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Tens of Thousands Rally Against Thai PM


THAILAND - PROTESTS: Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in Bangkok Wednesday, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Dressed in red, the protesters massed outside the prime minister's offices and at the house of a top advisor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. They accuse of the advisor, Prem Tinsulanononda, of masterminding a 2006 coup that ousted fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Police say at least 40,000 people have turned up to join the rallies, which protesters say could last until Friday.

McCAIN - VIETNAM: Senator John McCain has returned to Vietnam, visiting the prison where he was once held as a prisoner of war. The former presidential candidate is on a diplomatic tour of East Asia with two fellow senators, Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar. Senator John McCain went back to Hoa Lo Prison Wednesday, known to the American prisoners of war held there as the Hanoi Hilton. Hoa Lo was one of two prisons where the former Navy pilot spent five years after being shot down in 1967. Today, the prison is a museum. McCain, like other POWs, says he was tortured by Vietnamese guards, but the exhibits purport to show how well the Vietnamese treated the prisoners.

NOKOR - MISSILE: Japan says that North Korea's rocket launch earlier this week shows Pyongyang has made progress in developing its missile technology. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura told reporters Wednesday that while it is still unclear if the rocket was carrying a satellite, the launch took place in a way that was more advanced than previous attempts. In a 2006 launch of North Korea's Taepodong-2 missile, the rocket blew apart seconds after its launch. The North fired a shorter-range Taepodong-1 over Japan in 1998 as part of a failed satellite launch.

ITALY - EARTHQUAKE: Authorities in Italy say the death toll from Monday's earthquake has risen to 250, as strong aftershocks caused further fear among residents sheltered in tent camps. Workers and survivors in the walled city of L'Aquila have been clawing through mounds of rubble searching for victims. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says rescue efforts will continue over the coming days. Pope Benedict says he plans to visit the area as soon as possible. Vatican officials say the trip will be shortly after the Easter holiday on Sunday.

OBAMA - TRIP: U.S. President Barack Obama has returned to the United States after his first overseas trip since taking office in January. On Tuesday, Mr. Obama made an unannounced trip to Iraq and visited Camp Victory, a U.S. military compound on the outskirts of Baghdad. He offered cheering military personnel at the base his appreciation and support, and told them the next year and a-half could be critical for the U.S. military operation in Iraq. He said it is time for the Iraqis to take responsibility for their country.

MOLDOVA PROTESTS: Russian news agencies report that Moldova's president has accused Romania of involvement in protests that have swept Chisinau. The news reports said President Vladimir Voronin had declared the Romanian ambassador to Moldova unwelcome Wednesday, and recalled Moldova's ambassador to Romania. Moldovan riot police regained control of the presidential office and parliament after many of the demonstrators who ransacked the capital Tuesday had gone home for the night.

UGANDA - HUMAN RIGHTS: An international human rights group says Uganda's anti-terrorism unit has been torturing and illegally detaining suspects without charge over the past two years. In a report, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch accuses Uganda's Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT) of illegally detaining more than 100 people and torturing at least 25 during interrogations. The report says at least four people have died from the torture and at least five people are missing.

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