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Karadzic to Face War Crimes Tribunal


KARADZIC: Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will make his first appearance before the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague today, to face charges of genocide.Karadzic arrived in the Hague Wednesday, a week after Serbian police arrested him in Belgrade after 12 years as a fugitiveAs part of the legal proceeding today, the judge will give Karadzic the opportunity to enter a plea, but one of Karadzic's lawyers says his client will refuse.Karadzic will then be given 30 days before a plea must be entered.He is facing 11 counts of genocide and war crimes for his alleged attempt to ethnically cleanse Muslim and Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war in the 1990s.

THAILAND - THAKSIN: The wife of deposed Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion.Thailand's Criminal Court issued the sentence today against Pojaman Shinawatra and her brother, Bannapot Damapong, for colluding to evade paying more than 16 million dollars in taxes in the transfer of shares in a telecommunications firm founded by Mr. Thaksin. The court denounced Pojaman for her actions, saying as the wife of the prime minister she was expected to be a good role model. Her secretary was sentenced to two years in prison. Shortly after the verdict was announced, the three were released on 149-thousand dollars bail.

JAPAN - POLITICS: Embattled Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is planning to reshuffle his cabinet Friday in a bid to boost his low approval ratings.Government officials say Mr. Fukuda will announce the new lineup after meeting with Akihiro Ota, the head of the New Komeito party and a member of the ruling coalition led by the prime minister's Liberal Democratic Party.Mr. Fukuda took power last year after his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, abruptly resigned after a series of scandals, including the mishandling of thousands of pension records. The prime minister's ratings have been mired around 20-percent, and have shown little improvement since hosting a summit of leaders of the world's eight richest nations.

JAPAN - INDIA - THREATS: The Japanese embassy in New Delhi is warning its citizens there about a bomb threat.The embassy says the threat, received via e-mail on Wednesday, says a bomb has been planted in the city's popular Sarojini Nagar market. It is warning Japanese citizens to avoid going to public places where many people gather, including markets, bus stops and religious institutions.More than 40 people were killed Saturday in a series of bombings in the city of Ahmedabad, in Gujarat state.A little-known group called "Indian Mujahedin" has claimed responsibility for the bombings. The group delivered its message in an e-mail sent to local media minutes before the blasts began.

ISRAEL - POLITICS: Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for new elections.The Likud party leader and former prime minister spoke to Israeli radio today, one day after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced he will resign.Mr. Olmert says he will step down once his ruling Kadima party chooses a new leader in a September 17th primary, and allow the next Kadima leader to form a new government. But Netanyahu told Israeli radio that the primary does not matter because the current government has come to an end.In a brief national address Wednesday, Mr. Olmert accused his political opponents of trying to bring him down by subjecting him to a series of investigations.

IRAQ: Iraqi police say a suicide bomber has killed three policemen inan attack near the northern city of Mosul.Police say the bomber rammed his car into a police station today. Officials say four policemen were also wounded.The attack comes as Iraqi security forces have been leading an anti-al-Qaida offensive in the eastern province of Diyala.In other developments, the Reuters news agency said today that the U.S. military has detained one of its cameramen.U.S. troops detained Ali al-Mashhadani, who also works for the BBC, on Saturday when he went to the U.S.-protected Green Zone in Baghdad to get a U.S. military press card.

IRAN NUCLEAR: Iran has signaled it does not intend to meet the latest deadline inongoing negotiations with world powers over its controversial nuclear program. The United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia have given Iran until Saturday to accept an incentives package in exchange for suspending uranium enrichment activities, or risk additional sanctions. But Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, today rejected the notion any deadline had been set. Mottaki told Iran's official news agency that Iran had already presented its views, and that it is waiting for a reply. Western nations accuse Iran of enriching uranium in order to make nuclear weapons.

VIETNAM - CAR TAX: Vietnam state media say the government will increase car registration fees in an attempt to reduce traffic jams.A decision signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung this week will increase the fees by as much as 15 percent of the purchase price of a vehicle. The measure becomes effective starting next month. The current registration fee is five percent of a vehicle's purchase price.The measure aims to restrict new car registrations to reduce traffic congestion in big cities. A growing economy has allowed for a boost in car sales, putting more drivers on the roads.

US - CHINA RIGHTS: China is denouncing a U.S. congressional resolution criticizing Beijing's human rights record.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said today the resolution is an attempt to politicize the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games, a move he says is "blasphemy to the Olympic spirit." The resolution, which was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday (by a vote of 419 to one), urges Beijing to stop abusing its citizens' human rights, and end its support for the governments of Burma and Sudan, which have also been accused of human rights violations.

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