ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: Israel's military says it is stopping its attacks on Hamas targets in
the Gaza Strip for three hours every day to
allow humanitarian aid into the Palestinian territory.
The announcement today follows Israel's
decision to set up a "humanitarian corridor" to allow Gaza residents to
stock up on vital goods. Concerns have mounted over shortages of food,
water and medicine.
Israel also has faced strong international criticism over Palestinian
civilian casualties that have resulted from its 12-day old offensive
against Hamas militants.
US PRESIDENTS LUNCH: U.S. President George Bush is scheduled to host a luncheon at the White
House today with President-elect Barack Obama and all the
living former American presidents.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Tuesday that President Bush
will speak privately with Mr. Obama before the lunch. She said the last
time all the living U.S. presidents met at the White House was in 1981.
The White House has said Mr. Bush's father, former President George
H.W. Bush, along with former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton,
will attend the lunch.
US - CHINA: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte has arrived in the Chinese capital to help mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Chinese state media said Negroponte held talks today with his Chinese counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya. During his visit to Beijing, Negroponte is scheduled to play in a commemorative ping pong event and participate in other ceremonies to honor the 30-year anniversary. The two countries formally established bilateral relations on January first, 1979. He is making the visit in place of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who canceled the trip because of the crisis in Gaza.
RUSSIA - EUROPE - GAS: Ukraine says Russia has cut off all gas supplies to Europe in an escalating dispute between the two countries.
A spokesman for Ukraine's state gas company
said Russia's gas giant Gazprom completely stopped sending gas to
European consumers Wednesday morning. Officials from Austria, Slovakia,
Romania and the Czech Republic have also reported complete halts of
Russian gas supplies today.
The number of countries cut off from Russian natural gas now stands at
12. European Union officials are calling Russia's supply halt to these
THAILAND - ASEAN: Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has moved the venue for the
regional summit of Southeast Asian leaders to a resort town far away
from the country's capital.
Mr. Abhisit says the resort town and former fishing village of Hua Hin
is the best location to host the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
summit. T he summit has already been delayed several times.
It was originally scheduled for December, but had to be postponed because of protests against the previous government.
Thailand announced Tuesday that the summit would be held on February 27,28, and March 1st.
CAMBODIA - KHMER ROUGE: Thousands of Cambodians celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime today.
About 40-thousand people gathered in the the capital Phonm Penh's
Olympic stadium for a ceremony marking the day Vietnamese forces
entered the city and overthrew the ultra-Maoist regime.
The Khmer Rouge killed nearly two million people through starvation,
overwork or execution during its four-year rule, which began in 1975.
During the ceremony, Chea Sim, the president of the ruling Cambodian
People's Party, praised the Vietnamese forces for saving the country
NOKOR - POL: North Korean state media say the Communist government plans to hold
elections for its rubber-stamp parliament.
The Korean Central News Agency reported today that new
deputies to the Supreme People's Assembly will be elected on March
Parliamentary elections -- usually held every five years -- were
expected in 2008. No explanation was given for the delay.
South Korea's Unification Ministry on Tuesday said in recent months
North Korea has replaced several cabinet level officials, including
ministers of finance, trade and commerce.
PHILIPPINES - EBOLA: A group of United Nations health experts has arrived in the Philippines
to probe the recent discovery of a strain of the Ebola virus.
The U.N.'s World Health Organization says the experts will spend the
next 10 days conducting scientific tests at two pig farms to determine
the source of the virus, how it was transmitted and its virulence.
The experts come from the WHO, as well as the U.N.'s World Organization
for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
The Ebola-Reston strain was discovered in sick pigs in the northern
Philippines in late December.
Listen to our World News for details.