RUSSIA - EUROPE - GAS: Russian gas supplies have been completely cut off to some European
nations and significantly reduced to others as a result of the
Russia-Ukraine gas price dispute.
Bulgarian officials said all supplies of Russian gas via Ukraine to
Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and Macedonia were halted today due
to the dispute. Deliveries of Russian gas to Croatia have also stopped.
Austria and the Czech Republic reported significant drops in supplies
of Russian gas. A European Union delegation plans to hold talks about
the energy crisis
with Russian officials in Moscow today before heading to Kyiv for a
meeting with Ukrainian officials.
ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: Medical authorities in the Gaza Strip say at least 18 Palestinians were
killed early Tuesday, as Israel's military offensive targeting Hamas
entered its 11th day.
Witnesses say Israeli forces have moved deeper into Gaza, rolling into
the southern city of Khan Younis. Sources say fighting has also
intensified on the outskirts of Gaza City and around the northern
refugee camp of Jabaliya.
Medical workers and United Nations officials say at least three
Palestinians are dead after a U.N. school in Gaza was hit by an Israeli
Gaza health officials say more than 550 Palestinians have been killed
and another 25-hundred wounded since the start of the Israeli military
INDIA - PAKISTAN: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that the terrorists who
carried out the deadly attacks in Mumbai in November "must have had the
support of some official agencies in Pakistan."
Mr. Singh made the accusation today during a
security conference in New Delhi. His remarks came just hours after his
government gave Islamabad what it said is evidence proving that the
Mumbai attacks were carried out by "elements in Pakistan."
The prime minister is accusing Islamabad of stoking "war hysteria," but he praised Indians for remaining "steadfastly united."
facilities of a private
broadcaster sustained heavy damage when it was attacked by a group of
Authorities say the attackers stormed the Maharaja network facilities early today outside
the capital city of Colombo and destroyed the main control room with
grenades, guns and other weapons. The attack knocked the network's
three television and four radio stations off the air for several hours.
No one has claimed responsibility for today's attack.
Lawmakers have appeared on state-run media outlets in recent days and
accused the network of favoring the Tamil Tiger rebels in its news
IRAQ - FEMALE BOMBERS: A U.S. commander in Iraq's heavily Shi'ite region south of Baghdad says troops are on alert for female suicide bombers during the festival of Ashura, which begins later today. Colonel Butch Kievenaar said Monday he has information that al-Qaida may send female suicide bombers to disrupt the festival. The colonel, who commands coalition forces in the region that includes Karbala -- the center of the Ashura festival -- said there have been 39 suicide bombings by women in Iraq in the past year. He said U.S. troops have been training Iraqi security forces to prepare for the Ashura.
NOKOR - REFUGEES: South Korea says the flow of refugees from the North grew last year,
but China's tightened border policies slowed that growth to a lower
rate than recent years.
South Korea's Unification Ministry on Monday said more than 28-hundred
North Korean defectors arrived in the South last year. Most of them
first crossed from North Korea into China.
Last year's total is 10 percent larger than in 2007. But the flow of
refugees grew by 46 percent in 2007, and 26 percent in 2006.
The ministry said China clamped down on its border with North Korea ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August.
THAILAND - VIOLENCE: A human rights group says it is concerned that insurgents in southern Thailand are shifting tactics and may use more car bombs.
Human Rights Watch's Sunai Pasuk says more car bombings were reported
in the last part of 2008 and there is "an across the board assessment"
that the trend will continue in 2009 and cause large numbers of
The insurgents are a collection of groups, including Islamist
extremists, that have yet to make their demands clear. They target
public officials, teachers, Buddhist monks and other civilians.
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