OBAMA - ECON: The Obama administration plans to propose increased government
oversight of certain risky and aggressive investment strategies blamed
for helping cause the worst financial crisis in decades.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to outline the
administration's proposal to overhaul and tighten financial regulations Thursday in Washington.
Officials say the plan also includes a measure to give the
administration expanded powers over major non-bank financial
institutions on the brink of collapse, such as large insurance
companies like American International Group.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: South Korea's Defense Ministry is warning North Korea not to launch a
long-range rocket into space, saying it would be a serious challenge
and provocation to security in northeast Asia.
Speaking with reporters Thursday, Defense Ministry spokesman Won
Tae-jae urged North Korea to immediately halt its preparations for the
North Korea says it plans to launch a communications satellite between
April fourth and April eighth. But the United States, Japan and South
Korea have said Pyongyang intends to use the launch to test its missile
US - CHINA - MILITARY: China is calling on the U.S. government to stop issuing an annual
report on the Chinese military, saying its latest edition is a
"groundless" and "gross interference in China's internal affairs."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told journalists in Beijing
Thursday that the report continues to play up what he says is the
fallacy of China's military threat. He warned that if the United States
does not stop issuing the report, it could further damage U.S.-China
One specific issue the report raised was the build up of missiles in China aimed at Taiwan.
TAIWAN - CORRUPTION: The corruption trial of former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian began
in the capital of Taipei Thursday, marking the start of a court battle
that could see him jailed for life.
Mr. Chen was brought into the packed Taipei courtroom in handcuffs, the island's first ex-president ever to stand trial.
Mr. Chen faces allegations of looting a presidential fund, taking
bribes and laundering money. He has pleaded not guilty and claims he is
the victim of a political witch hunt.
Mr. Chen has accused his successor, President Ma Ying-jeou, of pursuing
the case to appease China.
MALAYSIA - POLITICS: The biggest party in Malaysia's ruling coalition has elected Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak as its new president.
Najib ran for the post uncontested and will replace Prime Minister
Abdullah Badawi as the new head of the United Malays National
The elected UMNO president will also become prime minister.
Mr. Abdullah will step down as head of the UMNO Thursday and Najib will take up his post as prime minister next week.
Malaysia's ruling coalition is led by the UMNO and has governed
Malaysia since 1957.
THAILAND - POLITICS: More than 20,000 red-shirted protesters have marched on the office of
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in the capital of Bangkok, demanding
that his three-month-old government resign.
The demonstration began Thursday, shortly after Mr. Abhisit's
government began handing out $55 checks to millions of Thais to
stimulate the economy, which has been battered by the global financial
Protest leaders accused the government of using the stimulus plan to
buy public support and pledged to not leave until the government of Mr.
Abhisit steps down and calls early elections.
PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Officials and witnesses say 11 people are dead in northwestern Pakistan
in a suicide bombing that targeted pro-government fighters.
Pakistani intelligence officials say the bomber targeted a restaurant Thursday in the town of Jandola, near South Waziristan.
They say the attack appears to be the result of rivalries between two militant groups.
Officials and witnesses say the bomber tried to get into the
restaurant, where fighters loyal to a local anti-Taliban militant had
gathered, and that he blew himself up when people tried to stop him
AFGHANISTAN - VIOLENCE: Separate attacks on a police post and on a police convoy in southern
Afghanistan have left nine policemen dead, with officials blaming the
Taliban for both incidents.
Afghanistan's Interior Ministry says the nine police officers died when
Taliban fighters stormed a police post in the Nahri Sarraj district of
Helmand province Thursday.
Meanwhile, an official says Taliban militants were behind an attack on a police convoy just outside the city of Ghazni.
The official says the convoy was taking a Taliban prisoner to the provincial capital when the gun battle broke out.
Listen to our World News for details.