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Obama Meets Afghan President Karzai in Kabul


OBAMA-AFGHANISTAN: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the capital, Kabul, as part of an international tour aimed at boosting the senator's foreign policy credentials
Officials at the heavily guarded Afghan presidential palace did not reveal details of the meeting (today/Sunday), which followed Obama's breakfast with U.S. troops.
The first-term senator had recently criticized Mr. Karzai, saying his government has not been aggressive enough in tackling corruption, organizing the judiciary and police and earning the Afghan people's confidence.

IRAQ: Militants in Iraq who claim to have kidnapped five Britons have released a video that says one of the hostages has committed suicide.
The British newspaper "The Sunday Times" says its office in Baghdad recieved the video from a Shi'ite militant group.

According to the paper, the militants say the hostage committed suicide in May, blaming the "procrastination and lack of seriousness" on the part of the British government to gain the group's release.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the video is a very distressing development.


IRAN-NUCLEAR: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has described Saturday's nuclear talks with world powers in Geneva as a step forward.At the meeting, Iran was given a two-week deadline to decided whether it will accept an incentives package in exchange for suspending its nuclear program. The European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana Saturday said he hopes Iran will provide an answer soon.Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said many of the problems related to the Iranian nuclear dispute can be resolved.

CHINA-OLYMPICS: China has initiated new driving restrictions in the capital of Beijing, banning more than a million cars from its streets for next month's Olympics.The rules, which took effect today and will stay in effect until September 20th, will ban cars on alternate days depending on whether their license plates end in odd or even numbers.The government hopes to keep about half of its three-point-three million cars off Beijing's streets to cut down on pollution.

ASEAN: Foreign ministers from the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations begin a series of meetings today (Sunday) in Singapore to discuss far-ranging issues involving security in the region.High on the agenda will be relief efforts in the military-ruled nation of Burma, which was devastated by cyclone Nargis in May The storm killed 78-thousand people and left 56-thousand others missing.ASEAN has been condemned by Western countries and human rights groups for failing to exert greater pressure on Burma to implement democratic reforms.

CAMBODIA-THAILAND: A delegation of foreign diplomats has arrived in Cambodia -- a country that remains locked in a border dispute with Thailand.
Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and U.S. officials flew in to Preah Vihear province on Saturday. The diplomats toured the site of an ancient Hindu temple whose ownership is disputed between Thailand and Cambodia.
China's official Xinhua news agency says the officials took pictures of the site, but did not attempt to mediate between the two sides.

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