G-8 SUMMIT: Leaders of the world's eight major industrialized nations have set a goal of
cutting worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases in half by 2050.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who is hosting the Group of Eight
summit at a resort on the northern island of Hokkaido, announced the deal today. Mr. Fukuda says the accord allows each nation to set its own
"aggressive" midterm goals toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.The
top environmental advisor for U.S. President George Bush says it aligns with Mr. Bush's demand that growing economies such as India
and China agree to take part in the reductions.
MALAYSIA - D8 SUMMIT: Leaders at a summit of eight developing Islamic nations say the rising costs of
food and oil could have dire implications. Malaysian Prime Minister
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, host of today's one-day summit in
Kuala Lumpur, says soaring food prices, which he says have jumped 75-percent
since 2000, threaten the world economy, and could lead to domestic political
unrest. Mr. Abdullah urged the other participating nations to boost food
production and cease using farm land for crops solely devoted to biofuels. He
says the "zeal for energy security" has led to the global food shortage.
THAILAND - TRIAL: Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is standing trial today -- nearly two years after he was ousted in a bloodless military
coup.Mr. Thaksin and his wife are due to appear in court to face charges
of abuse of power and conflict of interest in a real estate purchase while he
was in office. The couple denies the charges.The ousted prime minister
returned to Thailand in February, after nearly 18 months of self-imposed
exile.On Monday, thousands of people marched on in Bangkok to demand
that police take action against supporters of Mr. Thaksin.
CAMBODIA - THAILAND: Cambodians are celebrating the decision by the U.N. cultural body to grant
international status to an ancient temple along its border with
Thailand.The streets of the capital of Phnom Penh were filled with
residents singing, dancing and waving flags today after hearing
the news that UNESCO (the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization) had placed the disputed 11th-century Preah Vihear temple on
its World Heritage List. Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a statement
calling the designation "a new pride" for Cambodia and its
people.Meanwhile, a high court in Thailand ruled today the government's
previous endorsement of Cambodia's UNESCO bid as unconstitutional.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: Talks to end North Korea's nuclear program will resume this week in Beijing
after being stalled since late last year.A Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokesman, Qin Gang, told reporters today that the talks will
begin on Thursday and are scheduled to last for three days.He says the
discussions could go on longer if progress is made, adding that participants
hope to push the talks on to their next stage if possible.Talks are
expected to focus largely on the work of verifying Pyongyang's recent
declaration of its nuclear program.Last month, North Korea released
documents detailing its nuclear program, and destroyed the cooling tower of its
main nuclear complex.
RICE - EUROPE: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Russia's behavior towards Georgia
is adding to tensions in the region. Rice noted today
in Prague that the former Soviet republic of Georgia is now an independent
state, and called on both Russia and Georgia to avoid "provocative" actions.
U.S. officials have been dismayed by a series of steps that Moscow has
taken towards Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The two regions declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s,
sparking fighting and the dispatch of Russian peacekeepers to the region.
NEPAL - TIBET: Nepal's Supreme Court has ordered the release of three Tibetan leaders who were
jailed on accusations of leading anti-China protests in Kathmandu.The
court ruled Monday in favor of the activists saying their detention was illegal.The three were
arrested last month and were charged with anti-China activities.Last
week, police in Nepal detained around 300 Tibetan exiles after some
demonstrators tried to storm a Chinese embassy building in
Kathmandu.Tibetan exiles have been holding demonstrations against China
since March, when deadly clashes broke out between protesters and Chinese
authorities in Tibet.
INDIA - NUCLEAR: India's communist parties say they are withdrawing their support for the
government to protest against a nuclear energy deal with the United
States.The energy deal will give India access to civilian nuclear
technology, despite its refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty.India's communist parties say the deal will bind India too close
to Washington, and could compromise India's national security.Indian
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says the deal is needed to give India more energy
alternatives to drive its economy.New Delhi and Washington want to seal
the deal before the U.S. presidential election in November because its fate is
not certain if it has to face the next U.S. administration.
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