PAKISTAN - SRI LANKA: Police in Pakistan are hunting for the gunmen responsible for the
deadly ambush on Sri Lanka's cricket team in the eastern city of Lahore.
Tuesday's assault killed eight people, mostly police officers, and left seven Sri Lankan players among the more than 16 wounded.
Police say they are questioning several people in connection with the
assault, but add that their involvement is unclear. At least 12 men
attacked the Sri Lankan team's convoy with rockets, hand grenades and
automatic weapons as it approached Lahore's Gaddafi stadium.
CHINA - DEFENSE BUDGET: China says it is increasing its defense spending this year by more than
$70 billion in order to raise salaries in the world's largest standing
The spokesman for China's parliament, Li Zhaoxing, described the near
15 percent increase of the country's budget as modest. Li said the
double-digit growth would not pose a threat to any country.
Li said the extra money would go to salaries for China's more than two
million troops and be spent on raising capabilities in what he
described as "non-warfare military operations."
US - MIDEAST: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has met with Palestinian Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad and is set to talk with Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas at his West Bank headquarters.
Officials say the Palestinian leaders are urging Clinton to push Israel
to freeze construction in West Bank settlements and open blockaded Gaza
Clinton also visited Egypt and Israel this week as part of an effort to revive the Middle East peace process.
She said Tuesday the United States will vigorously pursue the creation
of a Palestinian state, calling its establishment "inescapable."
IRAN - US - ISRAEL: Iran's supreme leader has accused U.S. President Barack Obama of
following the same mistaken path as George W. Bush in supporting
Israel, calling the Jewish state a "cancerous tumor."
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday during a conference in Tehran
that Mr. Obama's support for Israel is, in his words, "unconditional."
Mr. Khamenei also said Palestinians can only save their territory through resisting Israel, rather than trying to negotiate.
Mr. Obama has said his administration is looking for opportunities to
engage Iran and has called on Iran to "unclench its fist."
SUDAN - DARFUR: The International Criminal Court in The Hague is due to announce
Wednesday if it will issue an arrest warrant against Sudanese President
Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes.
The chief prosecutor for the war crimes tribunal
said Tuesday he has "strong evidence" against the Sudanese president,
including dozens of witnesses who can testify that Mr. Bashir is
orchestrating a genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.
Mr. Bashir did not appear too concerned Tuesday about possible arrest.
The African Union, the Arab League and China have all said an
indictment could destabilize the region and harm efforts to bring peace
to Darfur, where the central government has been fighting rebels since
BRITAIN - US: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will address a joint meeting of the
U.S. Congress Wednesday, where he is expected to urge lawmakers to
Mr. Brown's speech comes a day after the British leader held talks with
U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. The two leaders
discussed an international effort to spur the recovery of the global
economy from its current severe recession.
The two leaders emphasized the need to reform regulatory structures.
Mr. Obama warned against protectionist policies and said the reform
process will be neither easy nor quick.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: The new U.S. envoy for North Korea will hold a second day of talks with
Chinese officials Wednesday aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons
Stephen Bosworth is scheduled to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister
Yang Jiechi in Beijing. Bosworth met with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister
Wu Dawei upon his arrival in the Chinese capital Tuesday.
Bosworth will also visit Japan and South Korea on his trip, which is
his first to Asia as U.S. special representative for North Korea policy.
While in the region, Bosworth will also consult Russian officials, but
the U.S. State Department said there are no plans to meet with North
CHINA - POLLUTION: A city in eastern China's Jiangsu province has ordered chemical plants
to close following a leak that contaminated drinking water last month.
Chinese state media say 33 of Yancheng city's 317 chemical plants will
be shuttered by the end of March. The reports said the plants are
located near a river that supplies the city with drinking water.
Mayor Li Qiang told the Xinhua news agency Tuesday that some of the
plants will be compensated for relocation, while others will be closed
permanently. Li also said the city is working to increase capacity for
the city's water supply.
SOUTH KOREA - AUSTRALIA: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has arrived in Australia where he
is expected to announce the start of talks on a free trade agreement.
Mr. Lee and Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will meet on
Thursday. The two are expected to announce a new security cooperation
agreement that would cover enhanced intelligence exchanges, high-level
security dialogues and other areas.
Speaking with reporters Wednesday after arriving in Sydney, Mr. Lee
said that South Korean industries were interested in boosting trade
relations with Australia.
Listen to our World News for details.