THAILAND PROTESTS: Thousands of anti-government protesters flooded back into the center of Bangkok Sunday and rejected talks with the government, just hours after clashes between protesters and soldiers left at least 20 people dead .. Thai medical officials say a Japanese cameraman with the Reuters news agency and at least five soldiers are among those killed. Several hundred others were injured in clashes Saturday in other parts of Thailand's capital. A government spokesman said Sunday the army had not fired any live rounds at the protesters. Authorities confirmed Saturday night that Red Shirts had taken at least five soldiers hostage. The fighting ended late Saturday after security forces withdrew and urged Red Shirts to do the same.
Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva went on television late Saturday to express condolences to family members of the victims. He said the government will investigate the violence. He rejected protesters' demands to resign.
A U.S. State Department statement late Saturday called on both sides to "show restraint" and "work out disagreements peacefully through earnest negotiation."
POLAND - MOURNING: Poles are in mourning for Polish President Lech
Kaczynski, his wife Maria and other national leaders killed in a plane crash in western Russia. People throughout the country stood silent as sirens wailed at noon (1000 UTC) Sunday. The bodies of Mr. Kaczynski and his wife were scheduled to arrive in Warsaw within a few hours. Poles attended special masses throughout the country, and paid their respects at the presidential palace in Warsaw. The capital city is filled with flowers and candles for Mr. Kaczynski, his wife, and 95 others killed in the crash in Smolensk. Parliament speaker Bronislaw Komorowski, who became the country's interim head of state, has declared a week of national mourning. Russian and Polish investigators are working together to analyze data from flight recorders recovered from Mr. Kaczynski's Russian-made Tupelov aircraft. Russian officials say it broke apart in flames Saturday after hitting tree tops as it approached Smolensk airport's runway in heavy fog.
Mr. Kaczynski's delegation was heading to Smolensk to attend memorial ceremonies at nearby Katyn, where Soviet forces killed 22,000 Polish military and policer officers, intellectuals and others in 1940 after the start of World War Two.
POLAND - REACTION: Condolences are pouring in from around the world to the tragic death of Poland's President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and a number of senior government officials in a plane crash in western Russia Saturday.
U.S. President Barack Obama called the accident a devastating loss for Poland, the U.S. and the world. He said he contacted Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to express his deepest condolences. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States stands with the Polish people in this difficult hour and praised Mr. Kaczynski as an advocate for freedom and human rights. In Britain, Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid tribute to the Polish president, calling him one of the defining actors in the country's modern political history. Pope Benedict expressed his condolences, as did U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the plane crash a political and human tragedy for Poland, while French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Mr. Kaczynski was a tireless defender of democracy and liberty.
NUCLEAR SUMMIT : U.S. President Barack Obama meets separately Sunday in Washington with the leaders of nuclear armed foes India and Pakistan.
The South Asian neighbors have fought three wars, and have ongoing disputes about ruling Kashmir. The U.S. president also meets Sunday with the leaders of South Africa and Kazakhstan, two countries that voluntarily gave up their nuclear weapons programs. The talks come one day before the opening of President Obama's unprecedented summit on keeping nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists. Nearly 50 countries will take part in the two-day event.
HUNGARY - ELECTIONS: Hungarians are voting in a national election that is expected to go to the center-right opposition party Fidesz and dethrone the ruling Socialists. Polls to elect members of parliament opened throughout Hungary Sunday morning. Public opinion surveys have indicated Fidesz will win a solid majority of ballots, with the Socialists and far-right party Jobbik competing for second place. Tax increases and spending cuts by the Socialist government have damaged its popularity in Hungary, which was one of the worst hit countries in the 2008 global financial crisis.
Fidesz, led by former Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has promised to cut taxes and create one million jobs over the next 10 years.
SUDAN - ELECTIONS: The people of Sudan are taking part in the country's first multi-party elections in nearly 25 years. Balloting got under way Sunday amid concern over possible civil unrest and doubts the government will hold a credible vote. Authorities in Sudan are deploying some 100,000 officers to maintain order. Several opposition parties planned to fully or partially boycott the elections, saying President Omar al-Bashir and his ruling National Congress Party are preparing to rig the results. President Bashir is expected to win re-election.