THAILAND - PROTEST: Thai security forces have used tear gas against anti-government protesters who stormed the grounds of the opposition television channel, which was shut down by the government this week. Thousands of "Red Shirts" traveled by pickup trucks and motorcycles to the studios of the "People Channel," located several kilometers north of Bangkok in the Pathum Thani suburb. They were demanding the government reopen the station, which was taken off the air after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency. Thai military officials had warned they would use force to disperse the demonstrators, including rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons.<!-- IMAGE -->
KYRGYZSTAN - PROTESTS: Thousands of people have begun gathering in Kyrgyzstan's capital to
mourn at least 75 people killed in an uprising that ousted the
government and forced the president to flee.
Funerals were set to take place on Friday ahead of a national mourning
ceremony. In Bishkek, people prayed outside the burned-out presidential
Sporadic gunfire was heard throughout the night in the capital, as
police and interim government-backed vigilante groups tried to guard
the city and keep groups of looters at bay. Several people were
reported wounded overnight.
NUCLEAR SUMMIT: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled a planned trip
next week to attend U.S. President Barack Obama's nuclear security
Israeli officials say Mr. Netanyahu called off his visit to Washington
because Arab countries, including Egypt and Turkey, planned to use the
summit to target Israel about its presumed nuclear arsenal.
Israeli officials say the head of Israel's atomic energy agency, Dan Meridor, will attend the summit instead of Mr. Netanyahu.
Israel has two nuclear reactors, including one in the city of Dimona
that is believed to be used to build the country's stockpile of atomic
ASEAN SUMMIT: Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations say they have urged Burma to ensure its upcoming elections will be fair and inclusive of all political parties. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung says he and his counterparts expressed this view to the Burmese delegation during the two-day ASEAN summit in Hanoi, which ended Friday. Burma's military regime has come under fire from the international community over its new election laws, which prevent opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from participating.<!-- IMAGE -->
CHINA - JAPAN: Chinese state media say three Japanese nationals have been executed for drug smuggling. Xinhua news agency says the Supreme People's Court announced the three men were put to death in the northeastern province of Liaoning. The condemned trio includes 48-year-old Hironori Ukai, and two 67-year-old men, Teruo Takeda and Katsuo Mori. All three men were allegedly caught trafficking drugs in 2003. Another Japanese man, 65-year-old Mitsunobu Akano, was executed in China Tuesday on a drug smuggling conviction.<!-- IMAGE -->
SRI LANKA - ELECTIONS: Sri Lanka's ruling coalition says it is confident of victory, after taking an early and expected lead in parliamentary elections. Early results show President Mahinda Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance winning 11 of 15 seats so far in the 225-member parliament. Election officials also say that results from at least one electoral district were likely to be delayed due to a decision to re-run the vote because of violence. Thursday's elections took place less than three months after Mr. Rajapaksa's landslide victory in presidential elections and nearly a year after the end of the country's 25-year separatist insurgency.<!-- IMAGE -->
AUSTRALIA: Australia is suspending processing of new asylum claims from Sri Lankans and Afghans as a means of fighting people smuggling. Immigration Minister Chris Evans made the announcement Friday, saying the move is meant to make clear to people smugglers that they cannot guarantee visas to their clients. Australia has been struggling with an increasing number of asylum seekers in recent years, with large numbers coming from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in rickety boats. Evans said conditions are improving in those war-torn countries and that Australia will review the suspensions in several months time.<!-- IMAGE -->
CLOSER - MT EVEREST: China and Nepal have finally arrived at an agreement on the height of Mount Everest, which straddles the border between the two countries. Nepal considers Mount Everest to be 8,848 meters high, nearly four meters taller than China's measurement. At talks in Kathmandu this week, officials from Nepal and China agreed that both heights are correct. Nepal's measurement takes into account the layer of snow on top of the mountain, while China measures only the height of the rock underneath. Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world.
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