JAPAN: The United States and Japan must “find ways to renew and refresh the alliance for the 21st century,” said President Barack Obama in Tokyo on Friday. He agreed to reopen talks on the contentious issue of the relocation of a U.S. airbase in the island of Okinawa.
CHINA: The general consensus at today’s APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting was that the balance of global growth is shifting towards Asia, with China, India and to some extent Indonesia leading the recovery from the global economic recession.
SUDAN: Eleven people were recently killed in tribal clashes in South Sudan’s Jonglei state. Clashes among rival ethnic groups often erupt over issues of cattle rustling and natural resources. Over 2,000 people have died and 250,000 been displaced in South Sudan since January.
SOMALIA: Twelve Somalis were arrested on Thursday on suspicion of piracy by the French navy. The suspects were captured 650 miles off the coat of Somalia.
Europe has officially emerged from the worldwide economic recession. The European Union expanded by 0.2 percent in the third quarter.
SWITZERLAND: Google Inc. is headed to court over charges of violating Switzerland’s personal privacy laws though the use of its Street View application. The application — which allows users to see a 360-degree view of a street-level location– is being criticized for identifying people without their knowledge.
VATICAN: A four-day symposium to bring the Vatican into the digital age began on Thursday. Officials and bishops are being trained on internet tools such as Facebook, Wikipedia, and Google.
RUSSIA AND CIS:
Russian President Medvedev will meet with US President Obama on Sunday on the sidelines of the APEC meeting in Singapore. On the agenda: a new arms reduction deal and the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs.
The diaries of a British journalist who was one of the first to write about the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine will go on display to the public for the first time in London tomorrow.
Three people have been killed in a blast in a cemetery in the southern republic of Dagestan. The victims had come to pay tribute to police officer Abdumalik Magomedov, who had been killed last year.
Russia’s police scandal is widening. Two more policemen have posted appeals to President Medvedev on YouTube speaking out against abuse and corruption in the country’s police force: Mikhail Yevsev, who alleges police fabricated cases against innocent citizens, and Gregory Chekalin.
BOLIVIA: Evaporation due to global warming has caused the Lake Titicaca in Bolivia to be at its lowest level since 1949.
MEXICO: Mexican President Felipe Calderon says he rejects a proposal by business leaders in the border town of Ciudad Juarez for U.N. peacekeepers to enter the town and quell drug-related violence.
CHILE: Michelle Bachelet, the Chilean president, said that there are signs that the economies of Latin America are turning the corner after the global recession.
EL SALVADOR: Aid agencies say that as many as 10,000 people may need food assistance in the Central American country after massive floods which left at least 140 people dead and destroyed acres of crops.
PAKISTAN: A suicide bomber today attacked the northwestern regional headquarters of the Pakistani intelligence agency killing more than 17 people and wounding many more.
TURKEY: A Turkish diplomatic source has said that the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog (IAEA) revealed the details of a proposal suggesting Turkey as a third-country destination for transport of Iran’s enriched uranium. On another front, the Turkish government announced new details today of its plan to reconcile with its minority Kurds in hope of ending an insurgency that has dragged on for 25 years.
SYRIA: Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, in France to meet with President Nicolas Sarkozy, says Syria wants peace with Israel but questions Israel’s commitment to the process. The visit comes after talks between Sarkozy and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
ISRAEL:Israeli army officials said today that Israeli troops killed one Palestinian and wounded four others along the Gaza border in what the military described as an attempted bomb attack.
An American Jewish group criticized Hezbollah for removing the “Diary of Anne Frank” from textbooks in a private school in Beirut.
AFGHANISTAN: The Taliban claimed responsibility on Friday for a suicide bombing attack near US military base outside the Afghan capital Kabul. The attack target was a NATO convoy.