CHNNA - TIBET: Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has accused China of
killing hundreds of thousands of his people in his Himalayan homeland
and turning the region into "hell on earth."
In a speech Tuesday in Dharamsala, marking the 50th anniversary of an
uprising against Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama said the past five
decades have brought untold suffering and destruction to the land and
people of Tibet.
He said that the repressive policies and violent campaigns carried out
by the Chinese government during its occupation there have thrust
Tibetans into such depths of suffering and hardship that they have
literally experienced hell on earth.
US - CHINA - MILITARY: China and the United States are trading accusations in a naval dispute in the South China Sea.
The U.S. Navy says one its surveillance ships was surrounded and
harassed by five Chinese vessels Sunday as it operated in international
Beijing has accused the USNS Impeccable of breaking international law
and Chinese regulations by carrying out activities in its special
The Impeccable was about 120 kilometers off of China's Hainan island
when the U.S. military says it was forced to make an emergency stop.
UN - NOKOR: The United Nations aviation safety agency has called on North Korea to
retract its threat against passenger planes flying near its airspace.
South Korean and other airlines have been rerouting flights away from
North Korean airspace after Pyongyang said last week it could not
guarantee the safety of South Korean civilian flights near or over its
borders while U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises are underway.
The International Civil Aviation Organization met Monday and urged North Korea to retract its threat.
U.S. special envoy on North Korea Stephen Bosworth told reporters
Saturday upon arrival in South Korea that he did not think the warning
was very helpful.
CHINA - NORTH KOREA: China has confirmed that North Korean Premier Kim Yong Il will visit the Chinese capital this month.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu announced Tuesday that Mr.
Kim will arrive in Beijing for an official visit on March 17 and stay
until the 21st.
Ma did not provide any other details.
North Korea and China are celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.
North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong Il has also been invited to China
for a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao. No date has been set
for the summit and it is unclear whether the premier's visit is aimed
at helping finalize a date for such a trip.
SRI LANKA - BLAST: Police in Sri Lanka say a suicide bombing in the country's south has killed at least 10 people.
Police say at least 35 people were wounded in the blast, including one government minister.
Military officials say Tuesday's early morning attack took place near a
mosque in Matara district, about 100 kilometers south of the capital,
Colombo, during a ceremony celebrating an Islamic holiday.
Six government ministers were taking part in a procession going to the
mosque. Officials say the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications,
Mahinda Wijesekara, was among the injured.
THAILAND - MISSING BOAT: Rescuers in Thailand said Tuesday that they recovered the body of a woman who was among six foreign tourists and a Thai who are missing after their boat sank off the southern coast. Police said that the dead woman was a foreigner. The scuba diving vessel carrying 30 people, including 19 foreigners, capsized Sunday night. Marine authorities rescued 23 passengers and crew on Monday afternoon, but two Swiss nationals, two Austrians, one Japanese, one German and a Thai crew member are still missing.
UN - HAITI: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former U.S. President
Bill Clinton are visiting Haiti to highlight the importance of economic
development to the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.
The two visitors arrived Monday to promote an anti-poverty action plan
for Haiti, where 80 percent of the population lives on less than two
dollars a day. Their agenda included a stop at a school feeding program
in Cite Soleil, the section of Port-au-Prince that was once Haiti's
most violence-wracked slum and remains one of the Haitian capital's
US RELIGION SURVEY: A survey of American religious life says the percentage of Christians
in the nation has declined while more people say they have no religion
The American Religious Identification Survey, released Monday, found
that 15 percent of Americans say they had no religion, up from 8.2
percent in 1990.
Catholics remained the largest religious group at about 25 percent of the population.
In 2008, Christians comprised 76 percent of the country, down from 86
percent in 1990. The survey says much of the lost ground comes from the
so-called "mainline" Protestant denominations such as Methodists,
Lutherans, Presbyterians and Episcopalians.
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