Taiwan's president says the death toll from the flooding and mudslides
triggered by Typhoon Morakot will likely reach over 500 people.
Ma Ying-jeou told aides at a national security meeting Friday that
nearly 400 people were probably buried alive when a mudslide covered
the village of Shiao Lin in southern Kaohsiung county. More than 100
people have been confirmed dead due to the disaster.
Mr. Ma's government has been criticized for what many say was its slow
response to the crisis. Thousands of villagers were trapped when the
floods and mudslides wiped out scores of bridges and roads after
Morakot hit the island last week.
US - BURMA: Webb is expected to meet Burma's military chief General Than Shwe
during his visit. The senator (- a Democrat from the eastern state of
arrived Friday in the administrative capital of Naypyidaw after a
flight from Laos, the first leg of his five-nation tour of Asia. Webb
is traveling through the region as chairman of the Senate Foreign
Relations subcommittee of East Asian and Pacific affairs. A statement
from his office earlier this week says he will be the first U.S.
lawmaker to visit Burma in more than 10 years. White House officials
say they welcome Webb's trip.
US - OBAMA - APEC: U.S. President Barack Obama is to travel to Singapore to attend a meeting of Asian and Pacific leaders in November.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Thursday that Mr.
Obama will attend the 17th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, set
for November 14 and 15.
He said the president will visit other countries, to be announced at a later date.
INDIA - INDEPENDENCE: Indian police are deploying in force in the capital of New Delhi and
along the country's borders in preparation for Independence Day
Police and paramilitary forces patrolled parts of Srinagar, the capital
of Indian-controlled Kashmir, on Friday. Officials say there will also
be increased security at the stadium where the main festivities will
Military officials say India's many states have also been asked to
bolster their security measures as a precaution. And there is increased
security at transportation hubs across the country.
PAKISTAN INDEPENDENCE: Pakistani leaders are marking the country's Independence Day, calling
for peaceful relations with India and announcing new rights for
tribesmen along the border with Afghanistan.
Police and security forces were on high alert during celebrations
across Pakistan Friday to prevent militant groups from disrupting
Children in the capital of Islamabad sang songs and waved Pakistani
flags. In Karachi, military officers marched in a parade while the
Pakistan Naval Academy band played.
SOMALIA - EGYPT - PIRATES: A Somali pirate says the kidnapped crews of two Egyptian fishing
vessels have won their freedom after attacking their pirate captors.
One of the pirates on board, who called himself Miraa, says the
hostages overpowered them with machetes Thursday. He said the Egyptian
crews then seized guns from the pirates, killing two of his colleagues.
Miraa told the Associated Press that he did not know the fate of the
rest of his fellow pirates, and that he was wounded in the fight.
The pirates had held the Egyptian crews hostage since mid-April.
SOKOR - SAMSUNG: A South Korean court has convicted the former chairman of the Samsung
conglomerate on charges of breach of trust for the illegal sale of
The Seoul High Court handed down a three-year sentence on Lee Kun-hee
Friday, but suspended the term for five years. The court also fined Lee
Prosecutors charged the 67-year-old Lee with transferring a special
type of bond in one of Samsung's subsidiary's to his son at below
market price, which caused the company to incur $18 million in losses.
US - TAIWAN - TYCOON: Lawyers for several children of late Taiwanese plastics magnate Wang
Yung-ching have begun a legal battle over the estate of the
billionaire, who left behind a wife and nine children, but no will.
A judge in the northeastern U.S. state of New Jersey Thursday refused
to dismiss the case, as proposed by one of Wang's daughters, and
instead requested more information. The court must decide whether New
Jersey has jurisdiction over his estate.
Wang traveled frequently between Taiwan and New Jersey, where his plastics company is based.
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