US - CHINA TALKS: China and the United States have pledged to work more closely on trade
issues and climate change after two days of talks in Washington D.C.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said delegations from the two nations discussed an "unparalleled" range of topics.
She said Washington and Beijing are united in their concerns about
North Korea and Iran developing nuclear weapons. She said both
countries fear that Iran could set off a nuclear arms race in the
LAOS - BRITAIN: Officials in Laos and Britain announced Tuesday that a pregnant British
woman imprisoned in Laos for drug trafficking will be returned to
Britain to serve her life sentence. The two sides signed a memorandum
of understanding to allow the transfer of Samantha Orobator to a
The agreement also allows the transfer of another Briton (John Watson)
who is serving a jail sentence on drug charges in Laos. Orobator was
arrested at the airport in the capital, Vientiane, in August of 2008
with more than half a kilogram of heroin (680 grams), well above the
amount (500 grams) for which offenders can be executed in Laos.
INDONESIA - TERRORISM: Two luxury hotels in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta reopened for
guests Wednesday, nearly two weeks after they were targeted in a deadly
suicide bombing attack.
Officials say more stringent security measures are in place at the hotels.
Nine people were killed and more than 50 injured when the bombs ripped
through the J.W. Marriott Hotel and the nearby Ritz Carlton Hotel
within minutes of each other on July 17. Two suicide bombers were among
IRAN - REFORMIST: An Iranian judiciary spokesman says a prominent reformist detained during post election unrest will be released Wednesday.
The spokesman says Saeed Hajjarian will be freed following an order
this week from Iran's Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi to
speed up the review of the cases of detained reformists.
On Tuesday, Iranian authorities released on bail 140 people detained
following the June 12 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. An
Iranian lawmaker said another 150 people are still being held and face
more serious charges than those who have been released.
IRAQ: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says there is a chance the United
States may speed up the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. He spoke
after a two day visit to the country.
Gates said security conditions are improving in Iraq. All U.S. troops
are due to pull out of Iraq by the end of 2011 and combat troops left
cities last month. During the last day of his visit Wednesday, Gates
met with the
president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani in
Irbil to discuss bridging the divide between Iraq's ethnic Kurds and
SRI LANKA - RIGHTS: Human Rights Watch is urging the Sri Lankan government to release
nearly 300,000 ethnic Tamil civilians held in camps two months after
the country's 25 year long war ended.
The rights group says keeping several hundred thousand civilians in camps is "outrageous" and a violation of international law.
On Monday, a U.S. diplomat, assistant secretary of state for refugees
Eric Schwartz, said Washington is deeply concerned about the displaced
people confined in the camp. During a visit to Sri Lanka, he said
limitations on access to the camps "remain burdensome" for
international aid agencies trying to help.
CHINA - UIGHURS: Exiled Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer says thousands of people are
missing in the wake of deadly ethnic riots in China earlier this month.
Speaking to reporters shortly in Tokyo Wednesday, the U.S.-based
activist says nearly 10,000 people disappeared "in one night" from the
city of Urumqi, the capital of northwestern Xinjiang province. Chinese
officials say 197 people were killed in Urumqi when the province's
minority Uighurs rioted to protest what they claim is domination by the
overwhelming ethnic Han majority.
NIGERIA UNREST: Security forces in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri have shelled
the home of the leader of a radical Islamic sect thought to be
responsible for a series of deadly attacks on police and government
officials across the region.
The offensive against Mohammed Yusuf's compound is part of the
government's crackdown on the so-called "Nigerian Taliban" as it seeks
to restore order across the region after four days of fighting that
have killed at least 150 people. (News Updates)
TANNING BEDS - CANCER: World Health Organization cancer experts have put tanning beds and
sources of ultraviolet radiation into their highest cancer risk
category along with cigarettes, asbestos and arsenic.
The study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer appears in the latest issue of The Lancet Oncology medical journal.
Scientists have suspected for years that tanning beds are a cancer
risk. But they now say the results of 20 separate studies confirm their
Listen to our World News for details.