NORTH KOREA - CHINA: North Korea says it is ready to return to six-party talks on its
nuclear weapons program if progress also is made on talks with the
The statement was issued Tuesday in North Korean state-run media. The
KCNA news agency said Pyongyang's readiness to re-join the multilateral
talks is dependent on the outcome of talks with the United States.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Monday that the U.S.
remains willing to engage North Korea "bilaterally within the framework
of the six-party process" to convince it to give up its nuclear
US - DALAI LAMA: The Dalai Lama has arrived in Washington for a five-day visit, to meet
with lawmakers and the State Department's new coordinator for Tibetan
U.S. President Barack Obama is not scheduled to meet with the exiled
Tibetan spiritual leader during his visit. The Dalai Lama's top envoy
defended that plan on Monday.
Envoy Lodi Gyari said the Dalai Lama will not be meeting with the
president because they agreed they would meet after a U.S.-China summit
in November. Gyari said the Dalai Lama hopes a cooperative U.S.-Chinese
relationship will help support Tibet's interests.
PAKISTAN: The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide
bombing inside the U.N. World Food Program headquarters in Islamabad.
Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq said Tuesday his group was behind Monday's
blast that killed at least five U.N. employees and wounded five others.
Pakistan's Interior Ministry had blamed Taliban militants retaliating for military operations in Swat and South Waziristan.
Interior Minster Rehman Malik said Monday the bomber, wearing a
security guard uniform, detonated about eight kilograms of explosives
in the lobby of the U.N. aid agency.
GATES - AFGHANISTAN: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says U.S. forces will not withdraw
from Afghanistan no matter what results from President Barack Obama's
Gates told CNN late
Monday that the the White House is deciding the "next steps forward"
that will dictate how to win the war against Taliban militants in
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom CNN also interviewed,
said the Obama administration wants to take the "best approach" to
achieve U.S. goals in the region.
Secretary Gates said that Mr. Obama's decisions on the issue will be among the most important of his presidency.
KAZAKHSTAN - FRANCE: Kazakhstan has signed an agreement with France allowing French military
personnel and equipment to travel across the central Asian state to
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and visiting French President
Nicolas Sarkozy oversaw the signing of the transit agreement Tuesday by
their foreign ministers.
Kazakhstan agreed earlier this year to let the U.S. ship non-lethal supplies to its Afghan troops through Kazakh territory.
The United States and Russia have an agreement that allows the U.S. to transfer arms to Afghanistan across Russian territory.
US - IMMIGRATION POLICY: The Obama administration is to announce Tuesday a new plan for the detention of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation.
Under the new guidelines, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement
agency will devise a system to determine which immigrants should be
imprisoned and which should be housed in less restrictive facilities.
Under the current system, violent and non-violent illegal immigrants
are being held in a makeshift network of local, state and federal
jails. Nearly 400,000 people are held in this system each year, at a
cost of about $2 billion.
INDONESIA - EARTHQUAKE: The U.S. says it is sending 45 metric tons of relief supplies to
victims of last Wednesday's earthquake off Indonesia's Sumatra island.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Monday that the supplies
include plastic sheeting, hygiene kits and power generators. He said
the U.S. Defense Department is spending $7 million for relief
operations in Indonesia.
Kelly also said the military is sending military transport aircraft to
Padang, the worst-hit area, with supplies to build a field hospital
that can treat as many as 400 people a day.
THAILAND - CLIMATE CHANGE: International aid agencies are saying the increasing numbers of Asian
weather disasters are a wake-up call for global negotiators to reach a
new deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Richard Rumsey, World Vision's director of disaster risk reduction and
community resilience says that during the past week, the world has
witnessed again how poor families in the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand
and India are bearing the brunt of climate change.
Aid groups have joined U.N.-sponsored climate talks in Bangkok that
began last week and continued into this week.
Listen to our World News for details.