INDIA - PAKISTAN: India's foreign secretary says talks with her Pakistani counterpart
marked a step towards rebuilding trust between the two countries.
India's Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir met in
New Delhi Thursday for the first official talks between the two
countries since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Indian media report Rao told Bashir that Pakistan did not go far enough
in its probe of the attacks and the involvement of Pakistan-based
It had been India's priority going into the meeting to discuss Pakistan's efforts to crackdown on terrorists in the country.
CHINA - US - TENSIONS: China says the United States is putting bilateral ties at risk with its recent overtures to Taiwan.
A spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry told reporters Thursday
that Washington should "speak and act cautiously" following the $6.4
billion arms deal between the U.S. and Taiwan.
Beijing has threatened to suspend all military exchanges with the U.S.,
and impose sanctions on U.S. companies involved in the Taiwan arms deal.
China and Taiwan split when Mao Zedong's Communist forces took power on
the mainland after driving out Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang, or
Nationalist, forces in a 1949 civil war.
JAPAN - HONDA: Japanese automaker Honda has unveiled its newest hybrid vehicle.
The company revealed its new, flashier CR-Z hybrid model in Tokyo
Thursday. Honda says the new gas-electric powered sedan will get an
average of 25 kilometers a liter, under Japanese road conditions.
The new sedan will go on sale Friday in Japan, and will be introduced in the United States and Europe later this year.
Japan's second-ranked automaker issued its first hybrid car, the
Insight, last year. It has been outsold by rival Toyota's much more
popular Prius hybrid sedan.
US - TOYOTA - RECALL: The head of Toyota's global operations has apologized for the safety
problems that have resulted in accidents by Toyota drivers and at least
39 deaths over the past several years.
In testimony Wednesday before a U.S. congressional committee, Akio
Toyoda promised to do everything he can to make sure the safety
problems do not lead to another death.
He said he has no question about the integrity of Toyota's system.
Toyoda took tough questions from U.S. lawmakers holding a second day of
hearings on whether his company ignored complaints that some of its
cars accelerated on their own, putting the lives of drivers and
passengers at risk.
RUSSIA - IRAN: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has called on Iran to act responsibly
in order to end an international dispute over its nuclear program.
Russia media report Mr. Medvedev made the remarks Thursday in an interview with the French magazine Paris-Match.
The Russian president is quoted as saying Iran should "conduct its nuclear activities in a transparent manner."
Russia, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has not excluded the idea of new sanctions against Tehran.
But, Russia's foreign minister (Sergei Lavrov) was quoted
by Russian media Thursday as saying any sanctions should be used only
to stop the spread of weapons, and not to hurt the country.
HAMAS - DUBAI: Australia has issued a warning to Israel after it was revealed that
three of the suspects in the killing of a top Palestinian militant in
Dubai were carrying forged Australian passports.
Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told Israel's ambassador Thursday that if Israel was involved, then "Australia
would not regard that as the act of a friend."
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the misuse or forgery of Australian
passports by any state is a matter of "deepest concern." Dubai police
have identified 26 suspects in the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud
al-Mabhouh in the emirate last month.
CUBA - DISSIDENT: Preparations are being made to bury Cuban dissident Orlando Zapata
Tamayo, who died Tuesday after an 85 day hunger strike in prison.
The dissident's mother says Cuban authorities wanted her to bury him
immediately after they returned his body to her home in the eastern
city of Banes. But she refused and delayed his burial until Thursday.
Zapata died in a Havana hospital after a hunger strike his supporters say was staged to protest prison conditions.
However, Zapata's mother blames Cuban authorities for his death.
US - SEAWORLD - ACCIDENT: A killer whale kept at a popular water park in the U.S. state of Florida seized its trainer and fatally injured her Wednesday as horrified tourists watched. Witnesses in a group of about 20 people awaiting a performance at the SeaWorld park said they saw the killer whale, or orca, open its mouth, grab the trainer and plunge back into the water. Local authorities said they believe the 40-year-old victim, one of SeaWorld's most experienced animal trainers, slipped and fell into the enormous whale tank by accident. Officials say the same killer whale was involved in two other deaths in 1991 and 1999.
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