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U.S. negotiator expects gains in N. Korea talks

Published February 4, 2007


The main U.S. negotiator on North Korea said Saturday in Seoul, South Korea, that he believes the next round of international arms talks with the communist state could produce real progress. "I think we do have some reason to believe we can make some progress," said Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill upon arriving in Seoul to coordinate strategies for this week's six-nation talks in Beijing. Hill did not elaborate on the ground for his optimism. But he said progress means beginning to implement a 2005 accord, in which North Korea pledged to disarm in exchange for aid and security guarantees.

50 die as tanker explodes near bus

At least 50 people were killed in an explosion of a tanker truck in the southern Philippines, officials said Saturday. At least 65 others were hospitalized, said Conchita San Diego, a provincial social welfare officer. Many of the victims were passengers of a minibus that was following the tanker truck when it slammed into a side of a mountain before overturning and killing its driver Friday, police said. The tanker exploded with such force that it demolished the minibus, police said.

Explosion kills 3 miners, traps 28

An explosion tore through a coal mine in remote northeast Colombia on Saturday, killing at least three miners and trapping 28 more in tunnels filled with deadly gases, a rescue official said. With family members looking on, rescue crews pulled out on stretchers the bodies of three miners found near the entrance to one of two tunnels where the miners were believed trapped in Norte de Santander state.

Protesters seek governor's ouster

Thousands of protesters marched in Oaxaca, Mexico, on Saturday to demand the resignation of the state governor, showing their eight-month-old movement is still alive despite hundreds of arrests. The protesters, a mix of teachers, trade unions and leftist and Indian groups, accuse Oaxaca state Gov. Ulises Ruiz of rigging his 2004 election and sending thugs to attack opponents. The governor denies the allegations.

China signs deal for investments

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday offered copper-rich Zambia a multimillion dollar investment package aimed at boosting ties with a longtime ally. Facing accusations of Chinese exploitation of African labor and resources, Hu stressed in Lusaka that Beijing was motivated by partnership rather than purely profit. The two-day visit to Zambia is Hu's fourth stop on an eight-nation African tour intended to boost Chinese investment in - and returns from - the resource-rich but poor continent.

So why is anthem of Taiwan playing?

A diplomatic gaffe marred Saturday's inauguration of a China-financed stadium in St. George's, Grenada, when a band performed the national anthem of Chinese rival Taiwan. Chinese Ambassador Qian Hongshan and scores of Chinese laborers who built the $40-million stadium as a gift were visibly uncomfortable as Taiwan's anthem echoed inside the 20,000-seat venue. Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said it was a blunder.


[Last modified February 4, 2007, 00:31:37]

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