CLINTON - ASIA: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Japanese Foreign
Minister Katsuya Okada in Hawaii Tuesday for talks expected to focus on
a disagreement over a U.S. military base on Okinawa.
Clinton is on the first leg of Pacific tour that will take her to Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
On Monday, Secretary Clinton said she expects to focus the talks on the
importance of the 50-year relationship between the U.S. and Japan, one
of Washington's most important allies in the region.
But the fate of the Futenma U.S. air base on Okinawa has dominated
CHINA - US - TAIWAN: China says it has successfully tested military technology designed to
intercept a missile in mid-air.
China made the announcement Tuesday, saying the test was defensive in
nature and not aimed at any country. State media said the test
"achieved the expected objective," but did not elaborate.
The announcement follows Washington's decision last week to clear the
sale of advanced U.S. (Patriot) air defense missiles to Taiwan as part
of a larger $6.5 billion arms deal. The official Xinhua news agency
Monday called the sale "detrimental to
Sino-U.S. relations," reiterating statements of protest made in Beijing
INDONESIA - MILITARY: A human rights group has accused Indonesia of failing to end the military's involvement in business or to make the powerful armed forces fully accountable to civilian authorities. Human Rights Watch said in a report released Tuesday that five years after the government of Indonesia committed to end the money-making ventures of the Indonesian armed forces, the promise of reform remains unfulfilled. The report said despite a 2004 law ordering the military to get out of the business sector by the end of 2009, the generals still control 23 foundations and over 1,000 cooperatives, including ownership of 55 companies.
IRAN: A bomb blast has killed an Iranian nuclear physics professor in Iran's capital, Tehran. Officials say Dr. Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a nuclear scientist and professor at Tehran University, died Tuesday when a bomb-rigged motorbike exploded outside his home. Iranian state television said the blast took place in the northern Tehran neighborhood of Qeytariyeh. An Iranian prosecutor (Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi) said police have not arrested any suspects in the attack, but state television blamed the attack on U.S. and Israeli agents. It is not clear if Mohammadi is connected to Iran's nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing a nuclear weapon.
IRAQ: Iraqi security forces have locked down parts of Baghdad Tuesday to conduct search operations for possible car bombs. Iraqi officials imposed strict security procedures and restricted traffic after receiving threats of possible car bombs in the city Tuesday morning. The security operation comes as Iraq is preparing for nationwide parliamentary elections in March. Officials have warned insurgents trying to disrupt the vote could try to launch attacks as the election nears. Baghdad has been hit by a number of high-profile bombings in recent months, mainly targeting government buildings in the city.
AFGHANISTAN: A new survey of public opinion in Afghanistan indicates that most Afghans are now optimistic about their future and the leadership of President Hamid Karzai. The poll, sponsored by American, British and German broadcasters, says 70 percent of Afghans believe the country is headed in the right direction. Last year, just 40 percent of those polled reported a similar optimistic outlook. About 72 percent of Afghans rated President Karzai as excellent or good. The poll also notes solid support for U.S. troops and widespread opposition to the Taliban, with 69 percent of the respondents calling the group the "biggest danger" to Afghanistan.
TIBET POL: Chinese state media say Tibet's governor has tendered his resignation and will step down this week.
The report, by the official Xinhua news agency, did not give a reason for the resignation nor say who would replace him.
Qiangba Puncog, an ethnic Tibetan, was governor during demonstrations
by Tibetans in their capital of Lhasa that turned deadly on March 14 of
Tibetan People's Congress Chairman Legqog is also to resign. Both men
are said to be in their early-to-mid sixties, near standard retirement
HOLOCAUST - GIES OBIT: The woman who risked her own life by hiding Dutch Jewish teenager Anne
Frank and her family from the Nazis, Miep Gies, has died. She would
have been 101 years old next month.
The Anne Frank Museum and Gies' own Web site announced her death Monday. No cause of death was given.
Gies worked for Anne Frank's father, Otto, when the Nazis invaded the
Netherlands. He asked Gies to help hide his family in an empty section
of the company warehouse. She and others provided food, books and
companionship to the Franks while they hid for two years.
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