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Clinton Meets Indian PM, Expected to Sign Defense Pact


CLINTON-ASIA : U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi Monday for talks aimed at strengthening strategic ties between the two nations. Clinton, who is on a five-day visit to India, is expected to meet separately with Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna later Monday to discuss bilateral and regional issues. The two sides are expected to finalize two agreements. One will allow U.S. companies to build nuclear power plants at two sites in India. The other is intended to ensure that U.S. arms technology sold to India does not spread to other countries.



ASEAN: Southeast Asian foreign ministers began meetings Monday in Thailand, where they plan to endorse the formation of a new regional human rights body that is being greeted with skepticism by rights activists.
Critics of the proposed human rights body say it will be powerless to monitor or punish human rights abuses in places such as Burma -- an ASEAN member strongly criticized for its treatment of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva rejected the criticism. He said ASEAN needs to be a community of action, but the Thai leader said in his weekly radio and TV address Sunday that ASEAN nations should oppose Western sanctions against Burma and continue dialogue with the military government.

JAPAN POL: New opinion polls indicate that Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is headed for a landslide defeat in upcoming elections.
A telephone poll released by the Mainichi newspaper Monday, found 56 percent of respondents backing the opposition Democratic Party of Japan and only 23 percent supporting the ruling LDP. A poll by the Kyodo News agency published Sunday said that 39.3 percent of respondents hope to have a government led by the Democrats, compared with 14.8 percent putting their faith in the ruling LDP.

INDIA-PAKISTAN: A Pakistani man on trial over last year's deadly terror attacks in Mumbai, India has pleaded guilty in a surprise confession in an Indian court. Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam says Mohammed Ajmal Kasab stood up during his trial Monday at a special court and said that he wanted to admit to his part in the crime. The 21-year-old, who pleaded not guilty in May, was the only of the 10 gunmen captured alive during the attacks on the Taj Mahal Hotel and other sites across southern Mumbai last November. The attacks, which killed 166 people, strained relations between the two rival nations even further. Pakistan has admitted the attacks were planned, in part, on its territory, but denies India's assertion that Pakistani government agents were involved.


HONDURAS: Talks aimed at resolving the political crisis in Honduras collapsed Sunday without reaching a solution. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias said Sunday he is asking both sides to resume the talks in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose on Wednesday after a three-day break to work on a solution.
He has proposed a seven-point plan that includes the reinstatement of deposed President Manuel Zelaya. It also calls for new presidential elections in October and a unity government.
A U.S. State Department spokesman (Robert A. Wood) says the talks have created "a foundation for a possible resolution."
Mr. Zelaya has been in exile since he was ousted June 28 by members of the military.

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