INDIA-PAKISTAN-BRITAIN: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says he wants what he calls
"normalized" relations with Pakistan - in spite of rising tensions
between the two countries. Mr. Singh made the statement today (Sunday) during an election rally in Indian Kashmir. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Gordan Brown has pledged nine million
dollars to Pakistan to help fight causes of terrorism and support
democracy. Mr. Brown visited Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad
today after meeting with Mr. Singh in New Delhi this morning. An unnamed British government source says British police may ask Indian
officials for permission to question the lone surviving gunman from the
Mumbai attack that killed 171 people, including at least one British
AFGHANISTAN: Afghan officials say a bomb hidden in a wooden cart killed three police
officers and wounded at least five other policemen in the southern city
of Kandahar. Local officials say the attack today (Sunday) targeted a police vehicle. It also wounded at least six civilians. The French news agency reports that the Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack. Today's (Sunday's) explosion is the second in Kandahar
province in as many days. On Saturday Canadian officials said three
Canadian soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their
IRAQ: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has predicted U.S. troops will be
out of Iraqi cities and populated regions by the end of June -- the
deadline set under a new U.S.-Iraq security agreement for their
withdrawal from urban areas. Gates, who arrived Saturday in Iraq, said by the end of June, U.S. forces will have turned over all of
Iraq's 18 provinces to provincial Iraqi control. He noted Iraqi forces
will gradually take on more of the security responsibilities. However, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said earlier Saturday that U.S.
forces will remain in Iraqi cities beyond the June deadline. General
Ray Odierno said troops will stay on to advise and train Iraqi security
forces with a goal of keeping peace in Iraq's cities.
WORLD ECONOMY: China says it is taking more steps aimed at blunting the impact of the global financial crisis. In a statement posted on its Web site Saturday, China's State Council
says it plans to increase the country's money supply by 17 percent in
2009, in an effort to spur domestic consumption. The government also
hopes to boost bank lending by more than 14 billion dollars over 2008. Last month, China's government unveiled an economic stimulus package
including more than 580-billion dollars in spending over the next two
CHINA - TAIWAN: Direct daily passenger flights and shipping services between China and
Taiwan are set to begin on Monday, formally ending a six decade ban on
regular links. The French news agency reports that charter air service will initially
be available between four Taiwan and 12 Chinese cities. Ships from
China and Taiwan are scheduled Monday to set out for ports on both
sides of the Taiwan Straits. Direct travel ended when Taiwan split from China in 1949. Until recently, travelers usually had to pass through a third region
like Hong Kong or Macau to get from the mainland to Taiwan. Weekend charter flights between Taiwan and China began in July.
SOMALIA: The president of Somalia says he has dismissed the government of Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein. Abdullahi Yusuf said at a press conference Sunday that he will nominate
a new prime minister within days. Mr. Yusuf said he had dismissed the
prime minister because his transitional government was unable to
perform its duties. Prime Minister Hussein says his dismissal is "illegal." The president and the prime minister have been trying for weeks to form
a new cabinet. But Mr. Yusuf has rejected all the candidates for
ministry posts suggested by the prime minister.
MISS WORLD: Miss Russia - Ksenia Sukhinova - has won the Miss World competition.
Miss India and Miss Trinidad and Tobago were the top runners-up in
Saturday's pageant, held in Johannesburg. The 21-year-old Siberian beauty also won the the contest's top model award and was third in the swimsuit competition. Women from 109 countries competed in the 58th Miss World contest. Saturday's show was the grand finale after a month-long schedule of rehearsals, galas and a safari.
Click on our audio files for more details of these news in Lao.