Bangkok : Pro-democracy activists of Thailand Monday called on visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to help in restoring "genuine" democracy to the country.
About 30 activists of the Democracy Confederation attempted to hand an open letter to Ban as he entered Government House for talks with Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont but were blocked by authorities from doing so.
Lisbon : Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has highlighted the importance of both peace and security for the development of Africa, which is resolute in its desire to be in charge of settlement of conflicts on the continent.
Addressing the Second European Union-Africa Summit here Saturday, he added, while broaching peace and security questions, that peace and security "hold a strategic place" in the partnership of Africa and the EU.
By NNN-Prensa Latina
Oruro, Bolivia : Bolivia's Constituent Assembly approved by majority the presidential re-election for a constitutional period, the revocation of the mandate and the change of name of Parliament.
In a marathon session started on Saturday, the Assembly approved such articles by over two-thirds of votes.
The future Magna Carta establishes in its article 167 that the president and vice president of the State will be elected by universal suffrage, with half plus one valid votes.
Kuala Lumpur : About 200 international experts will convene for a three-day Global Knowledge Conference beginning here Tuesday to discuss, among other things, Knowledge for Development and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The conference, with the theme "Emerging People, Emerging Markets, Emerging Technologies", is organized by Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), an international network that promotes the power of knowledge and utilization of ICT for sustainable and equitable development.
Lisbon : Heads of state and government to the second European Union (EU)-Africa Summit, which closed here on Sunday, endorsed a joint strategy aimed at a new partnership between the two continents.
Four main objectives are included in the joint strategy, with reinforcing and elevating the EU-Africa political partnership as the priority. The partnership envisages strengthening institutional ties and addressing common challenges, especially peace and security, migration and development, as well as environment protection.
Los Angeles : Some key Iranian officials have defected due to a secret defector program launched by the CIA, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.
The CIA launched the program in 2005 in a bid to degrade Iran's nuclear weapons program by persuading key officials to defect, the paper said.
This effort has prompted a "handful" of significant departures, current and former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the operation were quoted as saying.
Beijing : China's top economic planner said Sunday that it would step up reforms in key areas such as the economic system, investment regulation and supervision, resource products pricing and national healthcare.
"We should further deepen reform in 2008," Ma Kai, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at the annual working meeting of economic planners at all levels concluded here on Sunday.
Kiev : Five people have been killed when a charter aircraft they were on board crashed near this capital city of Ukraine, an official said.
The plane flying from the Czech Republic crashed Sunday at around 5 p.m. when it was preparing to land at Zhulyany airport near Kiev, said Igor Krol, Ukraine's emergency situation ministry spokesman.
"All five people on board were killed, including two pilots and three passengers, all of them foreigners," Krol said.
By Gurmukh Singh, IANS
Toronto : Even as over 10,000 delegates from 187 countries are attending the UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia, to work out an agreement to succeed the Kyoto accord after it ends in 2012, it has come out that Canada might try to "sabotage" the talks.
Placed at 53 in a recent survey of 56 industrialized nations, which contribute 90 percent of greenhouse emissions, Canada is the fourth worst performer in 2007.
By Joydeep Gupta, IANS
Bali : The main goal of the Dec 3-14 UN conference on climate change here is to begin negotiations for a new international climate change agreement that will kick in by the end of 2012 when the current agreement under the Kyoto Protocol comes to an end. While that is expected to happen, the devils in the detail will remain.
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