ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Format Dispute Delays Korean Talks


KOREAS - TALKS: Talks between the two Koreas that were supposed to be held Tuesday have not yet begun, because the two sides are at odds over the format of their meeting. A South Korean delegation left for North Korean border city of Kaesong earlier Tuesday for the first government-to-government talks in over a year. However, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyeon said the talks had not begun and there had been no progress. He declined to say what problems had been encountered. The two sides are expected to discuss their joint industrial complex, which opened in Kaesong in 2005.

NOKOR - NUCLEAR: Russia says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit North and South Korea in the coming days and meet with officials in both countries. Lavrov told reporters Tuesday that he plans to discuss tensions on the Korean peninsula during his visit as well as collapsing efforts to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. Lavrov says that all of the parties involved in talks on North Korea's nuclear program have obligations that they need to fulfill. Lavrov's visit will begin with a two-day stopover in Pyongyang that begins this Thursday.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan officials say nearly 50,000 civilians have escaped from a patch of Tamil Tiger rebel territory as a government's deadline passed for the separatists to surrender. But the International Committee of the Red Cross is warning that Sri Lanka's final offensive to crush the rebels could dramatically raise the number of civilian deaths. The agency said it was "extremely worried" about the tens of thousands of people, including women, children and the elderly, who are still trapped in the northern war zone.

SRI LANKA SDBR - PROTESTS: French police arrested about 200 people in Paris Monday as a Tamil demonstration turned violent. A police spokesman said four people were hurt in the unauthorized protest by Tamil expatriates angry at the situation in Sri Lanka. Demonstrators blocked traffic near the busy Gare du Nord train station in Paris. A larger protest took place in London, where at least 2,500 Tamil protesters staged a noisy, but peaceful protest. The rally was the latest in a series of mass protests by British Tamils in the past two weeks.

KENYA - KILLINGS: Police in Kenya say at least 24 people are dead after clashes between residents of a Kenyan town and members of a banned criminal gang. Police say the violence occurred late Monday after residents of the central Kenya town of Karatina organized themselves to fight back against the notorious Mungiki gang. The residents say the violent, mafia like gang has been active in the area recently. Police say the Mungiki began as a religious sect but evolved into a criminal gang, involved in extortion and murder, including beheadings and fatal shootings.

US - SOMALIA - PIRATES: A young Somali man will appear before a U.S. federal judge Tuesday to face charges in connection with the hijacking of a U.S. cargo ship off the coast of Somalia earlier this month. Abduhl Wali-i-Musi [pron. AHB'-dul wahl-ih-MOO'-sih] arrived at federal detention center in New York City Monday night, handcuffed and shackled as he was escorted by several federal agents. He will be the first person tried in the U.S. for piracy in more than a century.

UN - RACISM CONFERENCE: A speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad harshly critical of Israel has sparked a walkout by many Western delegates at a United Nations racism conference. A stream of representatives from 23 European Union states left the U.N. hall in Geneva in protest Monday as the Iranian leader condemned the 1948 founding of Israel. He called it the establishment of "a most cruel, repressive and racist regime" under "the pretext of Jewish suffering." U.N. and Western diplomats criticized the remarks as outrageous, anti-Semitic and an incitement to hatred.

CAMBODIA SDBR - SHOES: A former photographer for Cambodia's Khmer Rouge is auctioning off a pair of shoes that he claims belonged to the group's late leader, Pol Pot, in order to raise money for a museum. Nhem En says bidding will start at $500,000 for the shoes and two cameras that he used to take photographs of torture victims. He is now a deputy governor in Cambodia's northwestern Anlong Veng district, once a Khmer Rouge stronghold. Nhem En says he hopes to build a museum about the former regime in that area.

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