MYANMAR: Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell was in Myanmar today holding the highest-level talks with the jailed pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the leaders of the military junta in 14 years.
CHINA: A new World Bank report shows that East Asian economies were recovering from the global financial crisis but warned the upturn was primarily driven by China. The World Bank raised its 2009 growth forecast for China from 7.2 to 8.4 but warned the rest of the region was still struggling and would grow by as little as one percent if China were excluded.
An advanced malaria vaccine trial is underway in seven African countries. Early results show that the vaccine could be 30-50 percent effective.
ETHIOPIA: A volcanic eruption in 2005 that caused a rift in Ethiopia’s Afar region could be the beginning of a new body of water. Scientists say it might become a sea that could separate East Africa from the rest of the continent.
SUDAN/BRITAIN: Britain will now be allowing non-Arab Darfuri asylum-seekers to remain in the country. The Interior Ministry made the announcement on Tuesday citing Sudan as too dangerous for these refugees to return to.
UK: An Afghan policeman thought to be a Taliban sympathizer killed five British troops Wednesday.
UK: The London Science museum held a poll asking the public to pick the 10 greatest achievements in several areas of science. The X-ray came out on top among the 50,000 people who participated.
ITALY: An Italian judge has convicted 23 Americans for kidnapping an Egyptian man in a case of CIA extraordinary rendition.
MEXICO: More than 44,000 people have been forced from their homes in Mexico’s Gulf Coast due to flooding.
VENEZUELA: Venezuela’s capital is suffering from its worst drought since 1947.
EL SALVADOR: Murders in El Salvador are up 40% compared to this time last year. The increase is attributed to violent gang activity.
ISRAEL: The Israeli Navy says it seized an arms ship near Cyprus carrying hundreds of tons of weapons bound for Syria. Defense sources said the arms came from Iran and were destined for Hezbollah.
IRAN: Iranian opposition supporters demonstrating in central Tehran clashed with police today during a protest marking the 30th anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the US embassy. Al Jazeera English reports that police used batons and fired tear gas to disperse several hundred activists.
PALESTINE: Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat Palestinians may have to abandon the idea of a two-state solution if issue of Israeli settlement expansion cannot be resolved.
AFGHANISTAN: Pakistani Aaj TV says that the Taliban have claimed responsibility killing of five British soldiers today by an Afghan policeman in the southern province of Helmand.
SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabian military troops are massing on the border with Yemen following the killing of a Saudi soldier in an attack near the country’s southern border with Yemen. Al Arabiya TV is also reporting on the evacuation of eleven schools in that area.