ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Israel to Stop Gaza Bombing for 3 Hours a Day


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 countries unacceptable.

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 from genocide.

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 eighth. 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.

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