CHILE EARTHQUAKE: Authorities in Chile's second-most populous city have extended a curfew
in an effort to curb the looting following Saturday's deadly earthquake.
The lawlessness that has plagued Concepcion since the city was badly
damaged by the quake prompted officials to extend a curfew from 8 p.m.
Monday until noon Tuesday.
The looting continued from late Monday night into the early morning
hours of Tuesday, as desperate residents seek basic supplies such as
food and water. Several stores and businesses have been ransacked and
US - LATIN AMERICA: Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is asking the United States to get directly involved in her country's current dispute with Britain about the Falkland Islands. Ms. Fernandez made the request Monday during a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is visiting Argentina as part of a six-nation tour of Latin America. The Argentine leader said the U.S. could mediate between Buenos Aires and London, since it is friendly with both nations. Clinton said Washington will encourage both nations to engage in diplomacy, but will not commit to a more involved role in the matter.
US - CHINA: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg arrived in Beijing Tuesday for talks with Chinese officials meant to repair ties strained by recent diplomatic squabbles. Steinberg is also expected to address the North Korean nuclear program with China, which is Pyongyang's strongest ally. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters Monday that relations between the two nations have been on "a bit of a bumpy path," and said he thinks both sides would like to return to normal as quickly as possible. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters Tuesday that responsibility for the current state of China-U.S. relations does not lie with the Chinese side, but completely with the U.S. side.
KOREAS - TENSIONS: North and South Korean officials are meeting in the town of Kaesong,
site of a joint industrial park just inside the North Korean border.
South Korea's government says the talks will focus on easing border
crossings, communications and customs clearance for South Koreans
working inside the industrial park. The park is funded with South
Korean capital and staffed mostly by North Koreans.
Tensions between the two states have risen recently. Last week, the
North declared that four South Koreans are under investigation for
entering the North illegally.
INDONESIA PROTEST: Police clashed with protesters outside Indonesia's parliament in the capital, Jakarta Tuesday, as a demonstration against a multi-million-dollar bank bail-out turned violent. Hundreds of protesters hurled stones at police, who responded with tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. Demonstrators hung banners outside parliament calling for the replacement of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and officials of Bank Century. Inside the building, Indonesian lawmakers began to hear the findings of a parliamentary inquiry committee on alleged irregularities in the government's bail-out of the bank in 2008.
PAKISTAN - US: Pakistani police have presented a list of charges against five
Americans detained in the country on suspicion of seeking to commit
A defense lawyer for the five men said police on Tuesday delivered the
list to a judge in the eastern city of Sargodha. The alleged offenses
include plotting to attack Pakistan.
The court will decide whether to indict the men at their next hearing, March 10.
The suspects, all Muslims from the Washington D.C. area, were detained in December in Pakistan's Punjab province.
Police have accused them of plotting attacks in Pakistan, and of
seeking to join Islamist militants fighting across the border in
NIGER: Niger's military junta has named a 20-member provisional government to serve until elections are held.
The junta said in statement Monday that five of the new government
ministers are members of the military. The French News Agency reports
five women were also appointed to cabinet posts.
The junta's leader, Major Salou Djibo, said Sunday that no junta member
will be allowed to run in promised presidential elections.
Niger's military seized power in a coup last month, ousting President
Mamadou Tandja. It appointed a civilian prime minister, Mahamadou
Danda, who will remain in that post in the provisional government.
IRAN - NUCLEAR: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says his country is ready to consider
new sanctions against Iran if persuasion fails to stop it from
Mr. Medvedev says international efforts to influence Iran to suspend
its sensitive nuclear work have been ineffective, but that Russia is
hoping a deal can still be reached with Tehran.
He says new sanctions should be "smart" and should not hurt civilians.
Western nations have been pushing for a fourth set of U.N. Security
Council sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. Russia has long
been reluctant to support tougher sanctions.
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