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US To Mark Seventh Anniversary of 2001 Terrorist Attacks


US - 9-11 ANNIVERSARY: U.S. President George Bush will lead a moment of silence at the White House today to mark the seventh anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.The moment of silence will be held at the exact time (8:46 a.m. EDT/1246 GMT) when terrorists crashed the first of two passenger jets into the World Trade Center in New York City. Another jet crashed into the Pentagon near Washington that morning, while a fourth jet crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly three-thousand people were killed in the attacks.

NOKOR - KIM: The South Korean president has instructed his Cabinet to be prepared for possible changes in North Korea after reports that its leader Kim Jong-Il suffered a stroke.A statement issued after the emergency meeting in Seoul Wednesday night says President Lee Myung-bak stressed the South should be ready to respond to any situation without confusion.The statement says there was a report that Mr. Kim is recovering from a stroke and does not appear to be in critical condition. It also says the South has not seen any unusual troop movements in North Korea.

THAILAND POLITICS: Thailand's ruling political party has re-nominated ousted Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to stand again for the post.A spokesman for the People's Power Party says the majority of members selected Mr. Samak during a meeting in Bangkok today. Earlier this week, Mr. Samak was forced to resign after the Constitutional Court ruled he broke the law by accepting payment for appearing on a television cooking show while in office.The PPP, the largest in Thailand's six-party ruling coalition, faced opposition from its coalition partners over Mr. Samak's nomination.

CHINA - LANDSLIDE: Officials in China say the death toll at a provincial village buried under a massive landslide will likely rise.The head of China's ministry of work safety told the state-run "China Daily" newspaper there is "almost no hope" for the survival of hundreds of people buried under tons of mud and debris in Shanxi province.More than two-thousand rescue workers are digging through the rubble in a search for any survivors.At least 128 people were killed when heavy rains triggered the collapse of a reservoir of iron-ore waste at an illegal mine.

US - PAK - AFGHAN: A U.S. newspaper is reporting that President George Bush gave secret orders in July authorizing U.S. armed forces to carry out ground assaults in Pakistan without seeking approval from Pakistan's government. The "New York Times" newspaper quoted senior U.S. officials who said the military will notify Pakistan's government when they conduct raids, but will not seek its permission.The officials said the orders are part of a broader push to assert U.S. control over the Afghan-Pakistani border, thought to be a stronghold for the Taliban and al-Qaida .

LEBANON - BOMB: Lebanese officials say a bomb killed a pro-Syrian politician near Beirut, just days before rival factions are due to begin national reconciliation talks.Authorities say the bomb detonated Wednesday as Druze leader Sheik Saleh Aridi was in his car in the village of Baissour.Aridi is the first public figure to be assassinated in Lebanon in about a year.His death comes less than a week before Lebanon's pro-Western and pro-Syrian factions are to meet for talks on settling their differences.Last month, Lebanon and Syria announced a plan to open diplomatic ties for the first time since independence about 60 years ago.

GEORGIA: A Russian news agency reports that Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia intends to become part of Russia.Interfax today quotes the leader of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, as saying the region plans to unite with North Ossetia, just across the border in Russia.Another Russian news agency reports the separatist region of Abkhazia intends to become an independent republic.Itar-Tass quotes Abkhazia leader, Sergei Bagapsh, as saying Russia has no claim to the region and has stated it does not intend to seize any part of it.

BANGLADESH - POLITICS: Former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has been released from prison on bail, after spending a year in jail on corruption charges.The Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader left prison today. One of her lawyers said Ms. Zia will remain in Bangladesh and intends to resume her political activity. The Bangladesh high court said Tuesday that Ms. Zia should be paroled for three months to seek medical treatment. On Wednesday, Bangladesh's Anti-Corruption Commission appealed that ruling. The Supreme Court will likely hear the appeal next week.

HERRICANE IKE: Residents along the coastal region of (the southwestern U.S. state of) Texas have begun evacuating their homes to escape the potential onslaught of Hurricane Ike.The National Hurricane Center says Ike is traveling through the Gulf of Mexico carrying maximum sustained winds of 160 kilometers an hour, making it a Category Two hurricane. Forecasters say Ike could evolve into a much stronger Category Three storm later today or Friday. It is expected to make landfall along the Texas coast early Saturday.

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