BURMA - SUU KYI: A Burmese court hearing the case of jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has postponed its verdict until August 11.
Foreign diplomats attending the hearing say the presiding judge
postponed issuing the verdict in order to further review the case.
Authorities had increased security around Rangoon's notorious Insein
prison Friday, when the verdict was originally scheduled to be handed
Aung San Suu Kyi has been on trial for violating the terms of her house
arrest in May. She faces five years in prison for allowing an American
intruder who swam to her lakeside home to stay at the house overnight.
KOREAS - BOAT: South Korea says North Korea will investigate the crew of a South Korean fishing boat seized Thursday after it apparently strayed into North Korean territorial waters. South Korea's Unification Ministry says it received word of the probe by a faxed message from Pyongyang. According to the spokesman, "pertinent" authorities are looking into the matter. The ministry says the fishing boat and its four man crew drifted into the North's territorial waters after it apparently experienced problems with its satellite navigation system.
CHINA - RAIN: The heaviest rains in more than 70 years have brought China's key industrial city, Shanghai, and its environs to a standstill. China's official news agency, Xinhua, says flooding and landslides have stranded nearly 2,000 travelers at area airports, and have forced 3,000 people to evacuate their homes. No casualties have been reported. Between 80 and 140 millimeters of rainfall have drenched the city and nearby areas. More than 500 workers were deployed to clear the water. The inclement weather delayed nearly 70 flights to and from Shanghai's Pudong and Hongqiao airports.
JAPAN - ECONOMY: The Japanese government says the country's unemployment rose to a six-year high of 5.4 percent in June. The jobless rate is up from 5.2 percent in May and is now within striking distance of a record 5.5 percent in 2003. The government said Friday the number of people out of work in June jumped 31 percent from a year earlier to almost 3.5 million. The government said Japan's key consumer price index fell a record 1.7 percent in June from a year ago.
US - CAR PROGRAM: The U.S. government says it is working to find more money for a popular car trade-in program.
Officials say the "Cash for Clunkers" program, which gives car owners
up to $4,500 in rebates to trade in older gas-guzzling vehicles for
newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles, has exhausted the $1 billion
approved by the U.S. Congress. Late Thursday, the government said
vehicle sales may have surpassed the 250,000 funded by the program.
In a statement issued Thursday evening, a spokesman for U.S. President Barack Obama says
the administration is evaluating all options to continue the program.
TAJIKISTAN - HYDROELECTRIC: Tajikistan and Russia's presidents (Emomali Rakhmon and Dmitri
Medvedev) have inaugurated a hydroelectric power plant, capping off a
cooperative project that began in the Soviet era.
The Sangtuda power plant, south of Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, aims
to provide 12% of Tajikistan's power supply. Its 670 megawatts are
sorely needed in the power hungry country, where shortages in the
frigid winter have led to difficult living conditions. The $720 million
plant, one of the biggest recent joint projects
between the two countries, aims to shore up Russia's influence in the
former Soviet republic.
NIGERIA - UNREST: Nigerian police say the leader of an Islamist militant group was killed hours after being taken into custody on Thursday. Authorities in the northern city of Maiduguri say Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf was shot and killed while in police custody. The circumstances surrounding his death are still not clear. But several news organizations say he was killed in a shootout with police while trying to escape. Nigerian authorities blame Boko Haram for the violence that erupted on Sunday after security forces arrested some of the group's leaders.
IRAQI - BANK THEFT: Iraqi police have arrested at least two suspects Thursday and recovered
millions of dollars from a bank robbery that left eight guards dead.
Officials in Baghdad say police raided the home of an Iraqi soldier where they found the stolen money.
Reports vary as to the total amount stolen and whether all or only part
was recovered. But officials say at least several million dollars have
been returned to the bank.
The money was stolen from the Rafidain bank in Baghdad's Karrada
district on Tuesday. Eight security guards were shot and killed during
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