HAITI - EARTHQUAKE: Haitian government officials say an estimated 400,000 residents
displaced by last week's earthquake will be moved to new villages to be
set up outside the devastated capital, Port-au-Prince.
Officials said Thursday they will provide transportation for the
residents and hope to begin moving them as soon as possible. The 7.0
magnitude quake left an estimated 1.5 million people homeless, and
earthquake survivors have been living outside in overcrowded camps with
little or no sanitation.
Also on Thursday, U.S. military announced it had reopened the heavily
damaged seaport in the Haitian capital to help improve the flow of aid
to earthquake victims.
WORLD MARKETS: Asian markets plunged Friday as investors reacted to U.S. President
Barack Obama's plan to more tightly regulate the nation's largest banks
and lending institutions.
Japan's Nikkei index lost two and one-half percent at the end of
Friday's trading session. Markets in Manila, Shanghai, Sydney and
Taiwan also closed between one and two percent lower.
The falloff in Asia follows Thursday's steep declines on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones lost two percent (213 points), its biggest drop since
October, while the S&P 500 fell nearly two percent.
US - LAOS - OPIUM: U.S. Customs officials say one of their officers and his drug-sniffing
dog have uncovered more than 35 kilograms of opium at a Chicago airport
The U.S Customs and Border Patrol says the officer and his dog, Rambo,
were screening incoming mail at the Chicago O'Hare Foreign Mail
Facility when the dog alerted his handler to four separate shipments
The packages, labeled "Hmong Traditional Tea," were opened and the
officer discovered 273 individual plastic bags containing wood twigs
and dried leaves which were found to have been soaked in opium. The
packages were destined for an address in theMinneapolis, Minnesota area.
CHINA - US - INTERNET: China is denouncing criticism by the United States of Beijing's
restrictions on Internet usage , warning that it could harm bilateral
A statement posted Friday on the website of China's Foreign Ministry
says Washington is using the "so-called" concept of Internet freedom to
make groundless accusations against Beijing.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a major speech on
Internet freedom Thursday, calling on China and other authoritarian
governments to lift curbs on citizens' access to cyberspace.
Clinton said such restrictions violate the basic rights of people to express themselves without fear of government retribution.
IRAN - NUCLEAR: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says his country "regrets"
Iran's apparent rejection of the U.N.-backed proposal to send its
uranium abroad to be enriched.
The remarks come amid signals both from the U.S., eager to take a tough
stance on pressuring Iran, and China, which is reluctant to impose more
Speaking at a press conference Friday, Lavrov said the U.N. Security
Council could discuss sanctions, but he did not commit to supporting
Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the international community intends to put more pressure on Tehran.
US - PAKISTAN: The U.S. Secretary of Defense has assured Pakistani military officers
the United States does not want to control Pakistan's nuclear weapons
nor does it want "a single inch of Pakistani soil."
Robert Gates spoke to the officers Friday at the National Defense University in Islamabad.
He said an organized campaign of "propaganda" had misrepresented U.S. intentions in the region.
Gates said the U.S. seeks no military bases in Pakistan and has no desire to control the country's nuclear arsenal.
AFGHANISTAN - KARZAI: Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he plans to offer money and jobs to Taliban fighters to get them to return to civilian life.
President Karzai said, in an interview with the BBC, the scheme will be funded by the international community.
He said Britain and the United States will announce their support for
the plan at a conference on Afghanistan in London next week. The Afghan
leader said Japan will also offer financial backing.
Mr. Karzai said hardline Taliban supporters, who are members of
al-Qaida or other terrorist groups, would not be accepted into the
ASIA - TIGERS: This year is the year of the tiger, according to the Chinese 12-year zodiac, but the tiger popualtion in China and other Asian countries has dwindled to an estimated 3,200, down from about 100,000 a hundred years ago. Conservation group World Wildlife Fund announced Thursday it is launching a campaign to double the tiger population by 2022 -- the next year of the tiger. Environmental officials from 13 countries where tigers live in the wild will meet next week in Thailand to decide on a plan to reverse the trend.
TOYOTA - RECALL: The Japan-based Toyota company says it is recalling 2.3 million
vehicles in the United States to fix accelerator pedals that can become
stuck and cause deadly accidents.
The world's biggest automaker said Thursday that the recall affects various Toyota models made between 2005 and 2010.
Models affected by the recall include RAV4, Corolla, Matrix, Avalon, Camry, Highlander, Tundra, and Sequoia.
In September last year, Toyota announced a recall of 3.8 million U.S.
vehicles for a similar problem with a sticking accelerator.
Listen to our World News for details.