NATO SUMMIT: U.S. President Barack Obama is meeting with French President Nicolas
Sarkozy in Strasbourg, France Friday, ahead of a NATO summit marking
the alliance's 60th anniversary.
Mr. Obama also meets in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel before
heading to the summit, which is being held Friday and Saturday along
the French-German border.
During the talks, Mr. Obama is expected to seek NATO allies' support for his new Afghanistan strategy.
G-20 SUMMIT: U.S. President Barack Obama says the just-completed G-20 summit will be
a "turning point" in global economic recovery, but cautioned that
results will not come quickly.
Mr. Obama said leaders of 20 wealthy and developing economies overcame
"honest disagreements" and are now committed to boosting growth,
creating jobs, and providing more than $1 trillion for international
lenders to help struggling nations.
They also agreed on stricter regulation of the world financial industry
to limit risky investments by banks.
US - ECONOMY: The U.S. Congress has passed budgets that are largely in line with President Barack Obama's ambitious plans to address the issues of health care and climate change. The House of Representatives approved a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint early Thursday without a single vote of support from Republicans. The Senate passed a similar version later Thursday, in a vote that also was largely divided along party lines. The House and Senate still need to reconcile their versions of the budget before sending it on to the president.
THAILAND - CAMBODIA: At least two Thai soldiers have been killed during violent clashes Friday between Cambodian and Thai troops in a disputed border area. Officials from both sides say Thai and Cambodian soldiers have already had two separate gunfights, firing machine guns and launched rockets at one another. At least seven Thai soldiers were also wounded during the clashes. Cambodian officials say the fighting, which took place near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple, began after Thai soldiers entered Cambodian territory.
MALAYSIA - POLITICS: Malaysia's new prime minister, Najib Razak, was sworn into office Friday in a ceremony broadcast live on national television.
Mr. Najib took the oath of office in front of Malaysia's king and
pledged to carry out his responsibilities to the best of his ability.
The new prime minister is expected to announce a new Cabinet lineup
next week, and faces several challenges, including healing the
country's politics, society and economy, which is expected to shrink by
1 percent in 2009.
US - BURMA - FOOD: A U.S. diplomat in Burma says the United States has donated 16,000 tons of rice to victims of last year's devastating cyclone.
Larry Dinger told cyclone victims in the Irrawaddy Delta Thursday that
the people of the United States remain concerned about their welfare.
Dinger visited the area with representatives of the World Food Program,
which is coordinating international food assistance aimed at reaching
about 750,000 disaster victims.
The United States has contributed the equivalent of $29 million of food
aid to the U.N. agency's program, making Washington the largest single
NOKOR - MISSILE: South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak says he expects North Korea to
launch its long-range rocket on Saturday if the weather is good -- a
move that he says would not benefit Pyongyang.
Speaking with a group of reporters Friday in London, Mr. Lee said it was almost certain North
Korea will fire the missile.
Media reports citing U.S. military officials say North Korea appears to
be fueling a long-range rocket in preparation for a launch in the
North Korea has said it plans to launch a communications satellite
between Saturday (April 4) and Wednesday (April 8).
MEXICO - ARREST: Mexican authorities have arrested a major figure in one of the country's most notorious drug cartels. Officials said 32-year-old Vicente Carrillo Leyva, a leader of the Juarez cartel, was caught Thursday while exercising in a park in Mexico City. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued a statement congratulating Mexican authorities on the arrest. The embassy called the Juarez cartel one of the most ruthless organized criminal gangs and said it controls one of the primary transportation routes for illegal drug shipments into the United States.
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