HONDURAS: Honduran interim leader Roberto Micheletti says he is ready to sign a
deal that could reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya and end the
country's political crisis. Mr. Micheletti said late Thursday he has
authorized his negotiating
team to sign an agreement that "marks the beginning of the end" of the
four-month political standoff. Congress must approve the deal. Mr.
Zelaya said he is "optimistic" that the agreement will return him to
power. (Speaking in Islamabad,) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
hailed the agreement as "historic."
PAKISTAN: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has again defended U.S. policy
to Pakistanis who are growing frustrated with growing violence in the
Clinton spoke in Islamabad Friday to a group of tribal leaders from the
troubled northwest region. One lawmaker urged Clinton to seek to
negotiate an end to the conflict in Afghanistan and then to extend the
effort to Pakistan.
Clinton welcomed the idea of negotiations. But she noted that the U.S.
had to take action after the Taliban had refused to hand over al-Qaida
leaders responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks.
AFGHANISTAN: U.S. President Barack Obama is consulting with top military officials
Friday as he considers whether to send additional forces to
Mr. Obama will meet at the White House with the Joint Chiefs of Staff -
military leaders from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines.
A Pentagon spokesman (Geoff Morrell) said the meeting comes as the
president reaches the "end stage" of his decision-making process.
Mr. Obama has been reviewing strategy options for the war in
Afghanistan, including a request from the top U.S. commander in the
country, General Stanley McChrystal, for an additional 40,000 troops.
IRAN - NUCLEAR: Iran is reported to have rejected a United Nations-brokered uranium
enrichment plan, while at the same time, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
says he welcomes nuclear cooperation with the West.
A Western official close to the negotiations says Iran told the U.N.'s
International Atomic Energy Agency that it will not accept the plan to
ship its uranium abroad for low-level enrichment.
The proposal is aimed at preventing Iran from enriching uranium to the
point that it can be used for nuclear weapons. It has already been
agreed to by the other parties involved in negotiations -- the United
States, Russia and France.
ASIA - ECONOMY: A United Nations report predicts a return to growth in Asian economies
in 2010, but recommends Asian countries begin to rely more on regional
trade and less on the U.S. and Europe.
The U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific said
Thursday that despite strong growth in China and India, financial
markets remain volatile, and many countries still have large budget
Experts say the recent global economic crisis has led to massive
unemployment and pushed more people below the poverty line.
KOREAS - US - CYBER ATTACKS: South Korean media report the country's spy chief has blamed North
Korea for launching cyber attacks earlier this year that crippled
government and commercial Web sites in South Korea and the United
Seoul's Yonhap news agency reports the South's National Intelligence
Service chief Won Sei-hoon told lawmakers this week that the North's
telecommunications ministry uses the internet address that triggered
the attacks. He said the attacks were traced back to an internet
address in China that is leased by the North's telecommunications
US - SRI LANKA: The United States has launched a new program to help former Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka to reintegrate into society.
A statement released Friday by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo says the
initiative will provide former fighters in the east with supplies and
counseling to start their own small businesses.
The two-year project is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, and aims to reach about 1,000 people.
The embassy says the project already has registered 400 former
combatants, including 15 fishermen who received nets and other
equipment, and five farmers who received water pumps or irrigation
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