ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Madagascar's President Remains Under Siege


MADAGASCAR: A tense standoff continues in Madagascar Tuesday between President Marc Ravalomanana and forces loyal to opposition leader Andry Rajoelina. On Monday, soldiers in the capital Antananarivo took over a presidential palace after the opposition leader called for President Ravalomanana's arrest. Mr. Ravalomanana was not in the palace when soldiers stormed it. He had taken refuge at a second presidential palace several kilometers away from the center of the capital. The Associated Press says soldiers told the president's supporters and guards to take down barriers near the palace where he was staying.

PAKISTAN: The United States and Britain have welcomed the Pakistani government's decision to peacefully resolve its political crisis by reinstating deposed Supreme Court justices. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the resolution a first step towards reconciliation. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband separately praised Pakistan's president and opposition leader for putting the country's interests first. The diplomats had urged Pakistan's leaders to defuse the week-long crisis, expressing concern it would divert Islamabad's attention from the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban.

US ECONOMY: The U.S. central bank is meeting Tuesday to consider new ways to battle the worst economic crisis facing the nation since the 1930s. The Federal Reserve meeting comes amid increasing public frustration with the government's economic rescue plans. Last week's Wall Street rally fizzled yesterday, as traders wait for figures on the state of the U.S. housing market - which is at the heart of the global economic crisis. President Barack Obama expressed anger Monday that taxpayer funds intended to bail out a massive insurance company could end up in executives' pockets.

US - EU - GUANTANAMO: Two top European Union officials are questioning members of the Obama administration this week about its plans to close the controversial detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot and Czech Interior Minister Ivan Langer presented U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder a list of questions on the issue Monday in Washington. Barrot said they asked how Washington intends to avoid another situation like Guantanamo, where terrorist suspects have been imprisoned for years without charge and faced allegedly harsh treatment.

CHINA - NOKOR: North Korean Premier Kim Yong Il is in China on a five-day visit, as Pyongyang prepares for a satellite launch some countries suspect of being a cover for a ballistic missile test. Mr. Kim arrived early Tuesday in Beijing for talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. He was accompanied by North Korea's ministers for trade, industry, agriculture and culture. The meetings are being held as the two countries mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, but the North's planned rocket launch is expected to top the agenda.

KOREA - TENSIONS: South Korea says the North has fully reopened a border crossing to allow goods and people headed to a joint industrial complex. South Korean officials said Tuesday that Pyongyang has informed them all border restrictions have been lifted. On Monday, a South Korean official said Seoul would hold North Korea responsible for economic losses at the Kaesong industrial estate because of Pyongyang's restrictions. The official (Kim Ho-nyoun) said further development of the industrial park is not likely if North Korea keeps blocking the flow of people and goods.

THAILAND POLITICS: Thai investigators say there are grounds to file criminal charges against former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and other officials, in connection with a police crackdown on protesters last year. The National Counter Corruption Commission said Monday that Mr. Somchai and former Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh were criminally negligent in connection with the police action last October. Two protesters died and about 500 were injured during the anti-government protests. The official commission also recommended that police officials be disciplined for their roles.

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