THAILAND POL: The first flight has arrived at Bangkok's main airport since anti-government protesters ended a week-long takeover.
A Thai Airways jetliner carrying passengers from the resort island of
Phuket landed at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi international airport today.
The plane arrived hours after leaders of the People's Alliance for
Democracy officially returned control of the facility to airport
officials and ordered their followers to leave.
Thousands of alliance supporters had seized both the international
airport and Bangkok's domestic airport to back up their demand for the
resignation of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and his government.
INDIA - PAKISTAN - US: U.S. Secretary of State Condolezza Rice has urged Pakistan to act with
"urgency and resolve" in cooperating with the probe into last week's
deadly terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
Rice spoke today in New Delhi, where she is holding talks aimed at
defusing tensions between India and Pakistan that have risen folllowing
the attack on India's financial capital.
Also trying to defuse tensions, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs
of Staff is visiting Islamabad today. Officials say Navy
Admiral Mike Mullen will meet with Pakistani government and military
officials on regional issues.
US ECONOMY: The top executives at the so-called "Big Three" U.S. automakers are
driving to Washington in hybrid cars today for hearings
later this week that could determine the fate of their ailing
The chiefs of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are making the trip in
hybrids -- vehicles that run on gas and electricity -- after being
criticized by lawmakers for flying to hearings last month in private
The executives are expected to present Congress with detailed plans
(Thursday and Friday)
on how they would use billions of dollars in emergency aid.
US - ELECTRIC CARS: Top officials in Hawaii are moving forward with plans to slash the Pacific state's dependence on fossil fuels.
Governor Linda Lingle signed a deal Tuesday to create a network of up
to 100-thousand recharging stations for electric cars by 2012.
She says the agreement, with the California-based company Better Place
and the Hawaiian Electric Company, could help cut the state's use of
fossil fuels by as much as 70-percent by 2030.
In addition to building the recharging stations, Better Place says it
will work with the Hawaiian Electric Company to improve the state's
electric infrastructure and take advantage of renewable energy, like
US - OBAMA TRANSITION: U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is set to name another governor to
his cabinet today, one day after meeting with many of the
nation's governors in Philadelphia.
Mr. Obama has scheduled a news conference in
Chicago, to announce the nomination of New Mexico Governor Bill
Richardson for Commerce Secretary.
Richardson is a former Democratic presidential candidate who has
previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and as
As Commerce Secretary, Richardson would play a key role in promoting
international trade and helping to strengthen the U.S. economy.
BURMA - UN: More than 100 former heads of state from more than 50 nations are
urging United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to press Burma's
ruling military junta to release thousands of political dissidents,
including pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
In a letter dated today, the former leaders
applaud Mr. Ban for considering traveling to Burma. They say the
proposed trip would "illustrate for the world" whether the junta is
serious about making changes called for by the U.N. Security Council.
The ex-leaders say Mr. Ban must demand the release of all prisoners by
December 31st, even if he does not travel to Burma.
NOKOR NUCLEAR: Envoys from the U.S., Japan and South Korea say they will push North
Korea to allow inspectors to take samples from its nuclear facilities
to verify claims that it has ended its nuclear weapons program.
Following talks in Tokyo today, the three envoys said they
would seek a written document detailing the issue of taking samples.
Akitaka Saiki, Japan's chief nuclear negotiator, says he and his
counterparts -- Christopher Hill of the United States and South Korea's
Kim Sook -- agree they must take samples from North Korean facilities
to confirm Pyongyang's declaration of its programs.
SOMALIA - PIREATES: Somali officials say they have persuaded pirates to release a Yemeni cargo ship -- without receiving any ransom payment.
Ali Abdi Aware, the foreign minister of Somalia's semi-autonomous
Puntland region, told reporters on Tuesday the pirates had freed the
ship, after days of negotiation with local officials. He did not give
details about the talks.
Pirates often demand and receive ransom payments of at least one-million dollars.
Meanwhile, NATO says one of its warships has prevented pirates from hijacking several cargo vessels off the coast of Somalia.
Listen to our World News for details.