WORLD ECONOMY: Economic leaders from the world's richest countries are meeting near
London, where they are working to resolve deep divisions on how to
reverse the global recession.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 nations are
holding round-table talks Saturday, after meeting one-on-one Friday.
U.S. and European leaders disagree on whether more government spending
is needed to stimulate the economy or if tighter regulation of the
financial markets is more urgently needed.
The United States is pressing for a coordinated stimulus effort and
PAKISTAN - POLITICS: Pakistan's government continues to crackdown on an four-day
anti-government march, even as it calls for a compromise with activists
to avert a political showdown.
Police detained protesters in the central city of Multan Saturday, the
third straight day the government has tried to break up a nationwide
march scheduled to converge in the capital of Islamabad on Monday.
Pakistan's government offered to hold reconciliation talks after
several meetings with top political and military leaders Friday, as
well as consultations with American diplomats.
US - BRAZIL: President Barack Obama meets with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva at the White House Saturday for talks likely to include
the case of an 8-year-old boy at the center of a custody battle.
State Department official (Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere) Thomas
Shannon said Friday the fate of the American-born child, Sean Goldman,
is of "great importance" to the United States. Shannon said Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton spoke by telephone with the biological father,
U.S. citizen David Goldman, (on Thursday), telling him the U.S. hopes for a resolution to the case as soon as possible.
JAPAN - SOMALIA: Japan has sent two navy destroyers to the water's off Somalia's coast to join international anti-piracy efforts in the region.
The ships carry helicopters and speedboats and a combined crew of 400.
A day earlier, on Friday, South Korea sent a warship to join the anti-piracy force.
The International Maritime Bureau says international anti-piracy
efforts have reduced the number of successful hijackings in the area to
one in seven attacks.
Somalia-based pirates carried out more than 120 attacks on ships last
year, hijacking 42. In some cases, the pirates received millions of
dollars in ransom for the release of the ships.
KOREA TENSIONS: North Korea has barred border crossings with South Korea for a second
straight day Saturday, stranding hundreds of people in the North.
Pyongyang banned border traffic on Friday, preventing more than 400
people who work at a joint industrial complex at Kaesong from returning
Seoul's unification ministry says five people were allowed to cross, including four foreigners and a bride-to-be.
Earlier this week, North Korea switched off military military phones to
the South to protest annual military exercises being conducted jointly
by the United States and South Korea.
MADAGASCA - MUTINY: Mutinous soldiers in Madagascar say they have deployed some of the
army's tanks into the capital, and that they want the president to
A spokesman for the dissident troops (Colonel Noel Rakotonandrasa) said
Friday the tanks were moved into undisclosed locations in Antananarivo.
He told foreign media President Marc Ravalomanana must resign
immediately. Meanwhile, protesters who back opposition leader Andry
Rajoelina held a small demonstration. The United States government is
urging immediate dialogue between the country's political leaders.
SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan officials are rejecting claims that the government may have
committed war crimes during intense fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels in
Sri Lanka's Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe, on Saturday
rejected charges by the U.N.'s human rights chief that both sides in
the civil war are responsible for the deaths of up to 2,800 civilians
since January, many of them inside no-fire zones.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said Friday
that Sri Lanka's military has repeatedly shelled safe zones.
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