SAARC - SUMMIT: The prime ministers of India and Pakistan are set to meet on the
sidelines of a South Asian summit in Colombo today, amid
rising tensions between the two countries.
It will be the highest-level meeting between the two sides in 15
Relations between the nuclear-armed countries have been strained by
clashes on their disputed Kashmir border and a July bomb attack on the
Indian embassy in Kabul in which 41 people died.
India has accused Pakistan's spy agency of involvement in the Kabul
attack -- a charge Pakistan denies.
IRAN NUCLEAR: Iran is facing a deadline today to decide if it
will accept an incentives package in exchange for suspending uranium
enrichment activities, or face additional sanctions.
The United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia said on
July 19th - a Saturday - that Iran had two weeks to accept the package.
It is not clear whether the United States and Europe plan to strictly
hold Iran to the deadline. Iran said earlier this week that no firm
deadline had been set.
Iran state television reported Friday that President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed to use force against what he calls
"enemies" who want to curtail Tehran's controversial nuclear program.
PALESTINIANS - VIOLENCE: Palestinian officials say at least two Hamas security officers were
killed in fresh clashes with members of the Fatah faction loyal to
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Gaza Strip .
Officials say at least 16 other people were wounded in the fighting
between the rival factions today in a suburb of Gaza City.
They say the clashes occurred as Hamas security forces continued their
efforts to arrest suspects they believe were behind a bombing a week
ago that killed five Hamas members and a young girl. Fatah denies any
On Friday, Hamas security forces arrested 15 senior Fatah leaders in
IRAQ: The U.S. military in Iraq says it has released more than 10 thousand
detainees from facilities in the country so far this year - more than
were released in all of 2007.
In a statement released today the military
credits the higher release rate to a program designed to better
integrate detainees into society. They say less than one percent of
those released have been detained again.
The military says it is currently holding slightly less than 21 thousand detainees in two different facilities in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the military says coalition forces today detained 12
suspected terrorists - including two wanted men - during operations
targeting al-Qaida in Iraq leaders.
JAPAN POL: Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's new Cabinet met for the first
time today, after being sworn in at a ceremony in front of
Emperor Akihito at the imperial palace.
At the meeting, Mr. Fukuda pledged to fight rising prices and go ahead
with his reform policies.
Mr. Fukuda replaced 13 of his 17 government ministers Friday, including
his economic team, in an effort to revive the country's stagnant
economy. He named Kaoru Yosana as his new economics minister, while
tapping Bunmei Ibuki as finance minister.
The Japanese prime minister said the new Cabinet is charged with
implementing reforms to improve people's lives, including dealing with
issues such as rising fuel costs and a declining domestic birth rate.
JAPAN - US SUBMARINE: U.S. defense officials have warned various foreign authorities that a
nuclear-powered submarine may have leaked trace amounts of radioactive
water during multiple ports of call.
The Pentagon Friday revealed that a leak was found on a nuclear-powered
U.S. Navy submarine after it recently cruised through the Pacific.
During the trip, the USS Houston made stops in japan, Guam and Hawaii.
Officials say the amount of radioactivity or radioactive water that
could have leaked through a faulty valve would almost be too small to
US POLITICS: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama says he would
consider allowing some offshore oil drilling if it was necessary to
achieve his wider aims of greater energy efficiency and creating
alternative energy sources.
Obama made the comments in an interview with a Florida newspaper ("The Palm Beach Post") published today.
In the past, he has opposed Republican presidential candidate John
McCain's call for more off-shore oil drilling, but now says he would
support a compromise with Republicans and oil companies if it prevented
gridlock over energy policy.
CAMBODIA - KHMER: Former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, jailed for crimes
against humanity, has been hospitalized in Cambodia's capital, Phnom
A spokesman for the United Nations-backed genocide court says Ieng Sary was taken to the hospital Friday after
blood was found in his urine during a routine health check. The former
Khmer Rouge official has been hospitalized several times in the last
few months, and his lawyers argue he should be released immediately and
is too ill to stand trial.
Listen to our World News for details.