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Israeli Offensive Against Hamas Militants Continue Into Tenth Day


ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: The Israeli offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza is continuing into a tenth day with troops, tanks and air strikes in the Palestinian territory.
Palestinian medical officials say at least five people have been killed in separate attacks in and around Gaza city today (Monday).
The Palestinian doctors say more than 500 people have died in nearly ten days of Israeli air strikes and the recent ground offensive, which began late Saturday. Israel reports one soldier has been killed and 30 injured.
Hamas has continued rocket attacks against southern Israel that the offensive into Gaza was designed to stop.

INDIA-PAKISTAN: Richard Boucher, the assistant U.S. secretary of state for South and Central Asia, is meeting with the Pakistani government's top officials in Islamabad today (Monday) to talk about the simmering tensions with India in the wake of the deadly Mumbai attacks.
Earlier today (Monday), Pakistan said it was reviewing evidence India handed over alleging Pakistani involvement in the deadly Mumbai attacks.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the Reuters news agency that Pakistan has a "duty" to examine the dossier carefully.
An Indian foreign ministry statement says the evidence links the attacks to "elements in Pakistan."

U.S ECONOMY: U.S. President-elect Barack Obama meets later today (Monday) with congressional leaders to work on a large government spending package designed to help the country's economy.
Mr. Obama, who returned to Washington Sunday night, says he will ask Congress to spend money to improve roads, bridges, mass transit, and schools. He has also proposed reducing taxes on low- and middle-income Americans. The president-elect says the plan will create three million jobs. It is expected to cost more than 750-billion dollars.

SOMALIA PIRATES: The French navy says it has captured 19 Somali pirates who tried to seize two cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden.
A statement from French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office says a French naval ship patrolling as part of a European Union anti-piracy force came to the rescue of a Croatian and a Panamanian ship off the Somali coast today (Sunday).
The statement says the pirates were armed and have been handed over to Somali authorities.
Pirates seeking millions of dollars in ransom regularly seize cargo vessels and crew in the Gulf of Aden -- one of the world's busiest shipping areas.

SUDAN-US: Sudan's First Vice President Salva Kiir is set to meet today (Monday) with U.S. President George Bush at the White House.
The White House says the two leaders will discuss the status of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed four years ago, ending 22 years of war between Arab-dominated northern Sudan and southern rebels.
Mr. Kiir, a former rebel leader, also serves as president of semi-autonomous southern Sudan.
The meeting takes place as the International Criminal Court decides if it will issue an indictment against Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Listen to our World News for more details of these stories and others in Lao.

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