OBAMA - TURKEY: U.S. President Barack Obama ended his two-day visit to Turkey with a
town hall meeting with college students where he promised a new chapter
in American engagement with Muslims and the rest of the world.
Mr. Obama called for a greater understanding among nations, and he
repeated a pledge to rebuild relations between the United States and
the Muslim world. He said the United States, like every other nation,
has made mistakes. Mr. Obama said it will take time for the world to
see how he is leading America in a different direction than former U.S.
President George W. Bush.
THAILAND - PROTESTS: Anti-government protesters attacked a car carrying Thai Prime Minister
Abhisit Vejjajiva Tuesday as political tensions erupted in violence.
The clash was the most serious since supporters of fugitive former
prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra began surrounding Mr. Abhisit's
offices late last month.
Supporters of Mr. Thaksin say they expect hundreds of thousands to show
up in Bangkok Wednesday in their latest bid to force the current prime
minister to step down.
The protesters want Mr. Abhisit to dissolve his four-month old government and call snap elections.
NOKOR MISSILE: China is urging the United Nations Security Council to carefully
respond to North Korea's controversial rocket launch, saying the issue
also involves a country's right to peaceful use of outer space.
China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters Tuesday
that while there are similarities between rocket technology and missile
technology, launching a satellite is different than firing a ballistic
China's remarks come as diplomats from the five permanent members of
the U.N. Security Council are expected to meet for a second time
Tuesday to discuss a response to North Korea's rocket launch.
CHINA - POLITICAL VIOLENCE: A 75-year-old retired Chinese professor says he was brutally beaten
while trying to pay his respects to late Chinese communist leader Zhao
The professor, Sun Wenguang, says five men attacked him on Saturday
while he was trying to pay his respects to Zhao at a cemetery in
eastern Shandong province.
Sun visited the grave during the annual Qingming festival or "grave-sweeping day" when the Chinese honor the dead.
Sun says the men who attacked him broke three of his ribs and that he is being treated at a hospital in Jinan.
ASIA - WORLD BANK: The Wold Bank says it is cutting its economic growth forecast for
developing East Asia, but adds that China is likely to begin recovering
later this year.
In a statement Tuesday, the World Bank says weaker exports and a
slowdown in domestic demand will shrink growth to 5.3 percent for the
The bank had originally predicted late last year that growth for developing East Asia would be 6.7 percent for 2009.
The World Bank urged countries in the region to prepare for a surge in
joblessness, but it also offered some hope, saying China's recovery is
likely to begin this year and take hold in 2010.
MALAYSIA - MEDIA: Malaysia's new prime minister, Najib Razak, says the country needs a
world-class media that is free to criticize the government without fear
Mr. Najib said Monday that the media is necessary to build a democracy responsive to the people's needs.
The new prime minister said that is why one of his first acts after
taking office last Friday was to lift a ban on two opposition-linked
newspapers. He also freed 13 people held under security laws, which he
said his administration would review.
But Mr. Najib also stressed that media should be responsible.
US - PAKISTAN: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari told two visiting U.S. envoys that Pakistan is fighting terrorists for its survival.
Mr. Zardari met with U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke and Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen in Islamabad late Monday.
Mr. Zardari's office quoted him as telling the U.S. officials that
Pakistan is committed to eliminating extremism from the society, and
that it needs "unconditional support" from the international community
in a variety of areas.
SPORTS - COLLEGE BASKETBALL: North Carolina has won its second men's college basketball national championship in five years, easily defeating Michigan State, 89-72, at Ford Field in Detroit. More than 75,000 fans, the largest crowd to attend a final, saw the Tarheels amass a record 21-point halftime lead. Ty Lawson scored a game high 21 points and also had a record seven steals by halftime. Overall, North Carolina has won five men's college basketball national titles.
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