PALESTINIANS - POL: Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has resigned to help pave the way for a Palestinian unity government. Mr. Fayyad said Saturday he submitted his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas and that it will take effect after the formation of a Palestinian unity government expected by the end of this month. The move comes ahead of the resumption of power-sharing talks between Mr. Abbas and his rivals from the militant group Hamas. Mr. Abbas appointed Mr. Fayyad as prime minister after Hamas overtook the Gaza Strip in 2007.
US - MIDEAST: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Turkish leaders
Saturday for talks aimed at warming U.S. relations with Ankara and
finding ways to bring stability to the Middle East.
Clinton with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. In a
statement released after the meeting, the Turkish leader said the two
discussed the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan and the fight against
Turkey, which has ties to both Arab states and Israel, is a key player in the Middle East peace process.
During a NATO meeting Friday, Clinton said the United States is focused
on finding "as much common ground as possible" to push the
Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward. (News Updates)
OBAMA - ECONOMY: U.S. President Barack Obama is urging Americans to back his plan to fix the country's deeply troubled economy, saying it is critical to make "hard choices" right now. During his weekly address Saturday, President Obama says his budget represents "an honest reckoning of where we are and where we need to go". President Obama outlined his plan to fix the economy, including reforming healthcare, creating jobs, unfreezing the credit market and restoring the housing sector. The president says Friday's grim news that unemployment hit a 25-year high represents not just numbers, but the hardships of millions of Americans.
PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Pakistani police say a car bombing in the country's northwest region
killed eight people Saturday, including seven police officers and
soldiers and a passerby.
Authorities say it appears a body was placed inside the car to lure
security personnel who were at a nearby checkpoint. Police say the car,
which was parked by the roadway, exploded after the troops and officers
approached to investigate.
The attack happened in the outskirts of the main city of Peshawar, near the Afghanistan border.
Security forces at the outpost monitor vehicles traveling through the
Khyber Pass, a key supply route for NATO forces fighting Taliban
insurgents in Afghanistan.
ZIMBABWE - TSVANGIRAI: Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change wants an investigation into
the car accident that injured their leader, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, and killed his wife.
Initial reports say the truck that hit the prime minister's car causing
it to roll at least three times was carrying U.S. aid supplies.
MDC officials say they want an inquiry into the collision late Friday
on a poorly maintained road on the outskirts of the capital, Harare.
Mr. Tsvangirai was been the victim of violence at the hands of political opponents.
The prime minister is reported to be in stable condition in a Harare hospital.
CHINA - FOREIGN AFFAIRS: China's foreign minister says his country's main diplomatic mission is to ensure continued economic growth at home.
In a wide-ranging news conference Saturday, Yang Jiechi told reporters
that Beijing's ultimate objective was to "make every effort to serve
the goal of ensuring steady and rapid economic development in China."
Yang repeated Beijing's position that maintaining steady economic
growth is the biggest contribution China can make in efforts against
the global economic crisis.
He said he believes relations between Beijing and Washington are off to
a good start under the Obama administration.
KOREAS - TENSIONS: The U.S. special envoy on North Korea has urged Pyongyang to stop its
belligerent rhetoric, after the Stalinist country threatened the safety
of passenger jets flying near its airspace.
Stephen Bosworth told reporters Saturday upon arrival in South Korea that he did not think the warning was very helpful.
Bosworth also said the North's expected launch of a missile or
satellite was "very ill-advised." He said the United States wants
dialogue with the North, adding Washington is "reaching out now."
AFGHANISTAN - ELECTION: Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he accepts a decision by the
country's election commission to hold a presidential vote on August
20th and intends to stay in office until the election.
Mr. Karzai announced the decision Saturday, a week after demanding the vote be held before his five-year term expires in May.
Opposition groups have insisted that Mr. Karzai step down when his term expires and install a caretaker government.
The Afghanistan election commission said it scheduled the vote for
August 20th because of concerns about logistics, security and the harsh
NASA - KEPLER: The U.S. space agency NASA has launched a new telescope into space to probe the skies for planets similar to Earth.
A rocket carrying the Kepler telescope lifted off late Friday from Cape Canaveral in (the southeastern state of) Florida.
Scientists hope the telescope will help answer the question of whether
there are other planets in the universe that can support life.
During its three-and-a-half year mission, the telescope will monitor
about 100,000 stars to try to find planets that are about the size of
Earth. Particularly, it is looking for planets at the right temperature
to support water - an essential element for life as we know it.
Listen to our World News for details.