G-8 SUMMIT: U.S. President George Bush says skipping the opening ceremonies for the
Beijing Olympics would be an affront to the Chinese people, and could
make relations with China more difficult.
He says while China must improve its record on human rights, he does
not need to use the Olympics as an excuse to voice his concerns. Mr. Bush, who is celebrating his 62nd birthday today (Sunday), spoke to reporters during a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. The Japanese leader announced he too would attend the opening
ceremonies, saying the Olympics are an athletic event and should not be
linked to politics. Human rights activists and some U.S. lawmakers have urged President
Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies. Several world leaders,
including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have said they will not
attend the Beijing games.
G-8 PROTESTS: Hundreds of protesters have gathered fora second straight day in
Sapporo, Japan, not far from the site of this week's summit of the
world's richest nations. Protesters are making a variety of demands, from quicker action on
climate change and world hunger to calls for the Group of Eight to be
dissolved. Today's (Sunday's) mostly peaceful demonstration followed
larger, protests Saturday. Japanese officials say four people were detained Saturday after a brief
clash with police. Japan has mobilized more than 20-thousand police officers to maintain peace and security at the summit and around the country.
ZIMBABWE: South African President Thabo Mbeki has met with Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe to try to help end Zimbabwe's political crisis. Mr. Mbeki also met Saturday with leaders of a breakaway faction of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change Saturday, however the main
opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, declined to participate in the
Iraqi police say a car bomb attack has killed six people and wounded 14 others in northern Baghdad. Authorities say the bombing occurred today (Sunday) in the Shi'ite area of Shaab. They say three policemen were among the victims. On Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said security forces
in Iraq have saved Baghdad from what he called a terrorist "siege."
ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: Israel has re-opened border crossings with the Gaza strip afterclosing them last Thursday because of a rocket attack. An army spokesman (Peter Lerner) today (Sunday) said
the border crossings, which include Sufa, were opened to allow goods to
cross into Israel and to allow people into Israel for medical treatment. The latest closure came after Israel accused Palestinian militants in Gaza of firing a rocket into southern Israel. Gaza's Hamas leaders denied their forces staged the rocket attack, which caused no damage or casualties.
MALAYSIA - ANWAR:
Nearly 10-thousand Malaysians have crowded into a stadium outside the
capital of Kuala Lumpur to protest rising fuel prices and to hear from
opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Many of the protesters dressed in red, the color of the protest
movement, wearing T-shirts and bandanas calling for lower fuel prices. Malaysian police had banned the rally and promised to take action
against anyone who attended, but have decided instead to let it proceed. The government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi increased fuel
prices by 41 percent last month, triggering a public outcry and
MONGOLIA ELECTION: Mongolia has lifted its four-day state of emergency. Streets in the capital of Ulaanbaator were calm, following the
expiration of the state of emergency, which ended at midnight local
time Saturday. President Nambaryn Enkhbayar called in troops, after allegations of election fraud touched off riots last week. Independent observers say they saw no major irregularities in the
balloting, but anger from the election boiled over into the streets,
leaving five dead and more than 200 others injured. At one point about 700 people had been detained.
SOKOR OIL: The South Korean government today (Sunday) announced a series of
measures designed to cut energy consumption, putting restrictions on
transportation for the first time since the country hosted the 1988
summer Olympics. Prime Minister Han Seung-soo says vehicles at more than 800 government
offices will remain idle every other day beginning July 15th. Other measures include limiting the use of air-conditioning at government buildings.
Listen to our World News for details in Lao.