OBAMA - EUROPE: U.S. President Barack Obama says the "moment is now" to press for a
Middle East peace agreement, and that serious progress can be made this
year in resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Mr. Obama spoke after he held talks with German Chancellor Angela
Merkel in Dresden Friday -- one day after his speech in Cairo calling
for a "new beginning" in relations between the United States and
Mr. Obama said Washington cannot force peace upon the Israelis and
Palestinians, but can help in clearing some of the "misunderstandings"
to begin the process.
NOKOR - US JOURNALISTS: North Korea remained silent Friday on the fate of two female American
journalists who are being tried on charges that could send them to a
labor camp for years.
On Thursday, North Korean state media announced that Euna Lee and Laura
Ling of U.S. media company Current TV were scheduled to go on trial at
3 p.m. local time. Pyongyang has yet to comment further on the trial.
The U.S. State Department says North Korea has barred observers from attending the trial.
CHINA LANDSLIDE: Chinese state media are reporting that a landslide Friday buried at least 59 people in an iron mining region in southwestern China. The official Xinhua news agency says the landslide occurred in a mountain mining area in Chongqing Municipality. The report says millions of cubic meters of rock flooded a valley, and buried an iron ore plant and six houses. It says the landslide also cut off power and communications in many parts of the town.
GUINEA BISSAU: One of 13 candidates in Guinea-Bissau's upcoming presidential election has been killed.
Members of Baciro Dabo's family and staff say men in military uniform
burst into Dabo's house early Friday morning and shot him dead.
Government officials said former defense minister, Helder Proenca, had also been shot dead.
They told reporters Proenca was allegedly planning a coup along with
Dabo and two others. They claimed Dabo was killed while resisting
Dabo had served in high level ministerial positions and was a close
ally of late president Joao Vieira.
PAKISTAN: A bomb exploded at a mosque in northwest Pakistan during Friday
prayers, killing at least 10 people. Police say the blast happened in
Upper Dir district, near the border
with Afghanistan, where the Pakistani military has been fighting
against Taliban insurgents. Thursday, the United Nations pressed for
additional aid to help more than two million people displaced by the
The head of the U.N. humanitarian affairs agency in Pakistan warned that some supplies may run out by July unless the
international community responds rapidly.
AUSTRALIA - RIO TINTO: Mining giant Rio Tinto canceled a controversial $19.5 billion deal with
China's Chinalco Friday in favor of a joint venture with fierce rival
The Anglo-Australian giant says it will raise $15.2 billion in a share
sale with BHP Billiton and set up a joint production venture with its
In a statement on its Web site, Chinalco president Xiong Weiping said the company is very disappointed with the decision.
Conservative opposition lawmaker, Senator Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the
deal and called it good because it would keep Australian natural
resources out of the hands of the Chinese government.
BRAZIL - FRANCE PLANE: Brazilian military officials say debris thought to be from the wreckage of an Air France jet crash is instead trash. Brazilian Air Force Brigadier Ramon Cardoso told reporters a cargo pallet and two buoys pulled from the ocean early Thursday were not from Flight 447, which went down in the Atlantic Ocean Monday with 228 people on board. Cardoso said so far nothing from the plane has been recovered, but search teams are continuing to scour the waters off the northeast coast of Brazil, where other debris has been spotted.
DAVID CARRADINE OBIT: Authorities in Thailand say U.S. film actor David Carradine's death may have been accidental, and not a suicide. The body of the 72-year-old Carradine was found hanging from a rope inside a closet of his Bangkok hotel room. Police initially suspected Carradine committed suicide, but officials now say he may have died accidentally during a sexual act. There were no signs of foul play, but forensic scientists were testing a drink found in his room. Carradine was in Bangkok to shoot a new film called "Stretch."
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