POLISH PRESIDENT KILLED: Russian officials say Polish President Lech Kaczynski has died in a
plane crash in western Russia.
Officials say all 96 people on the plane were killed in the crash
Saturday (0700 UTC). Earlier reports said 132 people were on the
Polish officials confirmed the president and his wife Maria were on
board. Passengers also included Poland's army chief (Franciszek Gagor),
deputy foreign minister (Andrzej Kremer), central bank governor
(Slawomir Skrzypek), and scores of Polish legislators along with other
The delegation was heading to Russia to commemorate the 70th
anniversary of the World War Two-era killing of 22,000 Polish officers
by Soviet security forces at the town of Katyn near Smolensk.
KYRGYZSTAN PROTESTS: Thousands of people gathered near Kyrgyzstan's capital Saturday to bury
some of those killed in the uprising against the government, with
opposition leaders calling the victims heroes who died for democracy.
The mass funeral was held just outside Bishkek.
Mourners commemorated the people killed in Wednesday's violent clashes
between protesters and security forces. The violence that left at least
79 people dead forced the Kyrgyz president to flee the capital.
The acting head of the interim government, Roza Otunbayeva, told the
crowd Saturday that justice and democracy will be established.
THAILAND PROTESTS: More than 90 people have been wounded in a crackdown on anti-government protesters in Thailand's capital Bangkok.
News reports say Thai security forces used live ammunition during
clashes Saturday. Soldiers and riot police were trying to remove
protesters from public places and a main commercial area in Bangkok.
Clashes erupted at several locations, including a military base, early
Saturday, and at an anti-government television station on Friday.
Security forces used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to
disperse protesters who are demanding that Prime Minister Abhisit
Vejjajiva step down.
IRAN NUCLEAR: Iran's president has unveiled a faster centrifuge for enriching uranium, defying international warnings against continuing its sensitive nuclear work. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad displayed one of the new, domestically-built machines Friday, saying international efforts to pressure Iran on its nuclear program will be met with even more resistance. The announcement marked Iran's National Nuclear Day. The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the latest generation of centrifuges has a separation capacity six times faster than earlier ones, thus increasing the output of enriched uranium.<!-- IMAGE -->
US ECONOMY: In his weekly address, U.S. President Barack Obama urged Americans to
go to the tax saving tool on the White House website for information
about taking advantage of Recovery Act tax benefits.
The U.S. deadline for filing personal taxes is April 15.
Mr. Obama said tax credits are available to help buy health insurance.
Credits are also available for purchasing a house or car.
He said millions of students and parents paying for college tuition are
eligible for up to $2,500 under the American Opportunity Credit.
Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona delivered the Republican response to the president's address.
CHINA - TRADE: China is reporting its first trade deficit in six years for March. Chinese state-run media say the country had $7.2 billion more in imports than it did in exports last month. China's imports jumped more than $30 billion from February to almost $120 billion in March. Exports grew more slowly, to about $112 billion in March. The data come after top U.S. and Chinese trade officials had brief talks in Beijing earlier this week. The White House wants China to let its currency, the yuan, be more influenced by market forces. U.S. media say the report could complicate China's currency policy.<!-- IMAGE -->
BURMA - ELECTIONS: Burma's government has reported that at least 16 new political parties
have registered for elections suppose to take place later this year.
State-controlled media reported on Friday that Burma's official
Election Commission approved the new parties prior to the end of an
official 60-day registration period that ends on May 6. Existing
political parties that fail to register prior to the deadline will be
forced to disband. The date of the planned elections has not yet been
announced by the Burmese government.
The announcement comes in the wake of a call by the leaders of
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Friday for elections
in Burma to be fair and inclusive of all political parties.
Listen to our World News for details.