US - KENNEDY: The journey of the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy to his final resting place begins Thursday in Massachusetts.
The Democratic lawmaker died Tuesday at the age of 77, after a long battle with brain cancer.
Kennedy's family will accompany the senator's remains from his home in
the oceanside town of Hyannis Port to Boston, where the coffin will lie
in repose at the library named after one of his slain older brothers,
President John F. Kennedy.
The public will be allowed to view the coffin until Friday evening, when a private memorial service will be held.
EAST TIMOR - AMNESTY - UN: The human rights group Amnesty International is advising that the
United Nations Security Council establish an international criminal
tribunal in East Timor to investigate abuses under Indonesian rule.
Amnesty made the statement in a report released Wednesday, as East
Timor prepares to celebrate a decade of independence from Indonesia.
The human rights watchdog says there has not been proper accountability
for these crimes, and a culture of impunity continues to haunt the
Indonesia first invaded and occupied East Timor, a tiny Portuguese
colony, in 1975.
KOREA - TENSIONS: South Korea is urging North Korea to allow reunions of families that have been separated for half a century to be held on a regular basis. In talks Thursday between Red Cross delegations from North and South Korea, officials from the South urged North Korean representatives to not make family reunions a one-time event. The two sides are meeting in the Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea, and appear to be making progress toward a deal to at least arrange reunions later this year. South Korean media have reported that the two sides have yet to agree on the dates when the South Koreans could meet with their family members in the North.
TAIWAN - DALAI LAMA: Taiwan's president has agreed to allow Tibet's exiled spiritual leader,
the Dalai Lama, to visit the self-rule island -- a move that could
During a visit Thursday to central Nantou County, Ma Ying-jeou said he approved an invitation offered to the Dalai Lama.
Members of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party invited the
Dalai Lama to visit southern Taiwan, which was badly hit by Typhoon
Morakot. The party has criticized Mr. Ma's government for its slow
response to the typhoon, which killed nearly 700 people earlier this
US - BURMA: U.S. Senator Jim Webb is urging Burma's main opposition party to take part in elections next year to help bring about democracy in the military-ruled country. Webb says the National League for Democracy should consider the advantages of competing in the election as part of a long-term political strategy. Burma's military rulers have detained NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi for 14 of the past 20 years and have refused to recognize her victory in a 1990 election. The opposition party has denounced the military government's plan to hold elections in 2010 as a sham.
AFGHAN - VIOLENCE: NATO and Afghan officials say a U.S. helicopter fired on a medical
center in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika province Wednesday after
Taliban militants stormed the facility.
Officials Thursday said Afghan militants brought a wounded Taliban
commander to the clinic Wednesday. The military helicopter was
providing back-up to coalition troops who were battling Taliban
fighters on the ground.
Officials said 12 militants were killed, and seven suspected insurgents, including the wounded commander, were detained.
INDIA - CORRUPTION: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says pervasive corruption in his country is hurting the poor and deterring investors. Speaking Wednesday at a conference of India's main investigation agency in New Delhi, Mr. Singh called for a crackdown targeting high-level corruption. He said the poor are disproportionately hurt by officials who steal food grains intended for the hungry, or loans, fertilizers and seeds intended for farmers. Mr. Singh noted that such aid often never reaches the needy.
NIGERIA - BANKS: Nigeria's anti-corruption police have begun searching for debtors who are wanted for massive debts owed to troubled banks.
The country's anti-corruption agency had given the debtors, who
included some of the country's most prominent tycoons, until Tuesday to
repay their debts.
The Central Bank publicly named the debtors after rescuing five ailing
banks in a $2.5 billion government bailout earlier this month.
The anti-graft agency is expected to bring charges against 15 bank
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