AFGHANISTAN: Authorities in Afghanistan say a suicide car bomb attack outside the
Indian Embassy in Kabul has killed at least 41 people, including four
Indian nationals. A public health spokesman (Abdullah Fahim) also reports that 141 people were wounded in today's (Monday) attack. No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing.
A White House spokesman (Gordon Johndroe) condemned the attack, calling it a needless act of violence. Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai also condemned the bombing, saying it was carried out by militants who are against the friendship between Afghanistan and India.
G-8 SUMMIT: Leaders of the world's richest nations say they are deeply concerned by the political turmoil in Zimbabwe, but differences on how to respond appear to be emerging as they meet with their African counterparts in Japan. U.S. President George W. Bush and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete spoke with reporters today (Monday) on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
President Bush said he is "extremely disappointed" by Zimbabwe's one-man, runoff elections that saw President Robert Mugabe maintain his hold on power. But while Mr. Kikwete echoed many of Mr. Bush's concerns, he said some African leaders may disagree with Western leaders on the way forward. Tanzania holds the rotating AU presidency, and has not backed sanctions against Zimbabwe.
US - RUSSIA: U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
have met on the sidelines of the G-8 Summit in Japan, pledging to work
together on eliminating the nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea. However, the two leaders failed to reconcile their differences over a planned missile defense shield in Eastern Europe.Today's (Monday's) meeting between the two was the first since Mr. Medvedev took office in May.
An aide for the Russian president (Sergei Prikhodko) says Mr. Medvedev told Mr. Bush the idea of establishing a missile base in Lithuania is "absolutely unacceptable." The Russian leader also reiterated Russia's opposition to American plans to base interceptor missiles in Poland, as well as a radar station in the Czech Republic.
RICE - EUROPE: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leaves on a four-day trip to Europe today (Monday) during which she will sign a deal in Prague to build part of a missile defense system on Czech soil. U.S. plans to place radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor
missiles in Poland is strongly opposed by Russia, which regards it as a
But U.S. officials have assured Moscow that the system is aimed at countering a possible missile strike from Iran and does not target Russia in any way.
SOKOR - NOKOR: South Korea's president says he welcomes recent moves by North Korea to start giving up its nuclear weapons program. Lee Myung-bak also says he is willing to meet with North Korean leader
Kim Jong Il if it is for genuine dialogue, but warns Pyongyang must
continue to dismantle the country's nuclear apparatus.
Mr. Lee's comments (in media interviews) come just days after a White House official (David Wilder) said six-party talks with North Korea - which also include the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia - are at a very pivotal point.
CHINA - TIBET: A Chinese official has reiterated that talks with the Dalai Lama will make progress only if the Tibetan spiritual leader meets conditions. Chinese state media quoted the unnamed official on Monday as saying that the Dalai Lama must oppose attempts to disrupt the upcoming Beijing Olympics. The Chinese official says the spiritual leader must also declare opposition to violence and to Tibetan independence. The official also says "the door to talks with the Dalai Lama is always open."
BURMA: Burmese state media have dismissed the 1990 election victory by the
opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi, describing it as invalid. An official newspaper ran a commentary Sunday, saying the recent
passage of a military-drafted constitution in a referendum shows that
people no longer care about the 1990 results.
The New Light of Myanmar newspaper says Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy should prepare for new elections in 2010 instead of clinging to the results of the 1990 vote.
THAILAND PROTESTS: Thousands of people have marched on Thailand's national police
headquarters in Bangkok, demanding police take action against
supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The protesters - led by the People's Alliance for Democracy - today (Monday) accused police of protecting Mr. Thaksin's supporters by failing to actively pursue cases against them.
Protests have been raging for nearly seven weeks, many of the demonstrators calling on the government of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to step down. They see Mr. Samak as a Thaksin puppet.
COLOMBIA HOSTAGES: Cuba's former president Fidel Castro has urged Colombia's leftist rebels to release all of their remaining hostages.
CHINA - OLYMPICS - CURRENCY: China's Central Bank is issuing a special 10-yuan note to commemorate
the Beijing Olympics, swapping the image of communist leader Mao Zedong
for a picture of the city's iconic national stadium.
The People's Bank of China says it plans to issue six million of the notes, worth about one dollar and 45 cents each, during the games.
Listen to our World News for more details in Lao.