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Russians Dismantle Checkpoint in Georgia


GEORGIA - RUSSIA: European Union monitors in Georgia say they have observed the dismantling of a Russian checkpoint near the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Russia has said it will withdraw troops from two security zones inside undisputed Georgian territory by October 10th, under a cease-fire agreement brokered by France.
More than 200 EU peace monitors began their mission Wednesday, as called for in the French-brokered cease-fire. Russian troops allowed EU monitors to enter a buffer zone around South Ossetia, despite earlier saying the monitors would be prevented from entering the Russian-declared buffer zones around South Ossetia and Abkhazia - another breakaway region in Georgia.

KAZAKHSTAN - RICE: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Kazakhstan today (Sunday) for talks on security and energy cooperation. She is meeting with President Nursultan Nazarbayev and other government officials and is also expected to discuss security political and economic reforms in the former Soviet republic. Rice said Sunday that U.S. efforts to build closer ties with Kazakhstan are not intended to undermine Russian influence in Central Asia. President Nazarbayev has maintained close links to Moscow, while also allowing major U.S. corporations a substantial role in the Kazakhstan's burgeoning oil and gas industry.

US - IRAN: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the Bush administration is still considering setting up a diplomatic mission in Iran. Rice refuted an Associated Press report that the administration had decided to hand the issue to its successor. She told reporters that Washington continues to look at the idea. On a flight from India to Kazakhstan for talks on other matters, Rice called the idea interesting. She did not comment further. The United States and Iran are at odds over the Middle East country's nuclear program. Iran has ignored U.N. resolutions demanding that it stop uranium enrichment. U.S. and European governments fear that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

BRITAIN - AFGHANISTAN: Britain's top military commander in Afghanistan says the war against the Taliban cannot be won and that the militant group may very well be part of a long-term solution for the country.
Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith told "The Sunday Times" newspaper that "we're not going to win this war." He said the objective should instead be to reduce the insurgency to a manageable level.

THAILAND - PROTEST: Thai police have arrested a key opposition figure, one of several accused of leading thousands of anti-government protesters in weeks of demonstrations in the capital. Authorities arrested Chamlong Srimuang, of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) today (Sunday) in Bangkok. The arrest comes one day after police detained Chiawat Sinsuwongse, also of the PAD. He faces charges of insurrection, conspiracy, and illegal assembly. Chamlong is expected to face similar charges. Under Thai law, insurrection can carry the death penalty.

BURMA - CHINA - MILK: Authorities in Burma have urged people not to consume Chinese milk and dairy products, amid a contamination scandal. The official "New Light of Myanmar" newspaper said today (Sunday) that the country's food and drug watchdog has destroyed 16 tons of imported Chinese baby formula tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, which is used to make plastics. The paper said authorities also urged those concerned not to sell milk powder contaminated with melamine and to take off the market milk powder that is under testing.
The report in Burma said a further 15 hundred tons of milk from companies not listed by the Chinese have yet to be tested.

Listen to our World News for more details in Lao.

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