US POLITICS: U.S. Senator John McCain is making his first campaign appearances as the
official Republican presidential nominee today with stops in
Wisconsin, Michigan and Colorado.McCain formally accepted the nomination
Thursday on the final day of the party's national convention in St. Paul,
Minnesota. He warned that he and his vice-presidential running mate, Alaska
Governor Sarah Palin, would shake up the "old, big spending, do nothing, me
first, country second, Washington crowd" if they are elected.The veteran
Arizona lawmaker highlighted his record of working with Democrats, and pledged
to continue bipartisanship as president and to end "constant partisan rancor" in
US - LIBYA: The top U.S. diplomat is due to arrive in Libya today, for the
first visit by a U.S. Secretary of State in more than 50
years.Condoleeza Rice is expected to meet with Libya's leader, Moammar
Gadhafi, and other key officials in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. The
State Department says Rice's trip signifies what it calls a "new chapter" in
U.S.-Libyan relations. Officials said (in a statement on the State Department
website) that normalizing diplomatic relations will allow the two countries
to strengthen their commercial ties and increase cooperation in science,
technology, education, and culture.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: Countries involved in talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program meet
today to discuss Pyongyang's announcement that it may restore a
disabled nuclear plant.The chief U.S. nuclear negotiator, Christopher
Hill, has left the United States for talks in Beijing with representatives from
China, South Korean and Japan. (Russia -- the fifth country involved in
negotiations with North Korea -- is not expected to attend.)South
Korean envoy Kim Sook says it is crucial to "break the deadlock" as soon as
possible so North Korea can resume dismantling the plant, and return to the
JAPAN - POLITICS: Veteran Japanese politician Taro Aso has formally launched his bid to become the
country's next prime minister.Aso announced today that
he will run for president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.The
67-year-old Aso is a former foreign minister who currently serves as LDP
secretary-general. He is known for his hawkish, conservative views, but also
favors bigger government spending to stimulate Japan's struggling economy.
Aso told reporters he faces a huge "mission" to revive the economy and
ease the concerns of Japanese voters.
GEORGIA: A U.S. Navy ship has arrived in the Georgian port of Poti, carrying humanitarian
assistance to the former Soviet republic.Poti is patrolled by Russian
troops who Moscow says are carrying out peacekeeping duties following Russia's
conflict with Georgia. The U.S. has called the Russian presence in Poti a
violation of a cease-fire agreement between Tbilisi and Moscow.U.S. Vice
President Dick Cheney is in Ukraine today, the last stop on a regional tour
aimed at showing for support for U.S. allies, following Russia's military action
in Georgia.In Tbilisi Thursday, Cheney said Russia had been engaged in
an "illegitimate, unilateral attempt" to change Georgia's borders by force.
PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Pakistani officials say at least five suspected militants have been killed in an
airstrike in a tribal region near the Afghan border.Witnesses said they
saw drone (unmanned) aircraft flying above a village in North Waziristan.
Officials say today's strike destroyed one house and wounded
several other people.The strike comes one day after Pakistan's foreign
minister formally complained to the United States about a suspected U.S. attack
on another target near the Afghan border.Details about that raid, which
took place on Wednesday, are still not clear.
ANGOLA - ELECTION: Angolans have begun casting their votes in a national election, the first since
the end of the country's long-running civil war. Today's parliamentary election is largely a race between the governing
MPLA, which has ruled for more than 30 years, and its former civil war enemy,
the UNITA party. The national vote is the first in 16 years and is
widely expected to extend the ruling party's control. It follows a
campaign marked by opposition allegations of intimidation and bias, but free
from violence. Elections in 1992 were meant to end Angola's long civil
war, but UNITA renewed the conflict after losing at the polls.
TROPICAL STORM HANNA: The U.S. states of North Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency
in preparation for Tropical Storm Hanna, which is closing in on the southeastern
United States and could strengthen into a hurricane. The National
Hurricane Center in Miami says Hanna is carrying maximum sustained winds of 100
kilometers an hour. Forecasters say winds and rains associated with the storm
could reach the U.S. coast later today.National Guard
troops are being deployed as part of emergency preparations in North and South
Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Listen to our World News for details.