NOKOR - NUCLEAR: South Korea's Defense Ministry says North Korea has launched a series of missiles off its eastern coast, following similar tests earlier this week. The missiles were fired over several hours beginning Saturday morning. The Yonhap news agency quotes military officials as saying the missiles appeared to be a type of short-range Scud missile. The latest missile tests are taking place as the United States begins to celebrate its July 4 Independence Day holiday. North Korea has conducted other missile and nuclear tests on U.S. holidays.
HONDURAS: Honduras' new government says it no longer recognizes the charter of
the Organization of American States and is withdrawing its membership
from the group.
Honduras made the announcement late Friday, a day before the OAS was
due to vote on suspending the Central American country, following its
refusal to adhere to demands by OAS to return toppled President Manuel
Zelaya to office. The OAS has called an emergency meeting in Washington
AFGHANISTAN: Fighting in eastern Afghanistan Saturday left two U.S. soldiers and 30 suspected Taliban insurgents dead.
Local authorities say the fighting began in Paktika province, when a
truck exploded near a government base in Zirok district, killing the
two American soldiers and wounding four others.
Officials say Taliban insurgents began firing on the base, prompting
U.S.-led forces to call in airstrikes that killed 30 militants.
In southern Helmand province Saturday, the United States is pressing
forward with a major offensive to drive out Taliban insurgents and
secure the area ahead of a presidential vote in Afghanistan in August.
PALIN RESIGNING: Alaska Governor and former Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate
Sarah Palin says she will resign from office later this month and will
not seek re-election.
Palin spoke Friday at a news conference outside her home in the small
town of Wasilla, Alaska. Her surprise announcement raised speculation
that she would seek to be the Republican Party's presidential candidate
Palin -- who is seen by many as a rising star in the party -- was U.S.
Senator John McCain's running mate in the 2008 US presidential
election, which they lost to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
CHECHNYA POLICE: Nine Chechen police officers were killed in a roadside ambush in the
Russian republic of Ingushetia on Saturday. Ingush officials say the
policemen were traveling in a convoy when they were fired on by machine
guns and grenade launchers. Nine other policemen in the convoy were
wounded. The Chechen police officers were in neighboring Ingushetia in
operation with their Ingush colleagues against militants there. The
operation began after a June 22 suicide attack that seriously wounded
the Moscow-appointed president of Ingushetia.
UN - BURMA: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Burma's military government has
again rejected his request to meet with jailed democracy leader Aung
San Suu Kyi.
After a 30-minute meeting Saturday with Burma's military ruler General
Than Shwe, Mr. Ban told reporters that he was deeply disappointed.
Mr. Ban met Saturday for a second time with the senior general in the
country's remote administrative capital, Naypyitaw, to push for the
release of political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and for a
national reconciliation ahead of next year's elections.
AUSTRALIA - TIBET: China has expressed anger over this week's meeting between a group of
Australian lawmakers and Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai
The Chinese Embassy in Canberra has called the visit a gross interference in China's internal affairs.
The six-member delegation visited the Dalai Lama at his home in exile,
in Dharamsala, India. In a statement Friday, the all-party
parliamentary group thanked the Dalai Lama and his aides for providing
an insight into the challenges facing the Tibetan people.
The group says it hopes to visit Tibet during an official visit to China later this year.
US INDEPENDENCE DAY: Americans are gearing up to celebrate the July 4 Independence day holiday with fireworks, parades and concerts. Washington and New York are among the cities that will have spectacular fireworks displays Saturday night. Many small towns have been forced to scrap or dramatically scale back their celebrations because of the economic crisis. In his weekly Saturday radio and video address, U.S. President Barack Obama encouraged Americans to "kick back" and "enjoy a little time off."
REPUBLICANS - IRAN: U.S. Senator John McCain Saturday repeated his party's calls for
stronger support of Iran's protesters from the U.S. government.
Speaking on behalf of the Republican party for the weekly radio and
Internet address, McCain said "we stand with" the Iranians who are
protesting a disputed presidential election in the face of a heavy
He said the Iranians ask for nothing besides "public declarations of
solidarity, and public denunciations of the tyrants who oppress them,"
and he said the United States has a "moral obligation" to do so. (News Updates)
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