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Russian Military Convoy Heads Toward Georgian Capital


GEORGIA: A Russian military convoy of trucks and armored vehicles has passed through the strategic Georgian town of Gori and is moving toward the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Western reporters in and near the Russian convoy say it was moving rapidly southeastward toward Tbilisi today, and had not yet met any resistance. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili told the Cable News Network that the Russians may be planning to encircle the capital. He said Georgian troops are prepared to defend the capital, in his words, until "the last drop of blood" is shed. (News Updates)

RUSSIA - US: A senior U.S. defense official says the United States has canceled a joint naval exercise with Russia, scheduled for this week. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, said Tuesday that in the wake of the fighting in Georgia, there is no way the joint exercise can take place at this time. The naval exercise was to have started Friday off the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok with Britain and France also taking part. There is no word whether they will still participate. U.S. officials also say the Group of Eight world largest economies are considering whether to expel Russia and revert to the G-7.

CHINA - PROTESTS: At least seven pro-Tibet protesters have been arrested in Beijing after staging a brief demonstration near the city's main Olympics venue. Members of the Students for a Free Tibet were quickly arrested after they hung a pro-Tibet banner in a park near the National Stadium today. A British television journalist who was covering the protest was roughed up by police and briefly detained, despite his efforts to show he is accredited to cover the Beijing Olympic Games.

NOKOR - JAPAN: North Korea has agreed to complete a new investigation of the country's past abductions of Japanese citizens later this year. In return, Japan has agreed to ease some economic sanctions against North Korea. North Korean and Japanese negotiators reached the agreement early today during late night talks in China. Talks resumed after midnight Tuesday following two days of bilateral talks in the northeastern city of Shenyang. Pyongyang also agreed to set up a committee to quickly conclude the investigation. North Korea had pledged to reinvestigate the matter during a previous round of talks in June.

THAILAND - THAKSIN: Authorities in Thailand have begun the process of trying to extradite former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from Britain, where he and his wife have fled to avoid corruption charges. Mr. Thaksin and his wife Pojaman failed to appear before the Supreme Court Monday to face charges in connection with a real estate scandal. They flew to Britain Sunday evening from Beijing, where they were attending the Beijing Olympic Games. The couple face several court cases related to allegations of corruption during Mr. Thaksin's time in office.

INDIA - UN: India says it will severely punish any soldiers found to be involved in sexual or child abuse while serving as peacekeepers in Africa. Indian army officials said today they are conducting an investigation into the allegations, and that if proven, "exemplary action" will be taken. Earlier this week, the United Nations said it had found evidence that at least 100 Indian peacekeepers took part in the sexual and child abuse while assigned to the Democratic Republic of Congo over several years. Details of the U.N. investigation have not been made public, but officials with knowledge of the report say the accusations focus on a child prostitution ring near a base camp near Masisi.

ZIMBABWE: South African President Thabo Mbeki has left Zimbabwe without securing a comprehensive power-sharing agreement. Mr. Mbeki presided over three-days of talks between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders in the hopes of forging some sort of deal. A spokesman said today the South African president was traveling to Angola to give a report on the talks to Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Mr. Dos Santos is the head of the security committee of the South African Development Community.

SPORTS - OLYMPIC WRAP: American swimmer Michael Phelps has become the most successful Olympian ever by winning his 10th and 11th career gold medals and now has five in the Beijing Olympics. Phelps won the 200 meter butterfly in world record time (1:52.03) while his goggles were filled with water, impairing his vision. Less than an hour after that race, he and his three American teammates captured the four-by-200 relay gold and shattered the world record by almost five seconds (6:58.56).

OLYMPICS SINGER: The music director for the Opening Ceremony at the Beijing Olympics has admitted that a young girl who delivered a key performance during the show, lip-synched her song. Chen Qigang says the pigtailed nine-year-old girl, Lin Miaoke, was actually a stand-in for the real singer who was not considered attractive enough. The real singer, Yang Peiyi, is seven, and has a chubby face and crooked teeth. Chen says organizers made the decision at the request of a high-ranking Communist Party official, adding that they were thinking about doing what was best for the nation.

Listen to our World News for details.

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