IRAN - DETAINEES: Iran media report that prominent political moderates on trial for joining post-election protests have retracted claims of election fraud. Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reports that reformist former Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi said claims about vote violations in the re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on June 12 were baseless. Abtahi is among about 100 people appearing in court Saturday in Tehran at the start of their trial. The official IRNA news agency says the defendants face charges that include attacking military and government buildings, having links to armed opposition groups and conspiring against the ruling system.
US - IRAN - IRAQ: The U.S. State Department says it is investigating reports that three American tourists have been detained after crossing into Iran from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. A security official in the region says they were part of a group of four tourists that arrived in Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, earlier this week. He says the three went to a popular resort (in Ahmed Awa) near the Iranian border on Thursday, and that they later contacted the fourth person in the group to say they had been confronted by soldiers.
MALAYSIA - PROTESTS: Malaysian police have fired tear gas and water cannons and arrested
dozens of people who tried to take part in a street protest against a
law allowing detention without trial.
Police fanned (spread) out across the capital Kuala Lumpur
Saturday to arrest protesters at various gathering points, including
the city's main mosque and a shopping mall. About 10,000 demonstrators
attempted to march to Independence Square. Police said at least 150
protesters were arrested.
PHILIPPINES - AQUINO: Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, who led so-called "people
power" protests to restore democracy in her country, has died.
Her son, a senator, said she died early Saturday of cardio-respiratory
arrest, after battling colon cancer for over a year. She was 76.
Current Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, who is on a visit to the
United States, declared 10 days of mourning. She praised the former
president for restoring the rule of law at what she called "a time of
KOREAS - BOAT: North Korea said Saturday that a South Korean fishing boat it seized Thursday had entered its territorial waters illegally.
In its first official statement, Pyongyang's official Korean Central
News Agency said a "relevant institution is conducting a concrete
investigation" into the incident.
South Korea's Unification Ministry said Friday 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.
SOKOR - SATELLITE: South Korea says it has set a new date to launch its first rocket after a delay caused by technical problems.
The Science Ministry said Saturday the rocket will be launched on August 11 from the country's new space center.
Seoul delayed the planned launch this week at the request of the Russian firm helping to build the rocket.
The rocket, which will carry a satellite, will be the first launched from South Korean soil.
The launch will come four months after North Korea fired its own multi-stage rocket.
OBAMA - ECONOMY: U.S. President Barack Obama says America's economy is improving, but
future prosperity depends on long-term investment and innovation.
In his weekly address, Mr. Obama said Friday's report showing that the
gross domestic product fell at an annual rate of one percent is
evidence the recession is easing, but that a full recovery will take
Mr. Obama says lasting prosperity depends on having well-educated and
highly-skilled workers, a health care system that fosters innovation
and holds down costs, building a clean energy economy and investing in
research and development.
VENEZUELA - MEDIA: The Venezuelan government says it will shut down 34 radio stations.
Venezuela's telecommunications agency said Friday the stations will
have to stop broadcasting once they are notified. The agency says the
stations have failed to meet legal requirements to stay on the air.
Before the announcement, Human Rights Watch said the leftist government
of President Hugo Chavez has limited freedom of expression in
New laws establish a set of "media crimes" punishable with jail time. (News Updates)
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