AIDS - VACCINE: U.S. and Thai researchers say an experimental AIDS vaccine has for the
first time cut the risk of HIV infection by almost a third.
Speaking at a news conference in Bangkok Thursday, Colonel Jerome Kim
said the results of a vaccine trial by the two countries have raised
hopes that a globally effective vaccine may be possible in the future.
U.S. and Thai government researchers say the vaccine lowered the risk
of infection by 32 percent among the more than 16,000 Thai volunteers
who participated in the trial.
Even a marginally helpful vaccine could have a big impact.
G-20: Leaders of the Group of 20, the world's leading rich and developing
countries, are set to meet Thursday and Friday to discuss preventing
another world economic crisis and establishing sustainable growth.
U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting the meeting set in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, following up on similar meetings in London (April 2009)
and Washington, D.C. (November 2008) regarding the global financial
crisis. Members are expected to build on their goals of restoring jobs
economic growth, repair lending systems, reform international financial
systems, and prevent future recessions.
UN - US - NUCLEAR WEAPONS: U.S. President Barack Obama will preside over a special session of the
United Nations Security Council Thursday dedicated to halting the
spread of nuclear weapons.
Heads of state of the Security Council's 15-member nations will meet to
discuss a U.S.-drafted resolution that sets numerous goals towards Mr.
Obama's vision of a "world without nuclear weapons."
It calls on all nations who have not joined the 41-year-old Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty to do so, and also urges nuclear nations to
set conditions on their exports of nuclear materials.
US - BURMA: Burma's government in exile has welcomed Washington's plans to engage
the country's military leaders and speak directly with them.
Zin Linn, a spokesman for the National Coalition Government of the
Union of Burma, says the group welcomes any such efforts, but also
urges the international community to engage Burma's opposition.
Zin Linn says that if countries like the United States and the U.N. and
E.U. tried to act as a facilitator between the military government and
the opposition there may be more results.
NOKOR - VIETNAM: Activists say at least eight North Koreans entered Denmark's embassy in Vietnam Thursday, seeking political asylum.
An activist from South Korea says the group of North Koreans were
accompanied by other South Korean activists into the embassy in Hanoi.
The Danish ambassador has confirmed that several people claiming to be
North Koreans have entered the embassy, but declined to answer further
North Korean defectors typically flee first to China, and seek passage
to the South through another third country.
PAKISTAN: Police in Pakistan say Taliban insurgents ambushed a pro-government
citizen's group and killed nine people, including at least four tribal
Authorities said Thursday a group of militiamen were traveling to a
nearby village in northwest Pakistan's Bannu district, which borders
the North and South Waziristan tribal regions. They said Taliban
militants fired a barrage of shots at the group and then fled the area.
The assault comes after a senior official in the Pakistani army said
recent gains by anti-insurgency forces are weakening the Taliban and
have reduced the number of terrorist attacks in the country.
IRAN - UN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sharply criticized Western powers
on Wednesday, accusing the United States and its allies of spreading
aggression, terror and war in the name of democracy and freedom.
During a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the Iranian
leader criticized Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip and
noted what he called the "inhumane" condition of Palestinians under
President Ahmadinejad also called for an end to capitalism, saying it
is no longer possible to inject "unreal" wealth into the global economy.
UN - GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Hugo Chavez of
Venezuela are among the heads of state and government scheduled to
speak Thursday at the United Nations General Assembly.
During the opening session Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama
called for a "new era of engagement" among nations, saying the United
States cannot solve global problems alone. He urged other nations to
share in the responsibility
Others addressing the General Assembly included Libyan leader Moammar
Gadhafi, who denounced the U.N. Security Council, defended the Taliban,
and critiqued historic events during a rambling, 96-minute speech.
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