Today: Former President Jimmy Cater is leaving North Korea today along with freed American Aijalon Gomes. Gomes had been sentenced in April to eight years of hard labor for entering North Korea illegally.
Carter arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday on a private diplomatic mission at the invitation of the North Korean government. It was suspected that North Korea would use the trip to push for an easing of U.S. sanctions, but it does not appear that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il met personally with Carter, as he did with former President Bill Clinton during a similar trip last year.
Instead, Kim traveled by train to China on Wednesday night and will reportedly meet with President Hu Jintao of China today. Kim is reportedly traveling with his 27-year-old son Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be his father's chosen successor. Kim may be seeking the support of North Korea's largest ally for the succession. He is also likely seeking Chinese aid in response to chronic food shortages.
Afghanistan: Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that the U.S. timetable for troop withdrawal has boosted the morale of the Taliban.
- The United Nations says that more than a million new people have been displaced by Pakistan's floods since Wednesday.
- Burma's ruling junta has reportedly retired more than a dozen senior military officers ahead of upcoming elections.
- Japan opened up its execution chambers to journalists in order to spur debate on capital punishment.
- A leaked U.N. report says the Rwandan army's attacks on Hutus in the early 1990s may have been genocide.
- Kenya's president signed a new constitution into law.
- The Somali government claims to have contained the latest offensive by the al Shabaab rebels.
- Three Canadian men -- including a former "Canadian Idol" contestant" were arrested and charged with terrorism.
- Brazil's government has approved construction of a controversial dam in the Amazon.
- Suriname's ailing president ceded power to his vice president.
- Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem rioted in over a disputed pathway through the neighborhood.
- Iran says it is prepared to sell arms to Lebanon.
- Gunmen attacked a military patrol in south Yemen, killing four.
- The United Nations has criticized France's deportation of Roma.
- Britain's economy grew at its fastest pace for nine years last quarter.
- Russia's government has suspended plans to build a new motorway though a forest outside Moscow after public protest.
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