KOREAS TENSIONS: North and South Korea's navies clashed briefly Tuesday off their western coast in the Yellow Sea.
South Korean military officials say a North Korean patrol boat suffered heavy damage before retreating.
Senior South Korean military officer Lee Gi-sik says a warship from the
South fired several warning shots at the North Korean boat after
crossed their disputed maritime border. The North's patrol boat fired
directly at the South Korean naval vessel, and the South fired back.
Lee described the incident as regrettable, adding that the South has lodged a strong protest with Pyongyang.
CAMBODIA - THAILAND: Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has arrived in Cambodia,
where he has been appointed as economic adviser to his ally, Cambodian
Prime Minister Hun Sen. The Cambodian leader appointed Mr. Thaksin to
the post last week despite disapproval from Thailand.
In Bangkok, a government spokesman (Panitan Wattanayagorn) said his
government will request Mr. Thaksin's extradition through the Foreign
Ministry and attorney general's office. However, Mr. Hun Sen has
already said he will reject the request.
US - ARMY BASE SHOOTING: U.S. President Barack Obama will lead a memorial service at Fort Hood,
Texas Tuesday for the 13 people killed during a shooting rampage last
Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle will meet privately with the families
of the victims before participating in the memorial service, in which
at least 3,000 people are expected to attend.
The Obamas will also meet with other wounded soldiers and their families at Fort Hood's Darnell Army Medical Center.
Authorities say the suspected gunman, Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik
Hasan, exchanged more than a dozen e-mails last year and this year with
a radical Muslim cleric in Yemen known for his anti-American teachings.
BERLIN WALL ANNIVERSARY: Tens of thousands of Germans along with past and present world leaders ignored a cold, dreary rain Monday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. German Chancellor Angela Merkel spent part of her life trapped behind the wall in East Berlin. She, along with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and other world leaders walked through the Brandenburg Gate, the one-time border crossing between the east and west. Chancellor Merkel thanked former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, saying he made the collapse of the wall possible with the reforms and moderate policies he introduced during the last days of the Soviet Union (which broke up in 1991).
ISRAEL - US: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. President
Barack Obama in Washington as the two sides sought the resumption of
negotiations with Palestinians.
A brief statement released by the White House late Monday said the two
leaders privately discussed a number of issues, including security
cooperation, Iran and how to move forward on Middle East peace.
Earlier Monday, Mr. Netanyahu told a meeting of American Jewish groups
that talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should begin
AFGHANISTAN: Japan's government has pledged $5 billion in new aid for Afghanistan over the next five years to help rebuild the war-torn country. Japanese media on Tuesday quoted Foreign Ministry officials as saying the money will be used for programs such as job training for former Taliban members and bolstering the police force. Japan currently operates two ships in the Indian Ocean that serve as refueling stops for vessels supplying the international effort in Afghanistan. But the new government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, which came to power in September, has said it will let that mission expire in January.
INDIA - LANDSLIDE: Indian officials say a landslide triggered by heavy seasonal rains has killed at least 41 people in southern India. Officials said Tuesday the deaths occurred over the past day in Tamil Nadu state, some 1,800 kilometers south of the capital, New Delhi. The downpour and subsequent landslide demolished several buildings and ruined crop fields. Rescue workers are trying to help people caught in the disaster. Parts of southern India frequently receive heavy rains in November and December.
SPORTS / GOLF WOODS: Thousands of golf fans have turned out to watch world number one American Tiger Woods practice ahead of his first tournament appearance in Australia in 11 years. An estimated 7,000 people watched him practice and walk the Kingston Heath course near Melbourne Tuesday. Woods joined Australian veteran Craig Parry for nine holes as television helicopters circled overhead. Even the top-ranked Woods, who attracts large throng of people galleries wherever he plays, was amazed by the level of the interest in his practice round. Woods is being paid almost $3 million for his appearance, more than the tournament's prize money.
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