lawmaker, amid a crackdown on political activity ahead of a presidential run-off election. Eric Matinenga of the Movement of Democratic Change was arrested again today after being cleared on charges of inciting violence earlier this week. On Friday, Zimbabwean authorities forced presidential challenger Morgan Tsvangirai to stop campaigning and detained him for second time in a matter of days The MDC says supporters of President Robert Mugabe are trying to intimidate the party ahead of the June 27th presidential run-off.
TURKEY - HEADSCARVES: Turkey's ruling party is accusing the country's top court of overstepping its authority by annulling a law that allowed Muslim headscarves to be worn at universities. The AK party's deputy chairman said Friday that the constitutional court had "violated" Turkey's separation of powers by interfering in parliament's authority to pass laws. Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat was speaking after an emergency meeting of party officials in Ankara. On Thursday, Turkey's top court scrapped constitutional reforms passed by parliament earlier in the year that lifted a ban on university students wearing headscarves.
FRANCE - LEBANON: French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in Beirut for talks with his newly elected Lebanese counterpart, Michel Suleiman. Mr. Sarkozy arrived in the Lebanese capital early today on a one-day visit aimed at promoting national unity in the country following a deadly political crisis. The French leader is the first Western head of state to visit Lebanon since Mr. Suleiman took office May 25th, following an Arab-mediated agreement to end the crisis. Mr. Sarkozy is leading a large French delegation, including Prime Minister Francois Fillon, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and the leaders of all of France's major political parties.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: The United States says a senior envoy will travel to North Korea next week for talks on accelerating disablement of nuclear facilities. The disablement of North Korea's Yongbyon reactor complex was supposed to be completed by the end of last year. But the process was slowed by technical problems, and because North Korea said fuel deliveries promised by the United States and other, were behind schedule. The U.S. State Department said its top Korean specialist, Sung Kim, will discuss carrying out the remaining steps in the disablement process.
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