ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Bangkok Airport Welcomes First Post-Takeover Flight


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 companies. 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 jets. 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 wind power.

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 Energy Secretary. 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.

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