BURMA - US - SUU KYI: The lawyer of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi says Burmese
authorities have charged her with violating her house arrest after an
American man swam across a lake and hid inside her home.
The 63-year-old Nobel Peace laureate was taken from her residence
Thursday and transferred to Rangoon's Insein Prison where authorities
say her trial will begin next Monday. She could face up to five years
in prison if convicted.
Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyer Kyi Win said an American was the source of
all the charges, calling him a fool.
LAOS - BRITAIN: A British lawyer says she has been been able to meet for the first time
with a pregnant British woman who is in a Laotian jail awaiting trial
on drug smuggling charges.
A lawyer from the British legal charity Reprieve told reporters Wednesday that she met with Samantha Orobator on Tuesday.
The lawyer, Anna Morris, said 10 Laotian government officials and three
representatives of the British government were also present.
Morris says Orobator appeared nervous and intimidated by the formal setting.
RUSSIA - VIETNAM: Russian media reports say Vietnam has signed a deal to buy 12 (Sukhoi
Su-30) fighter jets from Russia, worth around $500 million.
The reports say Russian state arms company Rosoboronexport will supply
the supersonic jets. Media sources say the contract was signed early in
2009, and Russia's Interfax news agency says Rosoboronexport will begin
delivering the planes next year.
The deal comes a month after Russian media reported another major arms
deal between the two nations. In that deal, Vietnam was said to be
buying six submarines for $1.8 billion.
SOUTH KOREA - CORRUPTION: Former President Roh Moo-hyun's elder brother was sentenced Thursday to
four years in prison for taking more than two million dollars in bribes
during his sibling's term of office.
Roh Gun-pyeong and two accomplices were convicted of accepting the
bribes to arrange the purchase of a brokerage firm by a
state-supervised bank while President Roh was in office in 2006.
The former president also is under investigation in a separate bribery
scandal over allegations he took more than six million from a
businessman while in office.
NIGERIA - UNREST: The main militant group in Nigeria's southern Niger Delta has given oil companies in the region an additional 48 hours to evacuate their staffs, warning serious attacks will follow. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in a statement that as of midnight on Saturday, the Niger Delta region would become a "no-fly zone" for oil company helicopters and float planes. The group had previously given a deadline of 24 hours, which would have ended on Thursday The rebels say Nigerian armed forces had launched an unprovoked attack on two MEND camps early Wednesday.
SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka is pushing ahead with its offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels despite growing international calls for a cease-fire to let civilians escape the war zone. Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena on Thursday said the government will not give in to international pressure to halt the military operation. On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama and the United Nations Security Council called on both sides in the conflict to protect civilians and allow aid agencies into the conflict zone to help stem a growing humanitarian disaster.
THAILAND - MONTENEGRO: A legal adviser to Thailand's fugitive former prime minister says Thaksin Shinawatra is considering buying a Montenegrin resort island. The adviser, Noppadon Pattama, said the former Thai leader wants to develop Sveti Nikola Island's tourism potential. Thai newspapers say Mr. Thaksin has bid more than $28 million for the island in the Adriatic Sea off the Balkan coast. Noppadon also confirmed Wednesday that the southeastern European country has given Mr. Thaksin a passport. Thailand's Foreign Ministry said it is investigating reports about the Montenegrin passport.
CAMBODIA - SAND: A global environmental advocacy group has welcomed Cambodia's decision
to ban the export of sand in order to protect its coastlines and fish
London-based Global Witness praised Cambodia's government Wednesday for
what it said was a first step towards preventing the potentially
devastating impact of sand dredging.
The group says Cambodia's move follows a Global Witness investigation
earlier this year that revealed a huge sand dredging business in its
early stages in Koh Kong province.
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