DRC - REBEL LEADER: Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo say Congolese Tutsi rebel leader Laurent Nkunda has been arrested in neighboring Rwanda. Authorities say Nkunda was detained Thursday as he fled across the border after resisting a joint Congolese and Rwandan military operation that had converged on his stronghold in the town of Bunagana. More than 15-hundred Rwandan troops crossed into the DRC Tuesday help Congolese troops hunt down and disarm Rwandan Hutu rebels who fled to the country in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
US - OBAMA: U.S. President Barack Obama is meeting with top Democrats and
Republicans from Congress as he tries to gain support for an expensive
economic recovery plan.
Mr. Obama will host the members of the House of Representatives and Senate at the White House today.
Republicans have expressed concern about whether a proposed 825-billion
dollar stimulus plan crafted by Democrats will accomplish its goals of
creating jobs and helping the economy.
During his first week in office, Mr. Obama went to work quickly to
address major issues.
INDIA - PRIME MINISTER: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was admitted to a hospital in New
Delhi today for heart surgery.
Officials say the 76-year old prime minister will undergo heart bypass
surgery, which uses blood vessels to redirect blood around a clogged
artery. Mr. Singh underwent a similar operation in Britain in 1990.
Doctors detected blockages in the prime minister's heart during a
medical exam on Tuesday.
India's external affairs minister (Pranab Mukherjee) is expected to
take over operation of the government if Mr. Singh is incapacitated.
NORTH KOREA - CHINA: Chinese state media say North Korean leader Kim Jong il has met a visiting Chinese envoy in Pyongyang.
Today's meeting is Mr. Kim's first reported
encouter with a foreign dignitary since August, when U.S. and South
Korea officials say he suffered a stroke. North Korea has denied the
claim and released a series of undated photos to show Mr. Kim is in
China's official Xinhua news agency says Mr. Kim met with Wang Jiarui,
the head of the Chinese Communist Party's international liaison
department. No other details on the meeting were available.
CHINA - BURMA - KIDNAP: Chinese state media say at least 17 Chinese teenagers who kidnappers lured to Burma have returned home after their families paid ransoms. The official Xinhua news agency said parents paid between three-thousand and 14-thousand dollars for the release of their children. The report said the teenagers are all from Yuncheng city, in the Chinese province of Shanxi. Local police said they have information about two teenagers who are being held by kidnappers, who are demanding ransoms of eight-thousand dollars for each victim. Police also said they have detained two Chinese nationals with alleged links to the kidnappings.
THAILAND - CLIMATE: A United Nations official has issued an urgent call for governments and
businesses to cooperate in addressing the impact of climate change in
the Asia-Pacific region.
The call came Thursday at the conclusion of a regional conference in
Thailand to prepare for talks to negotiate a new international climate
Thursday's forum in Bangkok brought together more than 300 delegates from Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
The U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and
the Swedish international development agency sponsored the talks.
JAPAN - SATELLITE: Japan has launched the world's first satellite for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions as part of global efforts to combat climate change. The satellite is one of eight launched into space today by a Japanese rocket that lifted off from the southern Japanese island of Tanegashima. The greenhouse gas-monitoring satellite is called Ibuki, which means "breath" in Japanese. Data from the satellite will enable scientists to track the density of carbon dioxide and methane at 56-thousand locations around the world. The mission also is designed to help Japan compete in the global market for launching commercial satellites.
EU - ZIMBABWE: The European Union has announced it will tighten sanctions on the government of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.
EU foreign ministers are scheduled on Monday to add more names to a
list of Zimbabwean officials banned from traveling in the bloc.
The sanctions are designed to pressure Mr. Mugabe to honor a power sharing deal signed last year.
In December, the EU added eleven names to a list of some 160 Zimbabwean officials banned from entering the bloc.
Zimbabwe is reeling from hyperinflation, food shortages, a breakdown of government services, and a cholera epidemic.
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