AFGHANISTAN: Afghan officials say a suicide car bomb has exploded on a main road on the outskirts of the capital Kabul, killing at least seven people, as violence intensifies ahead of Thursday's presidential election. Officials say Tuesday's attack targeted a foreign military convoy. The United Nations says two of its Afghan staff members were killed in the blast. At least 50 other people were wounded. Earlier Tuesday, at least one rocket struck near the presidential palace in Kabul. There were also reports of a rocket hitting the capital's police headquarters.
SOKOR - KIM OBIT: Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who was credited with ushering in a new era of reconciliation with North Korea, has died in Seoul at the age of 85. Hospital officials say Mr. Kim died of multiple organ failure. The former South Korean leader had been hospitalized since last month with pneumonia. Friends and close family members were by his side Tuesday when he died. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said the country lost a "great political leader," whose "aspirations to achieve democratization and inter-Korean reconciliation will long be remembered by the people."
CHINA - AUSTRALIA: China canceled a senior minister's visit to Australia earlier this
month as part of a diplomatic dispute over a Uighur activist who was
granted a visa to attend a film festival in Melbourne.
Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith's office confirmed Tuesday
that Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei did not attend a Pacific
Islands Forum meeting in Cairns, but was replaced by a lower-ranking
Smith's office issued a statement expressing regret for China's
actions, since Australia supports Chinese sovereignty over its restive
TAIWAN - TYPHOON: Taiwan Vice Foreign Minister Andrew Hsia has resigned amid rising
criticism over the government's slow response to Typhoon Morakot.
Hsia said Tuesday he took responsibility for a memo sent to overseas
diplomatic offices last week instructing them to decline offers of
non-monetary aid from other countries.
The resignation came as President Ma Ying-jeou promised changes to improve the government's response to disasters.
Speaking to foreign journalists Tuesday, Mr. Ma said in the past 10
days, 39,000 people had been evacuated from mountain villages.
US - BURMA: Burma's state-run media say a recent visit by U.S. Senator Jim Webb was
a success for both sides that could improve the tense relations between
the two countries.
The New Light of Myanmar newspaper said Tuesday in a commentary that
the visit was "the first step towards marching to a 1,000 mile
The Democratic senator on Sunday secured the release of American John
Yettaw, who was sentenced last week to seven years hard labor for an
unauthorized visit to the lakeside home of democracy leader Aung San
US - EGYPT: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will meet at the White House with U.S.
President Barack Obama to discuss the Middle East peace process and
Mr. Mubarak's visit to the White House Tuesday will be his first in five years.
The Egyptian president met Monday in Washington for about an hour with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
A State Department spokesman said the two held a wide-ranging
discussion that included the peace process and the situation in Iran
COSTA RICA - ARIAS HEALTH: Costa Rican officials say President Oscar Arias will resume his normal routine Tuesday following a bout with the H1N1 swine flu virus. A spokesman for Mr. Arias said Monday that the president's schedule will include the inauguration of a biotechnology plant. Mr. Arias suspended his public schedule and worked from home after contracting a mild case of the swine flu last week. The president, who suffers from asthma, was quarantined at home.
LUANG PRABANG AMONG WORLD's TEN BEST CITIES: Luang Prabang, a UNESCO-listed world heritage town in northern Laos,
has been ranked as a top-ten of the world's best cities, according to the
latest survey of Travel + Leisure magazine. Completing the top 10 list
of best cities behind Udaipur this year were Cape Town, South Africa;
Bangkok, Thailand; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Luang
Prabang, Laos; New York, the US; Rome, Italy and San Francisco, the
US. Based on the 14th annual World's Best Awards given by the magazine
www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest/2009/, Luang Prabang, the ancient
royal capital of Laos and the jewel of tourism of Laos and the region,
is ranked the seventh.
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