ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

New Japanese Prime Minister Elected, Names Cabinet


JAPAN - POLITICS: Japan's parliament has elected former opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama as the country's new prime minister. In a landslide victory last month, Mr. Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan won 308 of the 480 seats in parliament's lower chamber - ending more than 50 years of rule by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party. On Wednesday, the lower house of Japan's parliament held a special session to formally elect Mr. Hatoyama, who has pledged to cut government waste and reinvigorate the world's second-largest economy.

NEWSMAKER - HATOYAMA: Japan's new prime minister, 62-year-old Yukio Hatoyama, may have been elected into office because of his pledges of radical change, but his personal story is not that different from other past Japanese prime ministers. Like many others, Mr. Hatoyama is the heir to a powerful political dynasty and comes from a wealthy family. He is one of the country's wealthiest lawmakers and his grandfather, former Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama, even helped create the powerful Liberal Democratic Party, which he defeated and has ruled Japan almost continuously since its founding in 1955.

AUSTRALIA - ASYLUM SEEKERS: Australian officials say they have intercepted a boat carrying nearly 60 suspected asylum-seekers off the country's northwestern coast. Officials say a navy patrol vessel stopped the boat early Tuesday and transferred the group to Australia's high-security processing center on Christmas Island. In a little more than a week, more than 200 apparent illegal immigrants have been found off Australia's northwestern coast. The recent rise in boat arrivals has rekindled a political debate in Australia over immigration.

IRAQ: The U.S. military says Iraqi and U.S. troops have detained three militants suspected of carrying out a deadly mortar attack on Baghdad's Green Zone government district. Militants fired four mortars at the complex Tuesday, hours after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Baghdad for meetings with U.S. military and Iraqi officials. Iraqi police say one mortar fell short and hit a nearby apartment building, killing two civilians. No casualties or damage were reported inside the Green Zone. The U.S. military says Iraqi and U.S. troops raided a possible launch site for the mortars, detaining three Iraqi men and seizing rocket-launching equipment.

US - MIDEAST: A U.S. envoy has ended a second day of talks with Israel's prime minister without securing an Israeli agreement to freeze settlement building in areas the Palestinians want for a state. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office described his meeting with U.S. envoy George Mitchell in Jerusalem Wednesday as "good." It says the two plan to meet again on Friday, after Mitchell returns from visits to Arab states. The U.S. and Palestinian governments have been pressing Israel to stop all building in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem to enable Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to restart.

IRAN - NUCLEAR: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Iran must address concerns about its nuclear program "head on" (directly) when it meets diplomats from six world powers early next month. Clinton said Tuesday the nuclear issue "cannot be ignored" in the October 1 talks, in which the United States will participate fully for the first time. The European Union says the meeting likely will be held in Turkey. Western nations accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Iran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful and not subject to negotiation.

US - RECESSION: The chief of the U.S. central bank says the recession "is very likely over" but warned it will take time for many Americans to feel relief. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday economic data indicates the U.S. economy is growing again and will continue to grow into next year. However, he agreed with economic forecasts that say despite the growth, the economy will not produce many new jobs and the unemployment rate will remain high for some time.

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