ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

US Re-Opens Yemen Embassy, Commends Yemeni Counter-Terror Efforts


YEMEN: The U.S. Embassy in Yemen says it has re-opened after Yemeni forces successfully dealt with a security threat that prompted its closure for two days. The U.S. mission in Sanaa re-opened Tuesday. It says Yemen had addressed a "specific area of concern" by conducting counter-terrorism operations Monday north of Sanaa. Yemen says its forces killed two suspected al-Qaida members Monday in the northern region of Arhab. The United States and Britain closed their embassies in Sanaa Sunday due to warnings of a possible al-Qaida attack.

US AIRLINE SECURITY: U.S. officials say President Barack Obama will announce a series of reforms to the nation's counterterrorism policies Tuesday, following the attempted Christmas Day (December 25) bombing of a U.S. jetliner. Mr. Obama will outline the new measures, including changes to the nation's terrorist watch list, after meeting with senior members of his national security team. Officials say the president will receive an update from FBI Director Robert Mueller on the investigation into the attempted bomb attack and will also discuss with Attorney General Eric Holder the prosecution of the Nigerian man suspected in the incident.

AFGHANISTAN - CIA: U.S. media say a suicide bomber who attacked a CIA base in eastern Afghanistan last week was a Jordanian working as an al-Qaida double agent. The reports say current and former Western intelligence officials identified the suicide bomber as Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year-old al-Qaida sympathizer from Zarqa, Jordan. U.S. network NBC says Jordanian authorities arrested al-Balawi more than a year ago and later recruited him to infiltrate al-Qaida, believing he had been successfully reformed. The CIA declined to comment on the reports.

PHILIPPINES - MASSACRE: The prime suspect in the worst political massacre in the Philippines pleaded not guilty Tuesday when he appeared under heavy security in a special police court charged with multiple counts of murder. Andal Ampatuan Jr. is accused of leading a brutal, deadly attack on a political rival's family, their staff and at least 30 journalists accompanying their convoy in Maguindanao province last November. The attack left 57 people dead. The suspect belongs to the powerful Ampatuan clan that has ruled the province unchallenged for years, and was closely allied with President Gloria Arroyo.

ASIA - WEATHER: Heavy snow and bitterly cold weather have caused flight cancellations and other problems in several Asian countries. Hundreds of flights have been canceled or delayed at Beijing's international airport as the city digs out from under at least 20 centimeters of snow that have fallen over the past few days. Heavy snow also is causing flight delays and cancellations in the South Korean capital, Seoul, where a cabinet meeting had to be delayed Monday because ministers had trouble making their way through the snow. Officials says at least 40 people have died as a result of a cold wave moving across northern India.

TAIWAN - US BEEF: Taiwan's parliament voted Tuesday to ban imports of some kinds of U.S. beef, reversing an earlier deal the government negotiated with Washington. Under the bill, a ban on ground beef and cow organs (offal) has been reinstated. Taiwan's two main political parties agreed to resume the ban following public concerns about mad cow disease. Officials have expressed hope that the United States will understand the decision. President Ma Ying-jeou lifted the six-year ban on some U.S. beef products in October, sparking a wave of protests on the island.

BURMA POL: Burma's ruling general urged people Monday to make "correct choices" in national elections to be held sometime this year. In a message to mark the country's 62nd year of independence from Britain, Senior General Than Shwe said his seven-step "road map" to democracy is the only process for a transition from nearly 50 years of military rule. A statement from U.S. Senator Jim Webb Monday said he "was pleased to learn that the Burmese government is carrying forward its intention to hold national elections" this year.

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