BURMA - SUU KYI: The trial of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has resumed at a notorious prison in the main city of Rangoon. Prosecutors and lawyers for the Nobel Peace laureate will present their final arguments in the case. The defense met with Aung San Suu Kyi Thursday to prepare the 23-page draft closing argument. The democracy icon is accused of violating the terms of her house arrest, after allowing an American man to stay at her lakeside Rangoon home for two days after he swam there uninvited back in May. She faces five years in prison if convicted.
US - NOKOR - CHINA: The commander of U.S. forces in Asia says North Korea likely will
remain at the top of his successor's list of concerns after their
change of command in October; but, he says issues including the growth
of China's military will also require attention.
In an interview Thursday with VOA,
Admiral Timothy Keating said U.S. officials are focusing carefully on
North Korea through intelligence and diplomatic initiatives.
Keating noted that North Korea has short- and medium-range missiles and
is trying to develop a long-range missile, but he said the U.S.
military is prepared to respond to any military action by Pyongyang.
INDONESIA - ELECTION: Indonesia's election commission says President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono the winner of this month's presidential election.
Results released late Thursday show Mr. Yudhoyono winning a second
five-year term in a landslide, taking 61 percent of the vote, more than
enough to avoid a runoff election. His nearest challenger, ex-President
Megawati Sukarnoputri, earned 27 percent of the vote. Outgoing Vice
President Jusuf Kalla was a distant third with 12 percent.
Mr. Yudhoyono's opponents have complained about alleged irregularities in voter lists, and are vowing to take legal action.
IRAQ - US: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has hinted that he is open to the
presence of U.S. troops beyond December 31, 2011, a firm deadline set
by both countries for the withdrawal of all American soldiers from Iraq.
Speaking in Washington Thursday, Mr. Maliki suggested that the
withdrawal deadline may be reconsidered if "Iraqi forces required
further training and further support."
The Iraqi leader spoke to an audience in Arabic and according to an
interpreter's translation said Iraq will consider the deadline "based
on the needs of Iraq."
HONDURAS: Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has driven to a Nicaraguan town
near his country's border, preparing for a possible return to Honduras.
Mr. Zelaya drove to Esteli Thursday followed by a convoy of supporters and journalists.
He did not say exactly when or how he would attempt to re-enter the country.
The deposed leader says he hopes Honduran soldiers will lower their guns when they see their elected leader.
The interim government has imposed an all-night curfew along border areas.
KYRGYZSTAN - ELECTION: European monitors are criticizing Kyrgyzstan's presidential election
Friday, even as the country's election commission claims President
Kurmanbek Bakijev is headed for a landslide win.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
says Thursday's election was marred by ballot-box stuffing, voter list
inaccuracies and evidence of multiple voting. It also accused President
Bakijev of using government resources to ensure his victory.
ECON - COMPANIES: The world's largest software maker has reported a 29 percent drop in profits and sales below what analysts expected.
Microsoft reported late Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income was
$3.05 billion, compared with $4.3 billion a year earlier.
Sales were down 17 percent, to $13.1 billion, although analysts were
expecting earnings to total $14.37 billion. Shares of the company fell
eight percent in after-hours trading.
Earlier Thursday, the world's largest package delivery company said its
second-quarter profits fell as sales slipped amid the economic downturn.
CONGRESS - VOA: The directors of two U.S. government-funded broadcasting networks have
testified before lawmakers that their stations play an important role
in bringing information to foreign audiences, particularly in places
where freedom of the press is restricted. Voice of America director
Danforth Austin and his counterpart at Radio
Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Jeffrey Gedmin, told members of Congress Thursday that they are changing news-delivery
strategies to reach their audiences more effectively. (News Summary)
Listen to our World News for details.