US - AFGHANISTAN: A White House spokesman says President Barack Obama has held his "final
meeting" to discuss the Afghan war with members of his national
security team, and will announce his revised strategy within days.
Robert Gibbs said after the meeting late Monday the president "has all
the information he wants and needs to make a decision" on whether he
should send as many as 40,000 additional U.S. troops to fight the
violent insurgency in Afghanistan.
He assured that Mr. Obama could announce his decision as early as next week.
US - INDIA: U.S. President Barack Obamawelcomes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh to the White House Tuesday, during the first state visit of his
There will be a ceremonial welcome and a state dinner in honor of Mr.
Singh, but the White House has made it clear the leaders will pair the
celebrations with serious discussions on counter-terrorism, climate
change and the economy.
Mr. Singh arrived in Washington Sunday for his four-day state visit to
the United States. He told a gathering of business leaders Monday that
India and the United States plan to sign a memorandum of understanding
on energy security, clean energy and climate change.
IRAN - NUCLEAR: Iran says it is not opposed to sending its low-enriched uranium abroad for further enrichment as long as it receives the fuel necessary for its research reactor. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news conference Tuesday that Tehran wants a 100 percent guarantee that it will receive a simultaneous exchange of nuclear fuel. Iran and officials from six world powers have so far failed to agree on a UN-proposed nuclear fuel deal intended to allay Western concerns over Tehran's nuclear program.
PHILIPPINES - ATTACK: Philippines officials say the death toll from an attack on an election
caravan has risen to 46, after police found 11 more bodies in a mass
Police pulled 15 bodies out of another grave earlier in the day.
The discoveries came as Philippine President Gloria Arroyo declared an indefinite state of emergency in the south.
Presidential spokesman Serge Remonde told reporters Tuesday that the
declaration covers the province of Maguindanao, where the massacre
occurred, and two neighboring areas.
The declaration authorizes the military to impose curfews, set up checkpoints and undertake searches of homes.
CHINA - TAINTED MILK: China has executed two people for their roles in a tainted milk scandal that led to the deaths of at least six infants and sickened up to 300,000 others. The official Xinhua news agency says Zhang Yujun was executed for endangering public safety and Geng Jinping was put to death for producing and selling toxic food. Xinhua says that Zhang produced nearly 800 tons of a melamine-laced protein powder, of which he sold more than 600 tons, between July 2007 and August 2008. Xinhua says Geng sold more than 900 tons of tainted milk, to the now bankrupt Sanlu Group, which used to be the country's biggest dairies.
THAILAND POL: Thailand's cabinet has approved the use of a tough security law
throughout the capital of Bangkok from November 28 to December 14 to
control a street rally by supporters of exiled former prime minister
The Internal Security Act allows troops to impose curfews, operate
checkpoints, restrict movements of protesters and act quickly if
rallies by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship turn
A government spokesman (Supachai Jaisamut) said Tuesday
that the government invoked the law because it feared the rally would
split into different groups and spread throughout the city.
THAILAND - SAMAK OBIT: Former Thai prime minister Samak Sundaravej, who was forced from office in 2008 for hosting a television cooking show, died Monday at the age of 74. Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok confirmed the death, but would not give the cause. Mr. Samak was rumored to have liver cancer. Mr. Samak led the People Power Party to victory in elections in December of 2007, the first since the military coup that ousted his ally, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, just over a year earlier. His time in office was cut short in September of 2008, when Thailand's top court ruled that he had breached rules by accepting payment for a television program, in which he cooked and critiqued food.
TAIWAN - ROBBERY: Police in Taiwan say three men committed the largest robbery in a southern city's history Monday, when they stole more than two million dollars in cash from a gold dealer. Authorities said Tuesday that the masked men fired a shot at the dealer outside his shop in Tainan city. The bullet missed the man but hit a woman in the leg. The robbery netted $2.39 million dollars in about 30-seconds.
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