ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Charges Stand in US Trial of Laos Overthrow Plot


US - LAOS: A U.S. federal judge has rejected a request by defense attorneys to dismiss charges against 11 Vietnam War veterans accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Laos. The defense claimed that a government sting operation was guilty of misconduct because it led the accused to believe the U.S. government supported the coup. During a hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge Frank Damrell said he had not seen sufficient evidence to dismiss the charges. However, the judge did say he would give the defense another chance to try again before the trial. In June, 2007, former Lao General Vang Pao and others were arrested for allegedly trying to purchase machine guns, missiles and other weapons for military strikes in Laos.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan's Interior Ministry says multiple suicide bombers have attacked government buildings in the eastern part of the country. Ministry officials say the bombers struck Tuesday in the city of Khost. A local health official said at least six people were killed. In an interview to Al-Jazeera, a Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attacks and said the group was targeting the city because of the heavy U.S. military presence there. A large American military base is located in the city. Meanwhile, the U.S. military has accused Taliban militants of using white phosphorus, which causes chemical burns, in attacks in eastern Afghanistan.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani officials say army helicopters dropped troops behind enemy lines in the Swat Valley Tuesday as part of an ongoing offensive against Taliban militants. Military officials said the troops landed in the remote Piochar area in the upper reaches of the valley that had been under Taliban control. Pakistan's Interior Ministry has said that some 700 militants have been killed in the offensive since it began last week. The death toll cannot be independently verified. Several temporary camps in the region are full, and rental property in nearby cities is scarce, leaving many residents with nowhere to go as they flee the violence.

SRI LANKA: The top government doctor in Sri Lanka's rebel-controlled northern territory says at least 45 patients have died when a mortar hit the only remaining medical facility there on Tuesday. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels blame the government's military forces for the attack, saying the army had shelled the hospital days earlier. The military denies using heavy weapons and has accused the rebels of shelling their own people to gain international sympathy and support for a truce. It is difficult to verify conflicting reports about the fighting as the government bars independent observers from the war zone.

US - DEMJANJUK: Alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk has arrived in Germany after a flight from the United States. He is expected to stand trial in Germany on charges of helping to murder 29,000 Jews. Demjanjuk arrived in Munich Tuesday after a flight from the U.S. city ofCleveland, (Ohio). Immigration officials took the 89-year-old Demjanjuk to the airport from his house in an ambulance. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final appeal against extradition to Germany. His family unsuccessfully argued that the flight would further endanger his poor health.

CHINA - QUAKE - ANNIVERSARY: Chinese leaders and the families of those who died in China's massive Sichuan earthquake gathered Tuesday to mark the first anniversary of the deadly disaster. The magnitude 7.9 earthquake toppled villages and destroyed portions of southwestern Sichuan province and two neighboring provinces. It left more than 80,000 dead or missing and five million homeless. At 2:28 p.m., the exact time the quake struck one year ago, China's President Hu Jintao and other leaders observed a minute of silence. They also laid flowers at a commemorative wall in a town near the quake's center (Yingxiu). Mr. Hu said the disaster had brought the country together.

CAMBODIA - THAILAND: Cambodia has asked Thailand for more than $2 million in compensation for damages allegedly inflicted by weapons fire during a clash at a disputed ancient temple along the border. A diplomatic note sent Monday to the Thai Foreign Ministry said 319 families had lost their livelihood when Thai troops fired heavy weapons across the border and damaged a market in front of the Preah Vihear temple. There has been no response from Thai officials. In early April, Cambodian and Thai troops deployed along the border near the 11th century temple exchanged fire with artillery, mortars and automatic weapons.

SOMALIA - FIGHTING: A Somali human rights group says the fighting in Mogadishu over the past five days has killed at least 123 people and wounded at least another 300. The Elman Human Rights Organization says at least 17,000 residents have fled the Somali capital to escape clashes between pro- and anti-government forces. The group based its figures on unofficial counts by staff members. Fighting appeared to die down Tuesday, though journalists reported hearing sporadic gunfire across the city. Health officials say fierce battles overnight killed at least 14 people. (News Updates)

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