MEXICO SUMMIT: U.S. President Barack Obama continues his first North American summit
Monday in Guadalajara, Mexico, with swine flu, trade and the Mexican
drug war high on the agenda. The U.S., Mexican and Canadian leaders are expected to present a united
plan-of-attack against H1N1 swine flu, though there is less agreement
on other issues. Mexican President Felipe Calderon told President Obama late Sunday that
the U.S. should move faster to send Mexico the $1.4 billion it has
promised (as part of the Merida Initiative)
to fight organized crime. One hundred million dollars has been delayed
because some U.S. lawmakers are concerned about alleged human rights
abuses by the Mexican army.
During the 45-minute meeting with President Calderon, Mr. Obama
expressed strong support for Mexico's fight against drug cartels, while
also stressing the importance of human rights. The two presidents then held a working dinner with Canadian Prime
Minister Stephen Harper. The three leaders will meet again Monday
before Mr. Obama returns home.
IRAQ: Iraqi officials say bombings in Baghdad and northernIraq have killed at least 44 people. Two truck bombs exploded near the northern city of Mosul Monday,
killing at least 28 people and wounding about 150. Officials say the
bombs destroyed some 35 houses in the Shi'ite village of Khazna, about
20 kilometers from Mosul. Mosul is considered a Sunni insurgent stronghold, and militants there have carried out numerous attacks.
Police in Baghdad say two bombings killed at least 16 people and
wounded more than 80. The blasts targeted day laborers who were
gathering to find work in predominantly Shi'ite sections of the capital.
IRAN: Defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi says several
female and male protesters have been raped in detention centers since
authorities arrested them for demonstrating against the results of the
Karroubi wrote in a letter to powerful cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
that women and young boys suffered severe physical and mental damage
from the rapes. He called for Iran's powerful arbitration body to open
an investigation into the abuse. At least three protesters have died in Iranian custody. And Iranian
police officials have acknowledged that detainees were abused at the
Kahrizak detention center. Iran's prosecutor general, Qorbanali Dori-Najafabadi, has conceded
there were, in his words, "painful accidents that cannot be defended"
at the prison, and he said anyone who violated the law should be
US-AFRICA: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with long-time Angolan
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos Monday as the U.S pledges to boost
ties with the oil-rich country. Clinton arrived in Luanda Sunday and held talks with Foreign Minister Assuncao Afonso dos Anjos.
She praised Angola for last year's parliamentary elections. She said
Washington looks forward to Angola adopting a new constitution,
prosecuting past human rights abuses, and holding a "timely, free and
fair presidential election."
Angola has not had a presidential election since 1992.
ASIA TYPHOONS: Police in western Japan say four people were killed and at least 10
others were missing Monday in landslides and floods as typhoon Etau
brought torrential rains to the region. Japanese authorities say the worst hit were Hyogo and Okayama prefectures where mudslides destroyed several houses. On Sunday, typhoon Morakot slammed into eastern China, killing a child,
submerging hundreds of villages and destroying 2,000 homes in Zhejiang
and Fujian provinces.
China's official Xinhua news agency said the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang recorded 70 centimeters of rain. Chinese authorities evacuated one million people in the two provinces
and ordered more than 35,000 boats back to harbor before the storm hit
with winds of up to 120 kilometers an hour. Forecasters predicted
Morakot would weaken as it moved north over land.