US POLITICS: Barack Obama has accepted the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, with a
ringing call for change and a promise to end what he called eight years of
"failed policies" of Republican President George Bush. The Illinois
senator appeared before nearly 80-thousand cheering supporters Thursday on the
final day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He is the first
African American in U.S. history to lead a major party presidential
ticket.In his speech at a packed sports stadium, Obama slammed
Republican candidate John McCain, saying he has voted with President Bush more
than 90 percent of the time.
ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
are set to talk again in the hopes of moving closer to a peace
deal.Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said today the
two leaders will meet Sunday in Jerusalem.A spokesman for Mr. Olmert
confirmed the meeting.The two leaders last met August 6th, when Israel
agreed to release Palestinian prisoners in a sign of goodwill. Israel released
almost 200 prisoners Monday.U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met
with Israeli and Palestinian officials earlier this week, and said the parties
have a "good chance" of signing a deal by the time U.S. President George Bush
leaves office in January.
PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Pakistani troops have foiled a suicide attack on a military camp in the
country's northwest.Officials say troops opened fire today
on a car as it raced past security checkpoints in the Kohat Tunnel leading
to a base in the town of Darra Adam Kheil, causing it to explode prematurely.
They say two civilians were killed and 30 people, including soldiers,
were wounded.The officials say the attack came after forces arrested a
Taliban commander and three of his associates in the same area
Thursday.Also Thursday, the top U.S military officer said he is
encouraged by Pakistani actions to quell violence in tribal areas, but that
Islamabad and Washington can do more to combat the growing militant threat.
IRAN - NUCLEAR: A top Iranian official say the country now has four-thousand, working nuclear
centrifuges.Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Reza Sheik Attar made the claim
to Iranian state media today, saying another three-thousand
centrifuges will soon be installed at Iran's main nuclear site in
Natanz.The centrifuges could significantly boost Iran's ability to
produce enriched uranium. Iran has repeatedly said the goal of its
nuclear program is to generate electricity. But critics -- including the United
States -- fear Iran is trying to develop nuclear warheads.
THAILAND - PROTESTS: Thai police have forcibly re-entered a government compound that was seized by
thousands of protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Samak
Sundaravej.Hundreds of riot police stormed the fences of the Government
House in Bangkok today, pushing their way past scores of
protesters to deliver a court order demanding they leave the compound.
At least 400 police officers were forced off the grounds by the
activists earlier today. The police did not resist, and the protesters cheered
and danced to rock music after the officers left.
DALAI LAMA: Doctors in India treating Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, say
there is no cause for concern.The Dalai Lama's personal secretary says
he was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai Thursday. The hospital tells the
French news agency today that the Dalai Lama is in stable
condition.The Dalai Lama canceled two upcoming foreign trips to undergo
medical tests, after experiencing discomfort during recent travels.His
office said the 73-year-old Buddhist leader's doctors had diagnosed him with
exhaustion and recommended that he complete some medical tests.
ZIMBABWE - TALKS: South Africa says power-sharing talks between Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party
and opposition factions would resume today.Foreign
Ministry spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa made the announcement. However,
Zimbabwe state media quoted Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa as saying there
is a deal on the table waiting to be signed and no more discussion is
necessary.The talks -- mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki
-- stalled two weeks ago before any deal was signed.
INDIA - FLOODS: Indian Prime Minister Manmoham Singh has declared the flooded eastern Bihar
state a "national calamity" and pledged millions of dollars for emergency relief
efforts.Mr. Singh and Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi flew by
helicopter over devastated areas Thursday. After the tour, the prime
minister ordered emergency reserves of 125-thousands tons of grain for Bihar. He
also said the state will receive more than 225 million dollars to help people
affected by the rising floodwaters.The official death toll stands at 55
but it is believed that hundreds more have drowned.
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