CAMBODIA/THAILAND: Cambodia recalled its ambassador from Thailand hours after Thailand recalled its ambassador from Phnom Penh. Diplomatic relations between the two countries took a blow after Cambodia offered an advisory position to the controversial former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
INDIA: A crowded bus plunged down a steep mountain gorge in northern India, killing 32 people and injuring at least 30 others.
SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa is moving to enlist men in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Through a series of recent ads catering to men, local organizations are hoping that men will play a greater role in addressing South Africa’s most pressing medical battle.
ZIMBABWE: Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, has once again agreed to work with President Robert Mugabe, ending the three-week boycott of the unity government.
KENYA: 750,000 Kenyans could be affected by flooding as heavy rains hit the East African nation, according to the United Nations. Six people have already been killed in floods and landlsides.
GERMANY: The European head of General Motors has quit his job “in disgust” after GM decided to abandon plans to sell its European unit, Opel.
UK: British Airways will be cutting 1,200 additional jobs, after posting a six-month loss of $361 million.
RUSSIA AND CIS: Russia’s health minister has warned the media not to spread panic over swine flu, claiming that the situation is under control and that H1N1 mortality rates do not exceed that of seasonal flu.
Neighboring Ukraine is taking extraordinary measures to combat the H1N1 outbreak there. The mayor of Kiev wants to impose a quarantine on the capital city, and authorities there are organizing the free distribution of gauze masks to prevent the virus’ spread. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has confirmed its official first case of swine flu.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned against a new wall of hostility and mutual distrust in Europe, adding that old stereotypes and mistrust had yet to be banished. He made the comments in an interview published today in the newspaper Rossisskaya Gazeta.
In the latest development in the PR war between Russia and Georgia, Georgia is launching a Russian-language television station to reach ethnic minorities across the Caucasus.
Human rights worker Arbi Khachukayev has been abducted from Moscow and flown to Chechnya. Khachukayev, who works for the human rights group Memorial, had recently fled Chechnya, fearing for his personal safety.
Russia’s leading search engine Yandex has decided to stop ranking popular blog posts–a move that critics have derided as pandering to Kremlin censorship.
BRAZIL: Israeli President Shimon Peres and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are both set to visit Brazil next week — part of Brazil’s strategy as it hopes to cement its larger global role is to mediate the conflict in the Middle East.
HONDURAS: Honduras’ ousted president, Manuel Zelaya, says a U.S.-brokered pact has failed to end the country’s political crisis.
VENEZUELA: President Hugo Chavez has ordered 15,000 troops along the country’s border with Colombia after months of political tensions.
SAUDI ARABIA: The Saudi newspaper Al-Watan is reporting that scores of Yemeni Houthis fighters have been killed in new Saudi Arabia‘s air attacks in the remote mountainous regions along the the borders between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
ISRAEL: Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has said that Israel is not bluffing in its threats to take military action against Iran‘s contentious nuclear program. In the news regarding the UN General Assembly endorsing the Goldstone report, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the vote shows Israel has the moral majority.
PALESTINE: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced in a televised speech yesterday that he would not seek reelection. The announcement dealt a huge blow to the Obama administration efforts to revive Middle East peace negotiations. In another story, the United Nations General Assembly voted to endorse the Goldstone report which accused Israel of war crimes during its military offensive on the Gaza Strip last winter.
IRAN: Press TV reporting that the US has called on Iran to accept an IAEA-backed proposal for nuclear cooperation as proposed, reiterating that the draft deal would remain unchanged.