KOREAS - RELATIONS: North Korea is warning that it will close border crossings to the South
beginning December first.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency issued a statement
today that it is closing all passages at the Military
Demarcation Line separating the bitter rivals. A spokesman for South
Korea's Unification Ministry says Pyongyang's
actions will have a negative impact on inter-Korean relations.
The move will affect South Koreans working at an inter-Korean
industrial complex in Kaesong, an ancient city located just north of
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: North Korea says it will not agree to allow samples to be taken from its nuclear facilities as part of international efforts to end its nuclear weapons program. The remarks provide the first details from Pyongyang about an ongoing effort to establish a verification process for the dismantling of its nuclear program. A Foreign Ministry statement today carried by the official Korea Central News Agency revealed the details. The statement said a request for samples would be considered to be the same as a house search and breach of North Korea's sovereignty.
TAIWAN GRAFT: A court in Taiwan has ordered the formal detention of former President
Chen Shui-bian on corruption charges.
Mr. Chen was taken into custody early today after six hours
of questioning on charges that he said were politically motivated.
Court proceedings were interrupted briefly late Tuesday after Mr. Chen
was taken to a hospital. Mr. Chen said policemen injured him while he
was being transferred Tuesday from the prosecutors' office to the
courthouse. Doctors said his arm was slightly injured, but found him
fit to continue with the hearing after he was treated.
WORLD ECONOMY: The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has
called on Congress to pass legislation giving the U.S. automobile
industry emergency financial assistance.
Pelosi made the call Tuesday in a statement, urging lawmakers to
quickly pass an amendment to the 700-billion-dollar government bailout
package that would allow automakers access to the funds slated for
banks and financial service firms.
She did not say how much aid should be allocated to the auto industry.
Monday, President-elect Barack Obama and President George Bush discussed possible aid to the troubled U.S. auto industry.
DRC - FIGHTING: The United Nations Security Council is considering an appeal by the
secretary-general to boost the U.N. peacekeeping force in the
Democratic Republic of Congo.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called for an additional
three-thousand troops for the overstretched U.N. mission in eastern
Congo, calling the situation there "increasingly desperate."
He says fighting in the region between rebels and government forces has cut off aid to at least 100-thousand displaced people.
The council is expected to take action on Mr. Ban's request by the end of the month.
PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Pakistani police say gunmen have shot dead a U.S. aid official and his
driver in a volatile area of northwestern Pakistan.
Police officials say the aid official and his driver were ambushed
today in the University Town neighborhood in Peshawar,
capital of the North-West Frontier Province. The U.S. embassy in
Islamabad refused to identify the aid worker, who
security officials say was involved with projects for tribal areas in
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Elsehwere, a suicide
car bomber has killed at least two soldiers in an
attack on a military site in a volatile area of the northwest.
INDIA - MISSILE: Defense officials in India say a nuclear-capable missile has been
test-fired from India's eastern coast. They say a submarine-based K-15
ballistic missile with a top range of 700 kilometers was launched today from a test range in Orissa state.
India also tested the K-15 missile from an undersea platform earlier
this year. India is part of an exclusive club of countries with the
launch missiles from land, air and sea -- such as the United States,
Russia, France and China.
India's neighbor, Pakistan, has also tested nuclear weapons.
IRAN - MISSILE: Iran says it has successfully test-fired a new generation of ground to ground missiles.
Iranian state media (IRNA) quote Defense Minister Mostafa
Mohammad Najjar as saying the high-speed Sejil missiles use solid fuel.
He said they were made by Iranian aerospace experts of the armed forces.
Najjar also said the missiles were intended for defense purposes.
It was unclear where the missiles were tested.
Iran has tested missiles in the past and is believed to possess a
medium-range rocket known as the Shahab-Three.
SOMALIA: Witnesses in Somalia say Islamist insurgents have seized the port of
Merka, located about 90 kilometers south of the capital of Mogadishu.
Residents say the insurgents belong to the al-Shabab militia, which has
been fighting to capture territory from the U.N.-backed interim
government and its Ethiopian allies.
On Tuesday, the heavily-armed group seized two towns in the region,
Qoryoley and Bulo Marer. A Somali police official said forces withdrew
after being confronted by nearly one-thousand insurgent fighters.
Listen to our World News for details.