ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Obama Says Africa is 'Not Separate from World Affairs'


OBAMA - GHANA: U.S. President Barack Obama, fresh from this week's meeting in Italy with the G-8 group of industrialized nations, said Saturday that "Africa is not separate from world affairs." Mr. Obama made his remarks in Ghana after a breakfast meeting with his counterpart, John Atta Mills. The U.S. leader will also address Ghana's Parliament Saturday, where he will outline his administration's policy for Africa. Mr. Obama's landmark visit to Ghana is his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa since becoming the first African American president.

IRAN: Iran's foreign minister is downplaying a Group of Eight declaration against his country's crackdown on post-election demonstrators and its pursuit of a suspected nuclear weapons program. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters in Tehran Saturday that Iran is preparing a package for the West that will serve as a good basis for talks. Mottaki said Iranian officials have not received any new message from the three-day G8 summit, which ended Friday. The leaders of the world's richest nations met in L'Aquila, Italy where they released a statement saying the G8 is losing its patience with Iran.

US SURVEILLANCE: A review by top U.S. government investigators says a secret surveillance program approved by President George W. Bush after the September 11 terror attacks got too little legal review when it started. The program included wiretaps without court approval and some unprecedented intelligence collection efforts. News accounts say it is not clear how effective the highly controversial program was in producing useful intelligence. The report was published Friday by five inspectors general of agencies with intelligence responsibilities.

AFGHANISTAN - US: A U.S. newspaper reports the Bush administration repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the 2001 mass killings of Taliban prisoners by the militia of an American-backed warlord. The New York Times reports the FBI, State Department and Red Cross pushed for a probe, but the White House failed to act because the warlord, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, was being paid by the CIA at the time of the killings. Dostum and his fighters are accused of killing hundreds, and perhaps thousands of Taliban prisoners who surrendered after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

OBAMA - ECONOMY: U.S. President Barack Obama - amid a trip that has taken him to Russia, the G-8 summit, and his first presidential trip to Africa - chose a domestic topic for his weekly radio and Internet address - the U.S. economy. Mr. Obama said the American economy is "back from the brink," but that there is still a long way to go before the economic challenges end. He rejected suggestions of a second stimulus package and criticism that the plan had failed, saying the plan "was designed to work over two years."

SPACE SHUTTLE: The U.S. space agency says thunderstorms may delay Saturday's planned launch of the shuttle Endeavour, which is headed to the International Space Station on a construction mission. NASA issued its assessment Friday as weather forecasters predicted the storms could interfere with the evening liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA's shuttle weather officer (Kathy Winters) says conditions are expected to clear up in the coming days, if the seven-member astronaut crew needs to wait until Sunday or Tuesday.

FRANCE - BRAZIL - PLANE: The search for flight recorders belonging to the Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean last month is nearing an end. The Brazil-based commander of American forces supporting the search effort said that one ship towing a U.S. Navy listening device had already ended the search. He said a second ship was expected to depart the area as well. However, he said a french nuclear submarine will continue to look for the so-called black boxes, containing cockpit voice and flight data recordings.

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