OBAMA - CHINA: U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao emerged from hours of talks in Beijing Tuesday with renewed pledges of cooperation on everything from the global economy, to non-proliferation, and climate change. Speaking at a media gathering after their meeting, Mr. Obama stressed that that all of the major challenges of the 21st Century were ones that touch both nations. He added that those challenges could not be solved alone. The two did not take any questions from reporters. The talks did not yield any major breakthroughs, but Mr. Hu said the two leaders made progress during their meeting.
IRAN - NUCLEAR: U.S. President Barack Obama says Iran will face consequences if it
fails to show its nuclear program is peaceful and transparent.
President Obama told a news conference in Beijing Tuesday that the U.S
and China agree that Iran must provide assurance of its peaceful
intentions to the international community.
China and the U.S. are among six world powers (known as the P5+1) seeking a negotiated end to Iran's nuclear program.
The United Nations nuclear agency says it is concerned Iran may still
be hiding facilities and details related to its nuclear program.
AFGHANISTAN: Britain has offered to host an international conference on Afghanistan
early next year that would set a timetable for handing over security
responsibilities to Afghan forces starting in 2010.
In a speech Monday in London, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he wants
that conference to chart a comprehensive political framework within
which the military strategy can be accomplished.
Mr. Brown said the greatest threat to Britain's national security is
international terrorism. But he also noted real progress against
al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying seven of the top 12
al-Qaida leaders had been killed since January 2008.
ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: The European Union has rejected a request by Palestinian officials that
it back their plan for gaining recognition as an independent state at
the U.N. Security Council without Israeli consent.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country holds the rotating
EU presidency, said Tuesday that it would be "premature" to recognize a
Palestinian state as the conditions for such a move are not yet there.
But Bildt said he can understand why the Palestinians are seeking U.N.
recognition, calling it "an act borne by a difficult situation where
they do not see any road ahead."
CARTER - ASIA: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was in Thailand Monday to help build
82 homes for the needy, a number meant to honor the 82nd birthday of
Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej on December 5.
Mr. Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, spend one week each year working
with the charity Habitat for Humanity on what is known as the Carter
Work Project, in such locations as India, Korea, and the Philippines.
This year's trip includes projects in five nations along the Mekong
Thousands of volunteers are also working on the project, which will
build or repair 166 homes in Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand and
BURMA FERRY: Officials in Burma say at least 50 people are believed to have drowned when a ferry packed with nearly 180 passengers collided with a tugboat and barge. Authorities said Tuesday 31 bodies were found after the accident Sunday, and 21 are missing. Officials said the rest of the passengers were rescued and had returned to their villages. The collision took place in the Ngawun river in Burma's southern Irrawaddy Delta.
JAPAN - US MILITARY: Japan's Foreign Ministry is holding talks with U.S. officials to try to
resolve a conflict over the relocation of a U.S. military base on the
island of Okinawa.
The ministry said Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Defense Minister
Toshimi Kitazawa are representing Japan. They are meeting with U.S.
Ambassador John Roos and Assistant Secretary of Defense (for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs)
The delegations are discussing the U.S. Futenma air base, which is
located in a crowded area of the southern island of Okinawa. Residents
say the base is noisy, bad for the environment, and raises crime
AUSTRALIA - CONJOINED TWINS: Australian doctors said Tuesday they have successfully separated twin Bangladeshi girls who were joined at the top of their heads. Leo Donnan, chief of surgery at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, told reporters that two-year-old Trishna and Krishna were doing "very well" after 25 hours of delicate surgery to separate their shared blood vessels and brain tissue. He said plastic surgeons will now reconstruct the girls' skulls. He could not predict how long the surgery will take. Donnan said a team of 16 surgeons and nurses began the work Monday morning on separating the girls, who were brought to Australia as infants by an aid organization.
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