US - DALAI LAMA: U.S. President Barack Obama will host the Dalai Lama, the exiled
spiritual leader of Tibet, Thursday at the White House, despite intense
protests from China.
The Dalai Lama arrived in Washington Wednesday ahead of his meeting
with Mr. Obama, which will take place in a private room in the White
House, and not in the Oval Office, the president's official study.
A White House spokesman says there will be no opportunity for
journalists to take pictures, but says the White House will release one
The meeting has drawn angry comments from China, which said it "firmly
opposes" the visit by the Dalai Lama.
BURMA - UN - RIGHTS: The United Nations' special envoy on human rights will meet with a
trusted advisor to detained Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi
in Rangoon Thursday.
Officials with the National League for Democracy say U.N. envoy Tomas
Ojea Quintana will hold discussions with 82-year-old Tin Oo, a deputy
NLD leader who was released from house arrest Saturday.
Quintana will also meet with Win Tin, who was once one of Burma's
longest-serving political prisoners until his release from prison in
The U.N. envoy is also expected to visit Rangoon's notorious Insein
prison Thursday and meet with Burmese military leaders in their
administrative capital, Naypyidaw, on Friday.
PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN: Afghan intelligence officials are requesting that a recently captured
top Taliban commander be turned over to Afghan authorities.
A spokesman for Afghanistan's Intelligence Directorate told reporters
Thursday that Pakistan or any other country holding Mullah Abdul Ghani
Baradar should hand him over to Afghanistan.
Pakistan and U.S. officials say the Afghan Taliban leader was arrested
last week in a joint operation in the southern Pakistani city of
Baradar, an Afghan national, holds the second most important position
within the Taliban, after the group's founder, Mullah Muhammad Omar.
ISRAEL - HAMAS - DUBAI: Britain and Ireland have called on Israeli envoys to answer questions after fake European passports were used by the alleged assassins of a top Palestinian militant. Israel's ambassador to Britain is expected to meet with officials in London Thursday, a day after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for an investigation into the use of British passports. British, Irish and German passports were used by 11 people accused of killing a Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh last month in Dubai in a well-organized operation.
MALAYSIA - ANWAR: The presiding judge in the sodomy trial of Malaysian opposition leader
Anwar Ibrahim says he will not stand down from the case.
High Court Judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah announced his decision Thursday during a court session.
Anwar is facing a 20 year prison sentence on charges that he sexually
assaulted a former male aide in 2008. His lawyers say the case is part
of a plot by the government to end his political career.
The defense team accused the judge of bias against Anwar after he
failed to penalize a newspaper that published a photograph of Anwar's
accuser pointing to a bed where the encounter allegedly occurred.
CAMBODIA - LAND MINES: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen says millions of land mines left over
from the country's civil war remain scattered across the kingdom and
pose a major threat to the public.
Hun Sen said Wednesday deminers still need to clear explosives from
about 670 square kilometers of land - about one-third of one percent of
The Cambodian prime minister was speaking at a ceremony in Phnom Penh
in which his government received demining equipment from Japan worth
Land mines and unexploded ordnance from Cambodia's three decades of
conflict that ended in the 1990s remain buried around villages and
HAITI - CHILDREN: Eight American missionaries who were charged with kidnapping children in earthquake-ravaged Haiti have arrived in the U.S., nearly three weeks after they were arrested in the Caribbean nation. A U.S. military cargo plane carrying the group landed early Thursday at a Miami, Florida, airport. The missionaries made few, if any, comments to reporters before at least seven of them entered a nearby hotel. On Wednesday, a Haitian judge released the eight missionaries from jail.
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